The dirty clothes in the hamper are really starting to pile up and the task is finally at hand—it’s time do the laundry. Before you shovel in the first load, do you know what temperature setting is best to use? Depending on whether or not the load consists of whites, colors, or darks, you may feel that turning up the heat is more beneficial for getting the tough odors and stains out. But, contrary to popular belief washing your clothes in cold water has multiple benefits.
Benefits of Washing Clothes in Cold Water*
- Increases the longevity of your clothes by keeping them from wearing out, shrinking, or losing color
- Reduces expenditures, whereas using hot water costs roughly $265 annually, opting for washing in cold water costs $16
- Decreases energy usage significantly—washing clothes on the heated cycle expends 90 percent of energy, whereas the motor alone only uses 10 percent to run
- Works better at getting stains like blood, grass, and makeup out of garments, as hot water can set a stain and make it permanent
- Minimizes the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced
Laundry detergent companies are acknowledging these benefits as well by working to create new detergents that can deliver high-quality cleaning performance in cold water. With all of this evidence it is clear to see that not only is washing laundry in cool water better for your clothes, but it is also better for the earth and your wallet.
*For optimal results follow washing directions on clothing labels, and only disinfect linen with chlorine or oxygen bleach using the temperature suggested by the manufacturer.