Student sports unwashed pair of jeans for 15 months for experiment

Used jeans to test potential health hazards of wearing grimy clothes

When life gets hectic, it’s common for some students to wear jeans that haven’t been washed for days, even weeks, but most would consider wearing the same unwashed pair for months a bit of a stretch.

Not University of Alberta student Josh Le, who wore the same pair of unwashed jeans for 15 months in an effort to study the potential health risks of wearing a dirty garment for an extended period of time. While the jeans were found to have high counts of five types of bacteria, nothing was found that would be considered hazardous to Le’s health.

“I was blown away. I thought there would be a lot more bacteria than was present,” Le told the Canadian Press. “It sort of shows that it is okay to not wash jeans.”

The highest amount of bacteria were found in the crotch area of the jeans at 10 000 units per square centimeter, but were composed of normal skin bacteria and nothing harmful such as E.Coli bacteria.

Le estimates that he wore the jeans about 200 times during the experiment, and found they became a way to meet new people—although he admits they got pretty smelly.

“Some people really liked it, but some people were completely grossed out by it,” he said. “I was able to meet a lot more people and have a lot of good conversations. It was like, ‘hey, nice jeans,’ ” he said.

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