As an Experiment, Man Wears Jeans for 15 Months Without Washing Them

Josh Le of the University of Alberta did what is fairly normal among college students, but somehow found a way to get famous for it. He wore the same pair of jeans for 15 months without ever washing them. Le's excuse for not doing his laundry is that he wanted the raw denim to mold to the shape of his body. At the conclusion of the experiment, his jeans were tested for bacteria:

At the end of the 15 months, Le swabbed the jeans for bacteria. He then put the garb through a washing machine, after which he wore the jeans another two weeks before re-testing.

And the results surprised Le and his professor, Rachel McQueen.

"They were similar," McQueen said of the bacteria count of the freshly washed pair, compared to the prewashing levels. "I expected they would still be much lower than after 15 months."

In all, there were five kinds of skin bacteria in the jeans, and mostly in the crotch area, where between 8,500 and 10,000 bacterial units per square centimetre were found. However, McQueen said because Le was healthy, with no skin problems or cuts, there was no health concern.

Controlling odour was a different concern, Le said, admitting the jeans began to smell after a few months.

He solved that problem, however.

"I triple-bagged them and put them in the freezer," he said. via Jeremy Barker | Photo: John Ulan/Canadian Press

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As some other posters have mentioned (although I am surprised it was not mentioned more), the bacteria levels cannot be accurately measured if he put them in the freezer for any length of time. If freezing the jeans kills odor-causing bacteria, you would think it would dawn on the kid that it may kill other forms of bacteria as well and thereby skew his results.

But it is a pretty convenient excuse for not doing laundry. "Sorry! Can't do laundry this weekened! Science, you know!"
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This is hardly a unique experiment and is actually pretty common. When you buy raw denim you want to wash it as little as possible, though most people soak their jeans in soapy water every once in a while.

The indigo dye is not set into the denim so if you wash often in a washing machine your jeans will be nearly white in a short time. The whole point is wearing them unwashed and letting the jeans crease and wear naturally, so there will be light lines and fading on creased areas and areas that are agitated more, resulting in a pattern that is unique to each pair of jean and each person. If you frequently sit cross legged, one knee & thigh may wear more than the other. If you carry your phone in the same pocket all the time, you'll have a lightened outline of your phone on the front of your jeans.

This is much more unique and real looking than the factory distressed jeans that are common on the market. Also Mr. Awesome, raw denim is normally very stiff when new and gets more soft over time as you break it in. I've been wearing my jeans nearly daily for about 8 months and have done 1 soak and they don't smell. If someone has bad hygiene or wears funky underwear that's their problem.

This is an example of what I'm talking about with some raw Levis.

And another random pic.

Compared to a factory distressed pair like this.
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