What Washing Your Laundry In Cold Water Will Do To Your Clothes

The temperature you choose to wash your clothes at can save you money. For example, washing your clothes in cold water over water at high temperatures will conserve the energy needed to heat the water, bringing down your utility bill. According to UtilitySmarts, you can save at least $60 on electricity bills by using cold water set to 60 degrees Fahrenheit rather than hot water set to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Washing your clothing with cold water can also save the integrity of your garments. Colors won't transfer or fade, clothes won't shrink or wrinkle as easily, and stains will be removed. To know the exact temperature your wear should be washed with, check the care tag on the inside seam of your clothing. There will be a symbol that looks like a square tub with a wavy water line through it.

According to GE Appliances, the amount of dots inside the symbol represents the highest temperature you should wash that garment. One dot is 90 degrees Fahrenheit, two dots are 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and three dots are 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, four dots are 160 degrees Fahrenheit, five dots are 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and six dots are 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prevent stains, wrinkles, and color transfer

There are many benefits to washing your clothes in cold water over hot water. For instance, if your clothing has stains, the last thing you would want to do is wash it in hot water. Water at higher temperatures would set the stains deeper into the fabric instead of lifting them out, and that is why cold water is the best for removing any type of garment smear. Hot water also breaks down the dyes in clothing, causing them to look faded, while cold water prevents the dyes from bleeding and transferring to lighter-colored clothes.

According to GE Appliances, cold water can save your energy bill in more ways than one. For example, it will reduce the number of wrinkles in your garments, so you won't have to spend extra time ironing them. Another reason to use cold water is that it won't shrink your clothes and is the best temperature to clean delicate fabrics in.

It won't sanitize

A downside to using cold water to wash your clothes is that it won't sanitize them as hot water would. Using water at a high temperature to wash your laundry can disinfect it from germs, bacteria, and viruses. This is why it's recommended to wash your sheets after you are done being sick. To use hot water to sanitize, it needs to be at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit, according to The Maids.

However, having your water heater set this high can be dangerous. You wouldn't want to accidentally rinse your hands under water that hot, and some clothing can't withstand being washed under high temperatures either. To know if your laundry is safe to wash with hot water, look at the care tag. It should have a symbol with at least four dots on it. An alternative to sanitizing your clothing but using cold water is to pour in white distilled vinegar along with your regular laundry detergent and set your machine to the sanitize setting.