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Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?

Posted by helen 
Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 25, 2017 08:13PM
What temperature setting do you usually do your washing on?
I usually wash with cold water but every so often do a warm/hot wash if I think it is going to be beneficial.
A friend I was talking to yesterday said she would only ever wash in warm water, never in cold.
What do you do?
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 25, 2017 09:10PM
Mostly cold here, anything greasy goes through on a warm/hot wash. If a person in the household had a skin problem, then a hot wash was advantageous, especially for bed linen and towels.
An electrical inspector with whom I once worked advised to put a hot wash through at least once a month. Not so much for the benefit of the clothes but for the lifespan of the washing machine.
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 25, 2017 10:01PM
I do a warm wash.
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 25, 2017 10:32PM
My preference is for 30C for everyday clothes items and 40C for towels, sheets and tea towels.

However, I've recently switched to cold for everyday clothes as an attempt to keep within the ever tightening budget. The others still get 40C.
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 25, 2017 10:55PM
Everything is washed on warm here.
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 26, 2017 02:54AM
Towels get washed on 60deg, everything else on 40 deg. Dog bedding and towels used for our pooch get washed on the hygienic cycle which is 90 deg. My woolwash setting is 30 deg.
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 26, 2017 03:14AM
Really, a lot of how people wash their laundry is based on beliefs, emotions and historical information.
Here's one website that mentions a few things []
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 26, 2017 04:23PM
J1 thanks for sharing that info. I was starting to worry that I was not doing the right thing by washing in cold.
Rugby gear and smelly things get a warm/hot wash but for everything else I try and be kind to the planet. smiling smiley
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 26, 2017 08:55PM
I think what you were doing originally was fine. The machine itself needs to be considered as well - look at the user guide and it should have recommendation for how often you need to do a hot wash due to continuos cold washes. I can't be bothered with cold water washes anymore.
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 26, 2017 11:26PM
Hi Helen - I do warm washes here - I think the default setting is 30d. I find the powder sometimes doesn't dissolve properly in a cold wash, and I only use powder.
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 27, 2017 01:16PM
I used to do a cold wash for clothes saving hot washes for bedding and seriously stained clothing but since buying my dual front loader the automatic settings only do warm or hot washes. I do find it does seem to wash clothes better - whether thats to do with a warmer water I don't know?

My English Mother in law was shocked when we washed in cold water - thought it wouldn't clean the clothes at all.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2017 03:19PM by IngridO.
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 28, 2017 08:02AM
I wash everything in cold except for sheets. In fact my machine would do cold only for a couple of years - I've only just got it fixed. I find it washes very well in cold water.
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 28, 2017 07:05PM
Like others I do mainly cold washes except for sheets, towels, teatowels, dishcloths etc which go through a 60deg wash.

I've often wondered if there is any difference between cold water laundry powder and regular or is it just a marketing ploy. I have always used regular powder for and cold washes. Likewise powder used to specify front or top loader, but now you can use the same for both.


Barbara Anne

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/2017 07:06PM by Barbara Anne.
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 28, 2017 07:33PM
Barbara Anne, I was wondering the same thing about cold washing detergents the other day, so did some reading. Apparently there can be a difference - however I have no idea how evident that difference is in the products on our supermarket shelves.

It is something to do with the surfactants that lift dirt molecules from the fabric fibres. Apparently most surfactants work better at higher temperatures, but large companies such as Proctor and Gamble have a lot of research into finding surfactants that still work well at cooler temperatures. One article I was reading talked about how part of this research took them to looking at certain sea life that lives in extremely cold water, and how the enzymes in their bodies work in cool temperatures.

One line I remember from one of the many things I read was that cold water detergents are simply more likely to -not- have the surfactants that work better at warm temp, rather than having something special added for cold water.

I just use normal powdered detergent. During winter when our tank water is quite cold, I'm switching to liquid detergent as it dissolves better in the colder temps.

The front loader/top loader specification used to be because top loader would create too many suds in a front loader, and not using as much detergent in order to combat the suds only meant you didn't use enough to clean your clothes. Now with the increasing popularity of front loaders, many manufacturers are marketing a single product that doesn't over suds (in other words, front loader detergent).
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 29, 2017 02:45AM
One thing to also consider when doing a wash is at times the necessity to kill certain bacteria and that requires a higher temperature
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
June 29, 2017 10:04AM
If you're hanging your washing outside on a line in the sun, the sun is an effective anti-germ/anti-bacteria/bleaching agent, e.g. []
Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
August 11, 2017 08:35PM
Always a cold wash, Ive never done it any other way.

Re: Cold, Warm or Hot Wash?
August 11, 2017 11:03PM
Well I wouldn't say I've never done it any other way (my life's been quite long and my thoughts are subject to warp drive) but I always do a cold wash - ever since I wised up winking smiley
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