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Laundry Temperature: Hot, Warm, or Cold?

by Product Specialist

Laundering in the right temperatures can make a dramatic difference in the condition and longevity of the things that you wash. Clothing that is not washed in the right temperature may become dull or stained, as detergents won't live up to their potential if you always use the cold cycle. While it may be tempting to curb costs by washing in cold, you could be causing yourself more expense and effort in the long run. Clothing will last longer, look better, and be cleaner when you use the recommended temperature when laundering.

The right temperatures for certain loads of laundry include the following recommendations:

Hot water.

Use hot water when washing linens and clothing items that can hold up to the heat without fading or bleeding. This includes white clothing, towels, and bedding. Hot water will kill germs that could be lurking around on sheets or towels.

Warm washing.

Warm water washing is a bit gentler, less likely to cause fading, shrinking, or bleeding in your laundered items. Warm washing also helps to keep wrinkles to a minimum.

Cold cycles.

There are some things that cold water washing is preferred; for instance, delicate items, lingerie, and items that could have the potential to bleed or run are best washed in cold temperatures. Detergents don't typically wash as well in cold water, so be sure to pre-treat any spots or stains to ensure they don't set in. Cold water may also be the best option for washable wool items, when you want to prevent shrinking.

Sure, every once in a while something may require a quick wash in cold water. Don't make this a habit with heavily-soiled, stained, delicate, or light-colored items. Over time, stains will be set in, colors will fade, and whites will become dingy. Read the labels and take the time to adjust the washing temperature to suit your load.