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I recently read an article on abc news about Levi's CEO Chip Bergh not washing his 501 Levi jeans for a year. He wants to preserve the color and shape of the jeans. He mentioned that 501 jeans "do not need to be washed as often as people might think, if ever." He spots clean and air dries his 501's. The don't wash jeans is gaining popularity and some say they use the freezer method to freshen their jeans while others use the sun dried method. Some will spray the jeans with alcohol or vinegar. This method certainly conserves water and reduces the negative impact on our environment. I read several articles that a washer uses 25-40 gallons of water for a full load. Front loaders use much less but it is still a lot of water.The older washers use 40.

I did a little research to see if this was a safe method. According to Stephen Craig Cary, a university of Delaware expert of frozen microbes, freezing will not always kill the bacteria, but rather put them in a dormant state until they come in contact with something warm. Link here:

I also found an article about vinegar killing 99.9% bacteria. Good Housekeeping's microbiologist Gina Morino, mentioned vinegar effectively kills 99.9 percent of bacteria. Here is the link: .

A student did an experiment on the freezer method comparing the bacteria from the no wash jeans; to jeans that had been only worn three days after washing. Both jeans had the same amount of bacteria. Link:

With the information that I found about freeze washing your jeans to preserve the color and shape; I tweaked these methods to give those people who are leaning towards the no wash jeans method but hesitate because they wonder how sanitary it might be. Lets get started.

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Step 1: This Is What You Will Need

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Distilled white vinegar

Spray bottle

Dirty jeans

Plastic bag

Damp wash cloth

Step 2: Pre-treat Method

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Pre-treating the jeans:

First shake out the jeans.

Turn them inside-out and shake again.

Spot clean any stains using the damp cloth.

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xstevex18 months ago

Perhaps I missed something somewhere, but if the vinegar kills 99.9% of bacteria, and hanging them in fresh air/sunlight removes the vinegar odor and freshens them, what is the purpose of freezing them?

sunshiine (author)  xstevex18 months ago

Spraying the garment with vinegar will weaken 99.9% bacteria but 1 % will remain hopefully in a weakened state so my thought is that the freezing might be the thing that finishes them off.Thanks for commenting and do have a great day.


.1% remains, not 1%. nothing will kill 100% of the bacteria.

Nesciosquid2 months ago

I commend your attempts at an eco-friendly way to freshen up your jeans, but I think they are based on some misconceptions about the chemistry/biology involved.

Vinegar is acetic acid -- you can think of it as a solution of sodium acetate dissolved in water. When you spray the jeans with vinegar and put them out to dry, the water evaporates, leaving behind sodium acetate. This means that over time, without actually washing the jeans to dissolve and remove the leftover sodium acetate, you're essentially coating your jeans with more and more of the stuff, which means you're going to start smelling like sauerkraut whenever you sweat in them. Probably not ideal!

You should also note that vinegar might have some antimicrobial effects (like any acid) when applied to a non-porous, non-absorbent surface, like a kitchen counter, but you won't get the same results when applying it to fabric, which is full of nooks and crannies. Unless you're dunking your jeans in the stuff, you're probably not getting much disinfectant value out of it.

I'm also not convinced that your primary concern in keeping jeans 'fresh' is to kill the bacteria (and other microbes) living in them. Let's assume for a moment that the vinegar treatment does kill 99% of the total bacteria living on your jeans. Not only will these 1% leftover microbes (millions of cells, if not more) multiply once more when they're put into a moist, warm environment, their population will be re-seeded by the microbes living on your skin, which is how they got there in the first place.

I think your primary concern should be removing oil and sweat left over on the fabric after use. Think about it this way -- if a popsicle melted on your kitchen counter and left behind a big pool of sugar water, you probably wouldn't just spray it down with vinegar and assume it's clean, leaving the sticky residue behind.

My tactic is to spot-clean the stains to keep the jeans looking nice, and then to hand-wash them in the sink or bathtub with a little laundry detergent once in a while to get rid of the oil and sweat, but your mileage may vary. :)

Also of note -- when microbiologists clean down their counters in the lab, a very common disinfectant used is 70% ethanol, in which both the water and alcohol components will evaporate over time and leave behind no residue. It's also a lot better at killing microbes on contact than vinegar.

sunshiine (author)  Nesciosquid2 months ago

Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate all the information you have shared with all the readers. I hope your day shines!


victoriaween2 months ago

Wow I love it

sunshiine (author)  victoriaween2 months ago
Thanks! Have a super day.
Jollyriffic3 months ago

in before this to start an "ice jeans" challange.

rwd you8 months ago

it is time saver and fantastic idea. But, Can we use the same on formal dresses?

sunshiine (author)  rwd you8 months ago

I know you can spot clean a gown using club soda but most people recommend taking a formal to the cleaners. I would not know about the freezing method but one could try. I don't think it would damage the fabric but then I have not tried it. I am thinking that folding the fabric to fit in a freezer might cause a lot of wrinkles depending on the amount of fabric. Thanks for asking and if you do try it please do let us know your opinion. I don't have any formal fabric to try. Have a great day.


gluvit8 months ago
This is great
sunshiine (author)  gluvit8 months ago
Thanks so much for taking a look and have a great evening.
pecospearl8 months ago

I love these lazy ways of doing washing. What next! Keep these ideas coming, I'm all for lazy ways to work!

sunshiine (author)  pecospearl8 months ago

Oh yeah! Great to see your face. Hope your day shines.


hjjusa8 months ago

My dog hates taking a bath, any chance this will work on him. LOL

DO NOT freeze your dog. Do not spray him with vinegar.

sunshiine (author)  hjjusa8 months ago

Too bad it won't! Thanks for commenting.

Iron Boots8 months ago
Oops, my comment should have read "We should can the cotton altogether and Levi's should go back to their original material of choice - hemp."
sunshiine (author)  Iron Boots8 months ago


sparkypine8 months ago

The article you link to regarding freezing the jeans clearly indicates that it is pointless to do so, that it is a myth, yet you still freeze yours. Is there something I'm missing here?

sunshiine (author)  sparkypine8 months ago

The freezing is supposed to make the jeans smell fresher. Freezing can't be relied upon to kill all bacteria but it will kill some. My thought it is that by spraying the garmet with vinegar will weaken all the bacteria but 1 % will remain in a weakened state so my thought is that the freezing might be the thing that finishes them off.Thanks for commenting and do have a great day.


Your thinking runs counter to established science on the matter - freezing won't kill any bacteria - they just go dormant until warmed again. So your jeans are fresh and "germ free" when you remove them from the freezer, but briefly after putting them on they'll be identical to the jeans you took off to put in the freezer a few days earlier -- same germs, same odors, same dirt (minus whatever you could "dry clean" from them prior to freezing).

I'm sure there are valid methods for sanitizing and cleaning jeans without a full wash cycle. Freezing isn't one, though.

She just answered that to the first comment, I think she is totally right, First kills the bacteria, then freshens up the Jeans, and u are good to go, of course if you ran a "tough mudder" with them you'll need another method

sunshiine (author)  tacticalcraft8 months ago

Thanks for commenting and both of you have a great weekend!


conilin8 months ago

Have you youngsters ever tried Febreze fabric refresher? It kills odor causing bacteria and. leaves a clean smell. Nice for trips when you want to get another days wear out of whatever.

sunshiine (author)  conilin8 months ago

Thanks for sharing and do have a great weekend.


snoopindaweb8 months ago

I remember My Mother freeze drying clothes on the line in winter. She would wait till they were frozen just right then give them a beating with the broom, etc. Not good to bend them when they are frozen too stiff, the arms and legs snap off at - 30 degrees or colder.

sunshiine (author)  snoopindaweb8 months ago

Nice in the summer though!

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paqrat8 months ago

I don't understand why, if you are just going to freeze them anyway, you'd want to leave them until they are dry?

sunshiine (author)  paqrat8 months ago

If you freeze the jeans wet they will still be wet when you remove them from the freezer. If you freeze them dry they will just be very cold but you can wear them. In order for the vinegar to destroy any bacteria it has to stay on the jeans for 20 minutes. If you freeze the jeans right away there is no point in using the vinegar. Thanks so much for commenting and do have a great day.


DSLaBuda8 months ago

Levi's CEO must have noticed that their quality has gone down in the last decade and is attempting to cover. Thinner material (marginally but still), lighter stitching, etc.

sunshiine (author)  DSLaBuda8 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

jbarber88 months ago

thanks for the ible denim Dan!

sunshiine (author)  jbarber88 months ago

Thanks for stopping by.

ChrisLewis3008 months ago

One way to reduce the damage to jeans and anything you wash with them is to close the zip before washing. A lot of people don't and the open metal zip acts like a rasp, scraping bits of the clothes. Its like popping a small grater in the wash.

Always wash jeans inside out.

Line drying produces just as much lint as tumble drying, it just blows away and you don't see it.

sunshiine (author)  ChrisLewis3008 months ago

Thanks for sharing!

stephenfitton8 months ago

Quick run over of your above problems,Leave jeans in shady spot with wind,to keep colour, Those nasty drop spots you mentioned were used by south Americans to fix the dies in their clothes,For that nasty assorted grease and oil try Baby-Nappysan,Product name or similar works great.And for your great steak massage for 5 minutes,leave for an hour and taste the difference

sunshiine (author)  stephenfitton8 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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