washing machine - should you wash clothes in cold or hot water?

Should You Wash Clothes in Cold or Hot Water?

Most people have developed their own systems for doing laundry over the years. Some folks swear by using bleach with every load of whites, while others simply won’t touch it. In like fashion, certain people will only air-dry their clothes, while others use dryers with dryer sheets. The age-old question, however, is should you wash clothes in cold or hot water? While certain people swear that hot water is necessary to get clothes truly clean, others feel that cold water does the job just fine. 

So, should you wash your clothes in cold or hot water?


Do Detergents Only Work at Certain Water Temperatures? 

While many follow the accepted parameters of washing whites with hot water and colors with cold, getting the most out of your detergent is more nuanced than this. Many people don’t realize it, but most laundry detergents only work within specific temperature parameters.  

If you use a mainstream detergent brand, odds are it will only work effectively between 60-75 deg F. This might come as a surprise to many, but even “hot” and “cold” loads that are run with standard detergents shouldn’t vary more than 15 deg F on either end. This small temperature gradient doesn’t give people many options to get their clothes clean. 

The Best Temperatures for Charlie’s Soap Detergents 

Charlie’s Soap Natural Detergent is formulated to work at a wide temperature range – so you can use it effectively on even the toughest stains. In fact, Charlie’s Soap is highly effective at cold water temps down to 55 deg F and hot water temps up to an astounding 120 deg F. 

With such a wide temperature gradient of effectiveness, Charlie’s Soap Natural Detergent works well to break down stains as diverse as grass and blood. 


The Benefits of Washing Clothes with Hot Water 

Tips for Using Laundry Detergent with Hot Water

Not every type of laundry detergent reacts the same in hot water. For example, certain people prefer to use powdered detergent for heavily soiled clothes as it is affordable and performs its best in hot water. 

Best Stains to Wash with Hot Water 

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules like “always use hot water on cotton when it comes to cleaning tough stains.” That being said, your best bet for getting stains out is to research precisely what types of stains should be cleaned with hot water.

Common stains that you should clean with hot water include:

  • Dirt
  • Grass
  • Tomato
  • Grease 
  • Sweat 

The Perks of Doing Laundry with Cold Water 

Tips for Using Laundry Detergent with Cold Water

Especially during wintertime, certain laundry detergents don’t work well with cold water – mainly because powders and pods don’t fully dissolve. They don’t get your clothes clean when this happens while also leaving a filmy residue on fabrics. Unless you use quality powder and pods like Charlie’s Soap, liquid detergents often work best with cold water. 

Best Stains to Wash with Cold Water 

To clean difficult stains from your clothes, sometimes you need to take counterintuitive steps to your standard washing methods. This includes washing certain stains with cold water, even though hot water would seemingly work better. 

Types of tough stains you should wash with cold water include: 

  • Blood
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Urine
  • Coffee

Should I Use Cold or Hot Water for My Laundry? 

As can be seen, many factors determine whether you should use cold or hot water to wash your clothes. In the end, deciding which type of water is best is far more nuanced than simply using cold water for colors and hot water for whites. 

To help you better decide between hot and cold water for washing your clothes, here are some things to consider: 

  • What type of detergent do you prefer to use? 
  • Do you own many fabrics that require gentle cycles and cold water? 
  • Would you rather preserve resources than use hot water? 
  • Do you have young children that regularly stain their clothes?
  • Are your laundry loads mostly synthetic fabrics or natural materials? 
  • Do you live in a freezing climate? 
  • What types of stains do you most commonly deal with? 

In the end, you could be content with using cold water to clean certain fabrics and stains while using hot water for others.

Contact Charlie’s Soap with Questions 

Feel free to Contact Us with questions about Charlie’s Soap Natural Detergent or get additional tips on washing your clothes with cold or hot water. 

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