University of Alberta student Josh Le wore the same pair of raw denim jeans, without washing them, for 15 months straight—all in the name of science.
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.
However, there was a smell concern—but Le had an answer. He triple bagged his jeans and stuck them in the freezer. But that begs the question, did the freezing prevent bacteria growth that would have otherwise made the jeans funkier? This is important science people.