How Long Would You Go Without Washing Your Jeans?

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Of course, a BOY would do this experiment.

Josh Le holding up the pair of jeans he wore for 15 months straight without washing themUniversity of Alberta student Josh Le holding up the pair of jeans he wore for 15 months straight without washing them

Canadian college student Josh Le decided to wear a pair of jeans for 15 months straight without washing them at all.

ABC News reports that Le did this to find out just how dirty a pair of jeans can get after getting the idea from this Introductory to Textiles class professor who was doing research on textiles and bacteria.

Even Rachel McQueen, his professor, thought that 15 months is “a bit long,” but Josh Le went on with his experiment, which certainly redefined the term “distressed denim.”

Check out Josh Le’s video documentation of him wearing just one pair of jeans between the months of September 2009 and December 2010.

Josh Le chose a pair of Nudie skinny jeans in raw denim for this experiment. Considering he wore his $165 pants 330 times, Josh definitely got his money’s worth out of those jeans! 

It’s also probably the perfect pair of jeans for this experiment because the raw denim showed each and every crease, fade, and hole that was made over the course of those 15 months.

Josh only had to be careful with permanent stains and major odor-causing substances, but he said he solved that problem with paper towels and by sticking the jeans in the freezer overnight to kill the smell.

Jeans in the freezer -- bacteria-killing technique?Jeans in the freezer — bacteria-killing technique?

Apparently, his technique works because when Josh Le finally gave his jeans to Rachel McQueen for testing, the results showed normal levels of bacteria flora. Even when they retested the 15-month-old jeans after an extra 13 days of wearing, McQueen’s findings read that “there did not appear to be differences in the bacterial carriage depending on whether the jeans had been worn for 15 months or only 13 days.”

Sure, wearing jeans like Le’s is icky and could even be socially deterring, but healthwise, it’s not harmful at all apparently. The bottom line here is that we, as a largely jeans-wearing people, can actually go for much longer periods of time without washing a pair of jeans, that is, if we can stay away from bad smells and major stains.

So, in the name of saving water, decreasing energy use, and extending the life cycle of your denim, how long would you go without washing your pair of jeans?

Josh Le’s proclamation that those Nudie jeans have become like his second skin just might be the start of a huge no-jeans-washing trend.

Credit: Rick MacWilliam / Postmedia News / Ecouterre

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