Washing clothes in both hot and cold water have their own advantages and disadvantages. But which is best suited for white clothes? Hot? Warm? Or cold water?
Whites clothes can be washed in cold, warm or hot water depending on several individual factors or a combination of these individual factors. When you have specific types of stains that are set into fabrics upon the slightest application of heat, for example blood or sweat stains, you’re better off washing white clothes with cold water. On the other hand, synthetic fibers are much easier to wash in warm water as opposed to cold water, while heavy duty items like beddings and towels clean better in hot water settings.
So at the end of the day, your situation, your fabric, and the instructions printed on it should determine what temperature you end up washing your white clothes in.
But one general thing to bear at the back of your mind is that cold washing will always be the safest course of action for cleaning clothes, be it white or colors. Its perks far outweigh the downsides.
Below, we explore more on washing whites clothes with different temperatures of water. To conclude, we’ll give the advantages that each temperature of water has when it comes to cleaning garments.
The best way to wash white clothes
There isn’t one specific way to wash white clothes. Because our everyday episodes create different situations, and different situations require different measures.
Below is everything you need to know regarding washing white clothes.
First and foremost, check the instructions printed on the clothes tag. There’s two kinds of instructions you’ll get from there, one that strictly forbids washing in hot water, and the other that recommends washing in cold water.
This first is to be taken literally and very seriously, and no matter the circumstance, say you’ve got a terrible grass stain on the fabric, or feel some areas of it should be sanitized, you must never submerge it in hot water. It will get damaged.
On the other hand, when something is recommended, it typically isn’t the only option, but likely the best option in the long run. So for when you have terrible stains that do well with hot water, or need to sanitize your special white fabric, feel free to wash them in hot or warm water.
But avoid making it a habit to always wash these types of fabrics in hot water.
Additionally, your fabric can come with the recommendation to always wash it in hot water, and in that scenario, you can always wash them with cold water with no physical damage incurred to them, the only problem might be with sanitization and cleaning efficiency.
Use warm or hot water to sanitize towels and beddings
When you have white towels and bedding materials, it’s always best to wash them in warm or hot water in order to sanitize them and also get rid of stains efficiently. While these aren’t pieces of clothes, I just felt the need to put this block of information out there!
But check the care label first and let whatever information is there override what’s given here.
Towels and bedding materials are typically made to withstand warm and hot water without damage. And they typically have care labels that recommend washing them in hot water.
Use warm or hot water to get rid of some type of stains
Some, if not most kinds of stains on certain types of fabrics, especially blended fabrics, react better with warm or hot water than with cold water.
Examples include fat based stains such as grease and butter stains. You’ll find it easier removing these stains from whites clothes in hot water than in cold water.
Your clothes would also come out very bright and white, with germs and dirt banished away from it.
Wash whites alone or with garments you’re sure do not color bleed
When washing whites, make sure to wash them alone, especially when you’re washing them in hot water. That’s because when colors bleed, the dye would transfer onto the whites and possibly set in them.
Don’t wash whites with items like backpack
Items like backpack and shoes are heavy duty items that should be washed separately and not together with clothes, especially white clothes.
Washing them together would, first, damage the clothing due to how harder their composition is compared to regular fabric, and also transfer stain to the whites.
What if there isn’t any clothes tag that indicates the best temperature to wash white cloth?
When you check the clothing label and there is no indication on how to wash the white, use the guide below to discern your next course of action.
- Wash in cold water if the fabric is not stained or not heavily stained, otherwise, opt for warm water cleaning so long the fabric is made of durable fibers like cotton, wool, linen and polyester. Make sure to soak slightly soiled whites for about 15 minutes or so before washing to facilitate soil removal when washing in cold water.
- Wash in cold water if you have a delicate white material.
What are the benefits of washing clothes with cold water?
Washing in cold water, to begin with, saves energy. You won’t have to heat up water before any cleaning, which through research, has been observed to save an average of 57% on washing machine running cost.
Secondly, cold water washing is beneficial for clothes with varying degrees of colors or generally, colored clothes, especially those that bleed very well such as those in various shades of red. The cold water closes the fibers and prevents bleeding, whereas hot water opens up the fibers and leaks out the dyes.
Thirdly, many detergents are now compatible with cold water washing, and some are even more effective in it than in hot water which destroys the enzymes rather than activates them to work. This means you can wash clothes and even tackle moderate stains effectively with cold water washing.
Fourthly, washing in cold water won’t shrink clothes, nor will it fade or wrinkle them badly, contrary to what the hot water does. It also lowers the chances of ruining your clothes, and this is why it is said that cold water washing is the best for every type of clothing from delicate to more durable types like bedding and towels.
Over to hot water, what are the benefits of washing clothes with hot water?
Firstly, washing in hot water sanitizes clothes. It destroys bacteria and gets into the roots of stains and lifts them off the fibers. This is why cleaning with hot water results in a cleaner fabric, and in whites, a much brighter garment.
Secondly, washing in hot water also sanitizes the washer, which is critical for maintaining a clean medium for washing clothes. When your washer is clean, your clothes will most definitely return clean, otherwise, it’s the other way round.
And lastly, hot water washing saves detergent. You only use little and it goes a long way, unlike washing in cold water that requires lots of detergent to actually get stains or smells out of clothes!
White clothes should be washed in cold water when the fabric type is delicate and the cloth is lightly soiled. Cold water cleaning will do a perfect job of cleaning the clothes very well.
On the other hand, when whites are heavily soiled, it’s best to clean them in hot water to rid them off the stains.
The best advice regarding what temperature to wash whites will still remain to consult the fabric care label of the piece of clothing.