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Study: Washing Jeans Too Frequently Is Bad for Denim

Denim enthusiasts were right, people wash their jeans too much. Now they have the science to prove it.

A University of Alberta textile scientist performed a six-month study on the process of washing jeans with a focus specifically on the physical aspects of the cotton, reports the Edmonton Sun in Canada.

Researcher Rachel McQueen used 52 participants and instructed half to wash their jeans every two days and the other half to wash their jeans every 20 days. While unsurprising, the major finding of the study was that those who washed their jeans more frequently saw a quicker breakdown of the fabric.

According to McQueen’s data, laundering too frequently is a waste of water resources and deteriorates the garments over time.

“I think that a lot of people in society, me included, we have a habit of when we deem our clothing necessary to wash,” McQueen said to the Edmonton Sun. “For some people that’s ‘I’ve worn it once.’ We wash our clothing more frequently than we need to.”

While McQueen admits that its well known that washing clothing frequently will lead to a breakdown of the fibers, she plans to follow this study with one that focuses specifically on the bacterial growth in denim between washes.

“It’s from the perspective of looking at freezing jeans, and how it’s touted as a way of people who have raw denim, if they smell, to put them in the freezer,” McQueen said.