Here’s a New Year’s Resolution: give up washing your jeans for months at a time.
Even if you wear them five days a week, no one will ever know, according to an interesting study out of Australia.
For her Master’s thesis, Melbourne University student Tullia Jack found 30 volunteers who agreed to wear their jeans at least five days a week for three months, reports Adelaide Now. (One zealous participant, concerned that his pants weren’t getting dirty enough, even went running in them and slept in them at night.) Half of the participants reported not wanting to wear their jeans at about the six-week mark. But the other half wanted to keep wearing them unwashed even after the experiment was over, says Ms Jack.
In the end, the three-month-wear jean didn’t stink, and they didn’t even look all that dirty, aside from odd stain of tuna or motor oil. “They just smell like people,” Ms. Jack explained in a video interview.When she consulted a scientist about the lack of odour, she says, it was suggested that the “bacteria reached a peak population” and then stopped growing.
The concept of the experiment was to explore social norms around cleanliness and washing, so Ms. Jack was anticipating some smelly jeans by the end of it.
Instead, she says, the study showed that, to save the environment, people should be washing their jeans - and clothes in general - a lot less. “When you take something off, air it out,” she says, or spot clean a stain.
According to a page on Facebook, “Wearing the same jeans everyday,” there are a few people already trying this experiment at home. (Judging from a couple of the comments, it appears to end most often when some well-meaning (i.e. grossed-out) adult relative tosses the jeans in the wash.)
What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without washing a pair of jeans? Think anyone notices?