You may have heard of how using the right laundry detergent prevents your clothes from fading and keeps them in good condition for months. But you may not know that the temperature at which you wash them also plays a crucial role in maintaining their quality and appearance. So much so that even the most suitable detergent may fail to preserve them should you wash them at temperatures other than recommended for a specific type of fabric. For example, if you launder your gym clothes at the wrong water temperature, they may still retain hints of your previous workout, despite the use of the recommended detergent. That is why it’s vital to understand the science behind laundry temperature and get the most out of the laundry, even if you mostly rely on nearby laundry service.
Here are a few little-known facts about laundry temperature to help keep your clothes looking new and smelling fresh:
Hot water can damage your clothes
It’s no secret that washing clothes in hot water results in a cleaner laundry. But there’s the rub: hot water can also damage some fabrics and cause them to bleed or fade. So, it’s best to read the manufacturer’s washing guidelines written on the clothing label and follow them when doing laundry. If the label on your clothing is missing or faded, consider calling your nearby laundry service or follow the universal rules of the laundry room.
Know the Power of Hot Water
It’s scientifically established that heat kills germs. The chances are you already know that. But you may not be aware of how it works in a washing machine. Simply put, it decreases water’s surface tension — surface resistance of water to external forces — enabling water and detergent to easily infiltrate fabric fibers. This forces fibers to relax and release whatever they have hiding between them — dirt, grime, or even microscopic contaminants. So, if you struggle to get rid of dirt particles from your clothes, no matter how many times you wash them, you may want to consider using hot water (130°F or more) for laundry and see how it cleans even the dirtiest clothes in your wardrobe.
A good rule of thumb for hot water laundry is to use hot water when the clothes are heavily soiled and when you want to sanitize clothes such as diapers, bed sheets, towels, and others. However, the caveat is to separate light clothes from dark ones to avoid dye from dark clothes bleeding onto the other load. White laundry should always be washed with whites, and the same goes for dark laundry.
Use Warm Water to be on the Safe Side
Many laundry services near you probably wash clothes, including yours, in warm water (approximately 90°F) because it is believed to be a safer path. Warm water laundry is considered ideal for moderately-soiled and cotton, semi-synthetic and synthetic fabric blends since hot or cold water can lead to unnecessary fading and shrinkage in these fabrics. So, if you are ever confused about whether to use hot, cold, or warm water, take the safest course of action by choosing warm water. However, if you have a laundry service nearby, don’t hesitate to take its help.
Cold Water is Your Friend in Need
The cold-water laundry cycle is best for delicate clothes, including lingerie, washable silk, and wool. It is also excellent for moderately-soiled, dark, and bright-colored clothing. Many experts also suggest using it for removing protein stains and bloodstains, as hot or warm water can make them set in. However, make sure to pretreat them before washing them for optimal results.
Coldwater washing also offers many other benefits. First, it reduces the risk of shrinkage and fading. Secondly, it’s the most environmentally-sound path to go down, as cold water requires no heating. And since it requires no heating, the time taken to complete one load of laundry is significantly less than the hot or warm water cycle. But that doesn’t mean it is ideal for every fabric or soiled cloth. You should not forget that there are hot and warm water cycles in the game as well, and for good reasons.
The Golden Rule for Rinse Water Cycle
No matter which temperature setting you choose for doing laundry, whether hot, cold, or warm, remember that cold water rinse is the most effective option in every case. The rinse cycle aims to expel the detergent and all the dirt it has released from fibers and rinse it. And nothing handles the job better than cold water.
Understanding the science behind different laundry temperatures enables you to choose the right temperature setting in your washing machine and save your clothes from unnecessary fading while improving their lifespan. But when in doubt regarding laundry temperature, don’t hesitate to call your nearby laundry service for help. A simple call can save your laundry from avoidable damage.