Levi's CEO Charles Berg once said that jeans should be washed only when necessary. This statement caused a lot of discussion.
According to Berg's theory, one should avoid washing jeans in a washing machine at all costs, and if necessary, clean only those parts that have stains, IFLScience writes.
He said he doesn't recommend washing jeans at all. "True denim fans tend not to wash their jeans regularly, as this can damage the material and shorten the life of the jeans," he said.
Berg noted that if he spills sauce on his jeans, he will simply clean them by hand: "And if they get really rough, you know, if I sweat or something and they get really rough, I'll wash them in the shower."
The CEO of Levi's claims that washing jeans is "a major part of the carbon footprint of clothing." He says that the production of a pair of jeans emits about 33.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide, which is comparable to flying an airplane around the globe 2372 times. And it takes about 6800 liters of water to process cotton into denim.
To reduce the impact of denim on the planet, Levi's CEO believes that consumers should avoid throwing jeans into the washing machine. Heating water and powering the machines requires a huge amount of energy, with an average load of laundry emitting 3.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide.
This may sound a bit harsh, but there is actually some evidence that jeans stay extremely clean without washing, IFLScience writes.
In 2011, researchers from the University of Alberta conducted an experiment using the dirty jeans of one of their students. Josh Le did not wash the jeans made of untreated denim for 15 months and then tested them for bacteria. He then put the pants in the washing machine, wore them for another two weeks, and retested them.
It is noteworthy that the level of bacteria did not change that significantly. The jeans were more or less as clean after two weeks of wear as they were after 15 months without washing.
University of Alberta Associate Professor Rachel McQueen, who conducted the study, said: "I expected to find some bacteria associated with the lower intestine, such as E. coli, but was surprised to find that there were none, just lots of normal skin bacteria."
"This suggests that at least in this case, bacterial growth does not increase if jeans are not washed regularly," she added.
Berg's specific recommendations on how often to wash your jeans depend on how often you wear them and under what conditions. If you wear your jeans every day, you'll probably need to wash them more often than if you only wear them a few times a week. If you work or play sports frequently, you may also need to wash your jeans more often to remove sweat and other dirt.
Earlier, we wrote about how to wash jeans to remove oil stains with two cheap products.
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