What’s the Best Temperature to Wash Clothes?

Help your clothes last longer by washing them in the correct temperature of water.

When’s the last time you took a look at the care instructions tag on your clothes? If the answer is not for a while (or even never!) it’s time to check it out and learn how to best care for your clothes.

Each item of clothing you own has an ideal temperature for washing, depending on how dirty they are, what fabric they’re made out of, and what color they are. Why does this matter? By using the correct temperature and following the manufacturer’s laundering instructions you can help keep your clothes looking newer for longer, without damage or shrinking.

In this post, we’ll go over the basics of the best temperature to wash clothes, including:

  1. When to use cold water
  2. When to use warm water
  3. When to use hot water

Keep reading to learn more about the best temperature to wash clothes and when in doubt, go with what the tag recommends. You’ll keep your clothes looking like they just came home in your latest shopping haul!

When to use cold water

Cold water is great for the widest variety of clothes – from your brightly-colored everyday wear to dark-colored and delicate items, cold water will work to get daily grime out without the risk of colors bleeding and staining other pieces. It’s even preferred for certain types of stains, like blood and sweat, which can sink further into clothes if they’re washed with warm water. Plus if you’re worried about maintaining your clothes’ shape and size, cold water is a safe bet to avoid shrinking and wrinkles.

The best part of all? Washing your clothes with cold water can cut down on the energy your washing machine typically uses to warm up water, saving you on energy bills and benefitting the environment!


When to use warm water

While cold water is an eco-friendly powerhouse, there are some fabrics where it just doesn’t cut it. If you’re washing a load of lightly-soiled jeans or knits, you’ll get the most effective cleaning by using warm water. At warm temperatures, the potential for damage or shrinking is still low, so you can rest easy that your favorite pair of jeans will come out looking great!

When to use hot water

If your clothes or linens are heavily soiled with dirt or germs (like after being used by someone who was sick), hot water is your best friend for effective cleaning and sterilization. Hot water is also ideal for white clothing since there’s no risk of colors or dyes running. Just be careful when using hot water, and use it sparingly — the potential for damage or shrinking is highest at these temperatures. Hot water is also the costliest in terms of your energy bills and environmental impact since it takes a lot of energy to bring the water up to the right temperature.

Want to take the guesswork out of laundry and get some free time back? Download the LNDRY app and schedule a pickup today! We’ll handle washing your items using environmentally friendly methods that are great for your clothes, plus pickup and drop-off are always free! 




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