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Why Your Laundry Detergent Might Not Be as Effective in the Winter

Many people don’t realize that changing seasons can affect the efficiency of both washing machines and laundry detergents. In fact, as the ground temperatures plummet in the wintertime, it lowers the temperature of the water that comes into your home, and your detergent might not be as effective in the winter.

To get the best results possible when doing laundry, you first need to understand the temperature at which detergents work the best. After that, you can make the appropriate changes in temperature settings on your washer during different times of the year. 

You will get the best results possible when washing clothes in the cold winter months by following these simple steps. 


Why Your Laundry Detergent Might Not Be as Effective in the Winter


The Best Temperatures for Laundry Detergent 

While most people are well accustomed to running different fabrics at different temperatures, they don’t consider how different water temps affect the performance of laundry detergents. 

A vast majority of people follow the same protocols for laundry during any season of the year. By and large, this process involves following the instructions on care labels – such as hot water for whites and cold water for delicates. Yet, changing water temperatures in wintertime make the process of effectively washing your clothes a bit more complex than this.

 According to the Wall Street Journal, most laundry detergents are formulated with enzymes that don’t work until the water reaches temperatures of about 60 deg. Your detergent doesn’t work well below the threshold of 60 deg, while performance again drops above 75 deg


Winter Weather Means Colder Water 

Whether your water comes from a well or a municipality, the ground is always colder in the winter than in the summer. Correspondingly, these ground temperatures make for colder pipes and colder water. Studies show that underground water pipes are an average of 10 deg colder in the winter than in other months. 

So, while insulated pipes keep your water usable throughout the winter, colder water temps still have an impact on appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters. In the end, many of these appliances run cooler than they might in the spring, summer, and fall. 

In order to get the water in your washer up to the ideal temperature zone of 60-75 deg, you might have to make some tweaks on your machine. Of these, running your washer at “Cool” instead of “Cold” or “Hot” instead of “Warm” might be good ideas. 


Liquid, Pods, and Powder: Which Work Best in Winter? 

While running your machine at slightly warmer settings is often recommended to get the best results in the winter, you can also consider trying a different type of detergent. You don’t necessarily need to switch brands, but rather the form your detergent comes. 

Here is a breakdown of how common detergent types perform in winter: 

  • Detergent Pods are formulated to dissolve in both hot and cold water. However, the temperature drops experienced in winter often push pods beyond the threshold at which they dissolve completely on the cold cycle.
  • Like pods, Powdered Detergents are formulated to dissolve entirely in any temperature zone in standard wash cycles. However, powder detergents also don’t dissolve entirely beyond a cold temperatures threshold. 
  • Liquid Detergents are formulated to work well in cold water, even in the winter. Therefore, liquid detergents are safe to use in winter when the water in your pipes is cooler than normal. 


Natural Laundry Detergents from Charlie’s Soap 

Charlie’s Soap is formulated to work around a 60 degree threshold, but we also work equally as well way up to 120 degrees. So, if you have a stubborn stain, cranking the water up to a hotter temperature might help fight that stain that’s been stuck. Even more, switching from pods and powders to liquid detergents will ensure you get the best possible results when washing your clothes. 

Charlie’s Soap has some of the top natural laundry detergents in the industry. Even more, we have laundry solutions for any time of the year – including spring, summer, fall, and winter. Depending on your washing machine and the ambient temperatures outside, Charlie’s Soap Natural Detergent is available in liquid, pod, and powder form. 


Contact Charlie’s Soap with Questions 

At Charlie’s Soap, we know laundry detergents. Please Contact Us at any point with questions about laundry detergents, washing machines, and the changing seasons. 


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