hot and cold washes

The Difference Between Hot and Cold Washes?

Hot and cold washes are confusing. Hot water is supposed to kill germs, right? Why then, would you ever think to wash something in anything other than piping hot water? Well, for starters it will shrink most of your clothes down to toddler size. How can cold water get them clean; you ask? Good question. Let’s take a look at the big differences between hot and cold washes.

Hot washes are great

Hot water IS great if used properly. Whites are washed in hot water unless stated differently on the label. Hot water does a fantastic job of removing dirt and grime and will kill most viruses as well. If your fabrics can handle it, wash in hot water after having the flu or a cold.

There are some drawbacks to hot water, however. Depending on the type of fabric, hot water can cause irreversible damage. Shrinking and damaging prints are both possibilities. When deciding what temperature to set the washer at, make sure to sort clothing based on what the labels say. Most darker colors are going to need a cold-water wash, while some will work in warm.

Warm water

Warm water has a few advantages over hot water. When washing in warm water, the machine doesn’t have to use extra electricity to heat it. That will reduce the amount of money you pay on utilities. This is compounded more if using a high-efficiency washer (HE). These machines use less water than standard washers, meaning you also use less detergent. 

Cold water

Cold water is perfect for most of your clothing. It won’t cause clothing to shrink or fade and uses less power than hot. Doing laundry on cold will both save money and extend the life of your clothes. 

Sorting your laundry properly is going to save you time and money. You won’t turn anything the wrong color and shrinking clothing will be a thing of the past. 

There are always a few exceptions to the rule. When washing jeans, the tags may say use warm water. Try to wash your jeans on cold. It will eliminate any chance they might shrink. Also, air-dry your jeans instead of in the dryer and they will last much longer.