What temperature do you wash your clothes in? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-20-2007, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm such a germ phobe so I tend to wash my clothes in either warm or hot (many times hot).
Does anyone wash their clothes on cold or warm? Does cold water get your clothes clean? :

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Old 05-20-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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I've only washed my clothes in cold. That's what I learned from Mom, Grandma and my Aunt apparently because they are all cheap. When I saw an ad for Tide coldwater I asked the man "People don't wash their clothes in cold all the time?" Yes my clothes are clean. The only thing I've washed in hot recently are my white scrubs for nursing school since those need to be blinding white.

The heat from the dryer/clothesline kill the germs.
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Old 05-20-2007, 05:20 PM
 
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Germs don't scare me but I use different temps for different colors.

White, blues jeans, light pinks get washed in hot. Darks washed in cold, other colors washed in warm.

I micro sort my laundry by colors
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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Sheets, towels & underwear all in very hot.
Everything else in cold.
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:07 PM
 
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I wash everything at 40 degrees. Everything seems to get clean.
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:13 PM
 
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I wash sheets, towels, underwear, socks in warm.

I wash everything else in cold.

Only time I wash on hot is if someone has the flu or dd3 has a potty accident.
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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All cold except dipes - those are in hot.

Oh and I line dry.
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by roxyrox View Post
I wash everything at 40 degrees. Everything seems to get clean.
All clothes at 40, sheets/towels/diapers at 60. But I'm not entirely sure how these correspond to US temps, I guess I'd say that 40 is warm and 60 is hot. No equivalent of the 95 boil wash Washes seem to be done at lower temps in the US--here delicates say wash at 30, in the US they say wash cold.

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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Old 05-20-2007, 07:56 PM
 
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I wash everything in cold, except for my work scrubs. I wash them in hot.
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Old 05-20-2007, 08:27 PM
 
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I wash everything in cold because I'm cheap.
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Old 05-20-2007, 10:03 PM
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I wash my clothes on cold (not only does it save energy but it causes less wear and tear on the fabrics). Sheets, towels, diapers/family cloth are washed once warm and once (or more) again hot, JIC.

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Old 05-20-2007, 10:33 PM
 
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cold for everything but I run the dipes through an extra hot wash also.

11/06 and 1/09 :
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:55 AM
 
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We wash the diapers with hot water, and everything else with warm water. We have super-hard water, and stains don't seem to come out with cold water. I'd like to look into getting a water softener, though.
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:36 AM
 
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I don't consider myself a germ phobe, but I generally do warm. It's not just the soap (of which I use a tiny bit) but the heat and friction that helps get clothing clean

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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Old 05-21-2007, 10:03 AM
 
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This will be why I wash sheets on 60:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6669551.stm

(I read something similar before)

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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Old 05-21-2007, 01:52 PM
 
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I had to do the conversions but just so we are all on the same page, 40 C is 104 F and 60C is 140 F. So, in the USA, we are usually told to put our hot water heaters at 120F for safety reasons and to conserve energy. Therefore, if you are using hot at that temp, you are not killing all the germs by hot water alone. You may be drowning the dust mites and if you use bleach or some alternative you may be killing germs that way, but hot water alone is not killing anything as it is not hot enough. I believe the next setting on most hot water heaters is 150F. That would kill germs but would be considered scalding and a waste of energy and a safety hazard around small kids.

I do wash my whites on hot once in a while with a dash of real bleach because that it the only thing that keeps stink out of my front loader. But, mostly, I use warm or cold and bleach alternative if anything. I wash towels and sheets frequently to prevent yuck buildup and I give them an extra rinse sometimes.

If you want to kill germs in a warm or cold wash, you have to add a disinfectant. You can use oxygen bleach or vinegar. There are alternatives.

Here is a link about green laundry

http://thegreenguide.com/doc/119/laundry

Here is a link about green ways to disinfect

http://www.punkinbutt.com/soap_detergent.asp


Also, keep in mind that germ killing is overrated. Scientists are beginning to believe that the plethora of allergy problems is actually related to lack of germs in our environment, that our immune systems are reacting to allergens because they do not have experience with germs. So, antibacterials and germ killers may be creating allergy problems. Studies show that people who live on farms have the lowest incidence of allergies and the highest level of and variety of germs.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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I do most of our laundry on cold. On the other hand, sheets, bath towels, kitchen linens (towels, rags, napkins), undies/socks and diapers all get run on the sanitary cycle (we have an HE5t that heats the water higher to kill dustmites/germs). I'm not a germaphobe but I do like to get rid of allergens on my sheets & towels and I usually throw the undies & socks in at the same time because I figure it can't hurt to have them sanitized. But that is only done about twice a week. I just recently started washing diapers on the sanitary cycle and I have to say I'm really impressed by how clean they come out. Regular clothes get plain old cold water. On the rare occasion I have to soak some really dirty or stained stuff, I use warm to dissolve some oxyclean.

~Rebecca~
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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I do most of the laundry on cold. DH's uniform shirts and diapers get hot. I use vinegar in all my laundry to "disinfect". I really don't think about it, but I figured that its working well for diapers - so why not do the same thing for sheets, undies, etc?

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Old 05-21-2007, 11:43 PM
 
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I wash everything in cold. I used hot water when I washed diapers though. I'm just that cheap.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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in Japan all the washers run on cold only, yhere is no other choice. most people line dry. I use dust mite encasings on the bedding. my clothes get clean, if not then some oxygen bleach on stains.
Kathryn
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowpansy View Post
I had to do the conversions but just so we are all on the same page, 40 C is 104 F and 60C is 140 F. So, in the USA, we are usually told to put our hot water heaters at 120F for safety reasons and to conserve energy. Therefore, if you are using hot at that temp, you are not killing all the germs by hot water alone. You may be drowning the dust mites and if you use bleach or some alternative you may be killing germs that way, but hot water alone is not killing anything as it is not hot enough. I believe the next setting on most hot water heaters is 150F. That would kill germs but would be considered scalding and a waste of energy and a safety hazard around small kids.
European machines are cold fill only with an internal heating element. You can do washes up to 95C (aka boil wash). Traditionally European machines relied more on the heat to clean, nowadays no one does a boil wash. Nappies go in at 60. One study claiming that cloth nappies weren't any better than disposables got slammed because they used a 95C wash assumption and people pointed out that was totally unnecessary.

Generally I use 60 for stuff that would be a hot wash in the US, 40 for warm 30 for delicates.

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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Old 05-22-2007, 12:06 AM
 
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I usually wash in warm; never hot. Occassionally I put a load of mixed colors in on cold.

Kim , mom to Amanda (16):, William (13), and Annie (5)
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Old 05-22-2007, 01:34 AM
 
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cold in spring and fall, fridgid in winter and don't want to stick your head under but warm enough in summer, our water comes direct from the spring so not much choice in the matter unless I wanted to heat it all on the stove.

I do cheat and go to the laundrymat a couple times a year when I have quilt fabric that I want to set colors and shrink in the hot water and dryers. (those times I take what clothes are dirty and wash all on hot)

we aren't sick all the time so either we are immune to the germs or they just aren't there.
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Old 05-22-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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Hot: microfiber cloths, any sheets, whites, napkins (all separate loads)
Warm: really soiled toddler clothes
Cold: everything else -- sorted by darsk, jeans, lights, and delicates

For the most part I was the cloths, whites, napkins, darks, and lights once a week. Toddler clothes, sheets (more than one set), and delicates can go once every two weeks.
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:39 PM
 
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I wash and rinse in cold 99.9% of the time.

The only time I wash in hot is when there is a ton of poop all over something. But a little poop comes out in cold just fine.

Resistance is futile Matey
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:42 PM
 
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Whites, Sheets, Jeans and Towel get washed in warm, cold rinse. Everything else and delicates are washed in cold, cold rinse. Except for diapers, the only thing I was in hot.
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Old 05-23-2007, 11:18 AM
 
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My machine cold rinses everything, no matter the wash temp.

I use cold on almost everything. For bath towels and sheets ( I wash these together), I use warm. Kitchen towels and diapers get hot. The kitchen towels get a sort of greasy smell unless they are washed in hot. It's the reason I just collect them in a basket and do a separate wash instead of washing them all along.
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