Does Freezing Kill Bacteria? The Truth About Freezing Your Jeans

Does freezing kill bacteria in jeans?

You don’t want to ruin your jeans and your washing machine can cause the dye to fade. Dryers can shrink fibers so your jeans are no longer a perfect fit. You might have heard of the trend of freezing jeans which supposedly gets rid of foul odors. But, should you toss your favorite pair of pull-on jeans in the freezer next to the ice cream?

What’s that smell?

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When you wear jeans, skin cells and body oils slough off. The inside of your jeans become covered with skin cells, natural oils, and bacteria. These substances are harmless, but they can cause your jeans to smell.

Does freezing kill bacteria?

No. Putting your jeans in the freezer temporarily stops the smell but the bacteria, skin cells, and oils remain. Once your jeans warm up, they will start smelling all over again.

If freezing doesn’t work, how should I wash my jeans?

  • Unless you’re rolling around in the mud, avoid washing your jeans every time you wear them. You can wear your jeans at least five times without them building up too much odorous bacteria.

  • If you throw your jeans in the washing machine, wash them inside out. This will make sure the bacteria is cleaned off. Wash them in cold water and select a gentle washing machine cycle. Dry them at a low temperature setting.