This week, Chip Bergh, the CEO at Levis, advised that customers stop washing their jeans. He said that he gave up on putting his jeans in the washing machine over a year ago and instead stores them in the freezer overnight to keep his pants clean. He argued that the method not only helps to keep jeans in better condition, but also is more environmentally sound since it conserves energy and water by decreasing loads of laundry.
While it may sound good, denim-wearers may want to think twice before doing laundry in their refrigerators. Itís a rumor thatís cycled for a few years now and if not quite an urban myth, the effects of freezing jeans have at least been exaggerated. Cold temperatures will kill some bacteria, but plenty of the gross organisms that reside on your clothes will withstand the freezer just fine.
Besides, bacteria arenít jeansí only foe. Dead skin and dirt also cling to the pants, which attracts bacteria to the clothing anyway. Freezing will do nothing to eliminate skin and dirt, though a washing machine will do the trick.
In order to destroy germs, your best bet is to go hot rather than cold: at least 250 degrees Fahrenheit should do the trick. Of course, in order to get the heat high enough to kill bacteria, it would most likely use more energy than just washing them in the normal sense.
On the plus side, depending on what kind of activities youíve been involved in, jeans probably donít need to be washed after every wear anyway. Use them until theyíre dirty or smelly and youíll be able to conserve water and energy without the help of a freezer.
Although we donít advocate taking this particular suggestion from the Levis CEO for greening your blues, we do still support the idea of giving your laundry habits a swift eco-kick.† Care2 Green Living has some tips on how to make that happen:
Feeling inspired? Check out more environmentally conscious laundry suggestions here.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
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