Student Wears Jeans for 15 Months without Washing Them

Josh Le, a student at the University of Alberta, wore a pair of skin-tight jeans from September 2009 to December 2010, without washing them, just to see how much bacteria would build-up on them

The pair of jeans in question was actually made of raw denim, which isn’t treated with any chemicals, so Le thought they would make a perfect home for bacteria, in the course of 15 months. He declared he wore them almost every day, which is pretty amazing, considering that apart from a few wear marks, they looked pretty clean.

Photo by John Ulan/Canadian Press

When the 15 months were up, Josh Le took his “contaminated” pair of jeans to one of his teachers’ laboratory, to be tested for bacteria. Professor Rachel McQueen took samples, then washed the jeans and asked Josh to wear them for another two weeks, then tested for bacteria again. Amazingly, the results of the two samples were very similar – five types of skin bacteria, and between 8,500 and 10,000 bacterial units, mostly in the crotch area. McQueen concluded that people could in fact wash their jeans less often in order to protect the environment, without fear of hazardous bacterial contamination.

However, Josh Le admitted he did have some problems with the odour of the jeans, which started smelling funny after only a few months. He solved the problem by triple bagging them and putting them in the freezer.



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