Don't Wash Your Jeans, Freeze Them


dirty jeansI've definitely worn a pair of jeans for a few weeks before washing them. Sometimes because I don't feel like they need it, and sometimes because I prefer the baggier fit. Who likes clean jeans? They're stiff and tight and somehow mine always end up shorter.

But a student at the University of Alberta decided he didn't want to wash his jeans, for like, a year. And they were skinny jeans, to boot. Ew?

Student Josh Le chose to do this experiment to see if he could break in the tight jeans so much that they'd hug the contours of his body. Really? That's why he wanted to do this? Dude. Lame. Come on.

But the experiment ended up serving a different, rather interesting, purpose.

After 15 months and over 200 wears (if I'm doing the math correctly, and I would be surprised if I am, I think that means he wore the jeans about 42 percent of the days during the experiment), Josh decided to get the jeans tested by his textile professor. You know, see if any fourth dimension bacteria could be discovered.

Surprisingly, the jeans were remarkably clean. The crotch area was the grossest part, with over 10,000 times the amount of bacteria found there than, say, the leg or butt. However! The jeans overall were no dirtier than a pair Josh wore for only 13 days. So, we're good, right? No need to wash more than once a year?

Well, Josh did report that the smell could get pretty ripe. There's a solution, though. Freeze 'em for a few hours and they'll be odorless. Idea bubble! I have a freezer in my apartment, but I don't have a washing machine ... I think he's on to something.

Will you wash your jeans less since they're really not that dirty?

Image via Robert S. Donovan/Flickr

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angev... angevil53

i usually wear my jeans twice before a wash, but not in the summer. if there is a smell of any kind that's not nice i would wash them, not freeze them. i don't want and gunk around the food i'm going to eat

jeann... jeannesager

Here's my problem with this -- jeans tend to lose shape after awhile. This wasn't so much a problem in the days of cotton (oh cotton, I miss you), but stretch jeans get terribly out of shape! The heat of the dryer kills jeans, but it tends to whip them back into shape. So I'm with angevil -- I'll go two wears, MAYBE 3, but that's it.

ZsMommy ZsMommy

You may not have a washing machine...but ya have a bathtub n a sink,right???

Hello-ever do "bath tub laundry" (Anyone who's ever lived in an apt w/ no close laundromat and low on $ knows this)...

It's not as clean as a washing machine-but it's sure better than throwing them in the freezer!!!

(Been there-done that-so glad to have W/D now)

PonyC... PonyChaser

Oh, Jeanne... from your lips to the producer's ears!  I like a little bit of stretch in my jeans, but I have a pair that I can't even wear a FULL DAY without them falling off!!  They need to stop putting so much stretchy crap in there!

That said, I typically go two, maybe three days before washing my jeans, unless something gross happens, or I've been working in them.  But daily life keeps them pretty decent for a couple of days.

klw86 klw86

I have toddlers who love nothing more than to wipe there hands on my pant legs so for me two days tops, usually by the end of day one they are stretched enough to where I have to wear a belt to keep them up.

nonmember avatar Jen

Umm, no I wash my jeans after a max of two wears. I also have two very small children though and I do tend to get dirty from what they wipe on my jeans, a leaky diaper, sippy cup, etc. Not only that but after wearing jeans for even 2 days, sometimes 1, they are stretched and baggy. I can't even begin to justify not only not washing them let alone putting them in the freezer. Gross.

Addys... Addys_Mom

I wear my jeans several time before washing. if they get extra dirty ill throw them in the wash immediately though. however a whole year is ridiculous.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

I saw that guy on the news yesterday.  The story made me cringe.

I wear my jeans maybe 3 times before they go in the wash.  I don't use the dryer.  There's no need - the jeans will tighten up from just the wash and air dry process, and actually stay that way longer - the heat from the dryer kills the Lycra, so every time they go through the dryer, they're going to go baggy faster.

nonmember avatar Shileen

I only wash my jeans when they look dirty ... probably once a week or two. The fit is better after they have been worn for a while. BUT, my teenager and young adult son don't like to wash their jeans much at all particularly my oldest who lives on his own. I will definitely pass this tip on to him, well, to both of my boys actually. My youngest has a paur of jeans that have turned into a work of art with the way he has patched up holes. They will not tolerate being washed frequently for several different reasons so we will definitely try the freezing method for that pair.

Pbutt... Pbuttercup0625

This is the most fabulous news EVER! I can't wait to start freezing my jeans.  Because I go probably about a week or so without washing them and I hate how they feel after washing them.  But I don't like how they fit or feel after washing them.  Usually I just fabreeze them, but I like this idea better. :)  And just so you all know, I don't do a whole lot in my jeans, I have a desk job where I'm not getting dirty.  If I take them to my mother's house and help there then they get dirty and need a washing, but mostly my jeans don't need to be washed that often.

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