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Do You Really Need To Wash Your Jeans?

Do You Really Need To Wash Your Jeans?

(light symphony music with
chalk writing on board) – Welcome to Brain Stuff. Not to get too personal, but when did you last wash your jeans? Whether you’re wearing
a pair of busted Levi’s or brand new raw denim from some fancy boutique with a weird name, your pants are part of a debate that
designers and customers alike have been having for
decades, and it’s this: when should you wash your jeans? Do you need to wash them at all? Let’s look at the basics. Denim is a kind of cotton
with a twill textile weave. In a twill weave, the
thread called the weft, the cross-wise yarn, passes
under at least two warp threads. Those are the length-wise yarns. In most jeans, only these
warp threads are dyed, meaning that the other threads, the weft threads, remain white. That’s why blue jeans
are white on the inside. And that blue shade on the warp threads comes from a dye called indigo. Unlike some other dyes, indigo doesn’t penetrate the cotton, you know? Instead, it sits atop the yarn on the surface of each
thread, and over time, molecules of the indigo chip away, causing the fabric to fade, and this fade is what makes each pair unique, so much so that the FBI analyzes denim patterns when tracking criminals. I mean, put your tin foil hat on. They’re watching your jeans. The more you wear a pair, the
more broken in they become, and you’ll see the
appearance of fade patterns. You know, whiskers on the front, honeycomb patterns behind
the knees, and so on, and here’s where it gets,
wait, what show is this? Not all jeans are created
equally, so let’s divide them into two rough categories: washed and raw. Washed denim is just that,
washed after dying to make the fabric softer
and reduce shrinkage. Sometimes washed denim is
artificially distressed to give it a pre-broken in or worn look. The fading of raw denim,
on the other hand, happens naturally over time depending on the activities of the
person wearing the jeans. So the longer you go
without washing these jeans, the more pronounced that fading pattern becomes, personalizing the pants. Once you have a pair jeans, you will hear numerous pieces of advice
about caring for them. So much stuff. Most of this does not
apply across the board. For example, some companies
will ask you to wait at least six months
before washing your jeans because if you wash them early, the indigo will wear off uniformly, robbing you of those unique fade patterns. And this is the heart of that whole to wash or not to wash question. The longer you go without
washing a pair of jeans, the more pronounced that
wearing pattern becomes, and you also preserve
the indigo, as well as the stiff texture of the fiber, which I hate, but a
lot of people are into. So what happens if you don’t wash them? Great question. Won’t bacteria pile up, turning
your entire lower hemisphere into a plague-ridden cesspool of filth? Not necessarily. In 2011, a microbiology student at the University of
Alberta went, get this, 15 months without washing his jeans. I don’t know, may, I don’t
know if he’s single or what. He tested their bacterial
content, along with the bacterial content of another pair that had been washed about
two weeks beforehand, and he found almost no difference. Anyway, if you can’t
wash them, what do you do to keep your blue jeans clean? You’ll hear some, some crazy stuff. Levi’s famously recommended
freezing your jeans to kill bacteria and stave off any funky odors, but that is bunk. Take them out now if, if
they’re in your fridge. Your roommates think you’re being weird. See, microbe expert Stephen
Craig Cary says that’s a myth. Most of the bacteria in our
pants comes from our skin, and a lot of these organisms are pre-adapted to low temperatures. Instead, Cary recommends
using high temperatures. Think like 121 degrees
Celsius for 10 minutes. He says that will rid
the denim of bacteria. Or, he adds, you could just wash them. So depending on how often
you wear your jeans, their age, the type of
denim, and what you do while you’re wearing them,
you really don’t have to wash them as often as, say, your underwear, which
you should be washing. If you want to get that uber-cool, unique fading pattern,
your best bet really is to avoid washing them for a while. And regardless of how
carefully you care for your favorite pair of raw denim jeans, messes, like life, find a way. One day, some sort of
disaster will strike, and you’ll have to clean
your jeans somehow. Yes, even if that means washing them. Well, that’s it for now. Thank you for watching. I know we didn’t get
into some of the again very specific care instructions that many boutique jean manufacturers insist upon, so your best bet is to check the brand-specific instructions
for your pants. And one last question: what are
your favorite type of jeans? Are you one of those people who, like me, didn’t wear them for years? Lemme know in the
comments, and, as always, stay tuned for more Brain Stuff.

100 thoughts on “Do You Really Need To Wash Your Jeans?

  1. I go commando, so I have to wash my jeans.. if not, you’d get the sweet smell of barnacles and rancid pickle juice and play-doh..

  2. Yes. Because they get dirt and start to smell. Plus they are less loose after being in the dryer.

  3. Um… What the fuck are you talking about? Is your next video about whether or not I need to wipe my ass after taking a shit?

  4. I bought a pair of black jeans about 17 months ago. Have been wearing then everyday since then. Never washed them. Made them into crust pants about 2 months in.

  5. I have to wash and dry so they fit. A day or two makes them stretch don't fit like they do after washing them.

  6. If you don't want to wash your jeans and think they're clean when there's invisible bacteria, then that's fine, but I like to be clean and not be disgusting #JustSaying #WashYourJeans #EndOf

  7. invest in a good washing machine with a jeans washing program. They tend to do soft slow motion keeping the fabric intact and then just hang them in a cool place to dry away from the sun and dont dont use a dryer. Case closed…After 13 years of leaving my mom's and living alone I leaned a thing or two..oh and that is what the guy at the cashier told me when I bought my last pair :p

  8. If you want to be a smelly slob, or just can't be bothered to put in the effort to wash your jeans, go right ahead, but don't try to kid yourself and others that it's some kind of magic LEVI's truth. They WILL start to stink, I dont care how many bacteria some lab dude HASNT found on his.

  9. This is so nasty! Human private-parts get naturally sticky and sweaty, and no matter how hygienic you are, you can't fight nature and the smell goes through your underwear at the end of the day. Do you really want to never wash off the private-part sticky?

  10. Y’all mutherfuckers don’t wash your legs so it stands to reason that you don’t wash your jeans. Why is this even a question?

  11. Let's see here it gets about 120 + degrees here in Phoenix and the sweat alone is enough to drown a small rodent.

  12. Most of my pants are jeans, and being the kind you can't find here in Peru (bootcuts), I have to take good care of them. However, I only wash them when they start to stink, which happens only because of the humidity and my cats being on my lap, but it takes a while for the smell to be actually unpleasant. Thanks to this video, I'll just iron them from now on.

  13. I grew up in jeans. I'm in my mid/late fifties and I can't find any jeans that are anywhere close to as though as the 501 Levi's we used to get in the late seventies. Too bad, I like the 501 jeans. And there's no way I'm paying what they want for the cheap crap they're selling as Levi's today!

  14. I wash my jeans. I also wipe my ass, blow my nose, and brush my teeth. Because smelling f'n horrible is uncool.

  15. I have one expensive (for me) pair of jeans ($450.) and 5 or 6 pairs of Levi's and Lee jeans. I wear the expensive pair very rarely and have them dry-cleaned as needed. The rest I turn inside-out, wash in cold water on the delicate cycle and wash my denim clothing together in one load. I do dry them in the dryer but use low heat. I don't care enough about "wear-patterns" to walk around in dirty, stenched-out pants.

  16. I spot clean mine, scrub the inside with a soapy rag, spray them with a hot water cornstarch solution, and then maybe oven them if they still smell bad. On my current pair of raws anyways. My last pair I threw in the wash every 2-3 months and hung to dry. My first ever pair (only on #3) got washed a lot by my wife who "didn't know they were my Raw's" (yeah, she knew) so the fades aren't really defined. I then soaked them in a 5% bleach solution for half an hour to lighten them up. So I have a personalized light wash, a personalized medium wash, and soon to be personalized dark wash. (:

    All of them started as Levi's 510 rigid dragon.

  17. If you want your jeans to fit right to smell right and to feel soft and not greasy and to wash off in the grass stains or food stains or grease stains of course you wash your jeans I wash them every time I wear

  18. Not washing your jeans is nasty…Under your balls smells and sweat..what kinda of research was that student doing

  19. in short, people washing not their jeans are pigs plain and simple. Or they have not a full deck. Too many people are true idiots and dirty!

  20. Dude I wash my denims pants week a day…do you care..I care about my denims pants..so please everyone wash Ur denim jeans

  21. "You should be washing your underwear " ? You mean we should be wearing underwear…….in summer ! ?

  22. I work for a living. When they get dirty I clean them. I could give a fuck how they look, as long as they aren't covered in dirt and/or grease.

  23. Well…they smell like moldy ball sack after a while…
    Which is a good musky smell that attracts just the right freaky people.

  24. I only wash my jeans like once a month or two unless I spill something on em that is gonna stain them and won't come out by rubbing a damp cloth on em or when they get really dirty from sweating in the summer heat washing stresses the fibers causing it wear out faster and honestly jeans don't need to be washed that often if you wear some shit brands tho like h&m shit like that you may as well wash em whenever because they ain't gonna fade with how you wear them there just cheap and already faded and distressed

  25. You should wash your clothes whether it's a jeans or other type of cloth if doesn't matter. The more you use, the more chances of dirt and bacteria in it, so use your commonsense.

  26. You only need to wash your jeans if you ran a mile in them, shit or pissed yourself or soiled them….best way to clean your jeans is to flip them inside out and deodorizing them with a steamer , add water with a little bit of Downey. The steam kills bacteria and Downey makes them smell good.

  27. People who don't wash their jeans for an extended period of time are more likely than not the same type of people who only shower once a week, wear the same underwear all week, never use deodorant, and obviously don't have a sex life. In other words… lazy pigs.

  28. For all the uppity hipster people that don't actually do any sort of work that could get you sweaty and dirty, maybe you can go without washing them. For us regular people, wash them. I have had pants get so crusty from sweat (salt and what not) you would have thought they were heavy starched. Then there is grass (from mowing), mud, dog spit, cow spit, blood. So that test by the "scientist" only applies to just casually wearing them to walk around and show off. Jeans were made for working people, originally made for prospectors because their clothes kept wearing out, not a fashion statement . Use them like they were intended, and wash them. or if you are in Texas, get them dry cleaned and get that nice crease in the front

  29. If you wasnt to collect dirt andf oils from everywear then don't wash. And if you go commando then yout feces andf urin end up wear? ON YOUR JEANS.


  31. Dude Levi’s right freezing will make it fresh. But you gotta have to put it inside a plastic bag, secure it tight then put on freezer. After 24 hours all the nasty odor is gone.

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