HAVEN’T washed your jeans in three months or more? Don’t worry, there’s no rush.
An experiment carried out “just for fun” by a Canadian university student and his professor has found that denim jeans stay surprisingly clean even after being worn for more than a year without washing.
“I expected to find some bacteria associated with the lower intestine, such as E. coli, but was surprised to find there weren’t any, just lots of normal skin bacteria,” said Rachel McQueen, a textile science professor at the University of Alberta.
“This shows that, in this case at least, the bacteria growth is no higher if the jeans aren’t washed regularly.”
The raw denim jeans were being worn as part of another experiment by one of Prof McQueen’s students, Josh Le
Mr Le had bought the jeans in 2009 and worn them at least five days of each week for 15 months and one week without washing them.
When it came time to give them a spin, Mr Le and Prof McQueen decided to test the jeans for bacteria growth as well.
The jeans were tested once before being washed and then again after being washed and worn for two weeks.
The results of the two tests were “virtually the same”, the university said.
Prof McQueen said the experiment indicated people could go longer between washing clothes with minimal risk, though she didn’t recommend delaying it for a year.
“Most bacterial organisms transferred into jeans come from the person wearing them, and providing there are no cuts or abrasions to the skin, the bacteria should not harm the wearer,” she said.
During Mr Le’s 15-month stint in the jeans, he aired them out three times per week to avoid odours. He has now given up wearing them every day.
“I’ve appointed them my weekend jeans,” he said