Do you use cold water or hot water for laundry? Does cold water save money?

United States
June 19, 2008 11:48pm CST
Do you use hot water in your washing machine, even though it costs more money? Or do you launder your clothes in cold water? I've always been mixed as to whether I should use cold or hot water on laundry. I'm always concerned that if I use cold water my clothes won't get clean or sanitary. Whereas hot water costs more money to use in a washing machine. What do you do?
3 people like this
19 responses
@cream97 (29169)
• United States
20 Jun 08
I am unconcerned with the cost. I use hot water to wash my clothes with.. Then I use cool water to rinse them with. I just usually will put the washing cycle on hot/cold. That way when it washes, it will change the temperature settings itself.
• United States
21 Jun 08
Thank you for that tip. I had never considered that idea, before. Be well! Thanks for posting.
@gemini_rose (16193)
20 Jun 08
I have both water pipes tapped into my machine, although cold water is probably cheaper it does not clean as well as a bit of hot. When I do my whites I use the hottest setting that I have, especially for my boys school shirts otherwise they just end up grey!
• United States
21 Jun 08
I feel the same way too about my own child's clothing. I'm always worried that the cold water won't be sanitizing enough. And, cold water doesn't work too well on white shirts and such or so I've found. Thanks for your post! Be well!
@minnie_98214 (10574)
• United States
20 Jun 08
I do cold water for my laundry. I also use tides cold water formula. I have not had any problems with my clothing not coming clean. Now once and awhile I will use hot water for a load of heavily soiled clothing that need to be bleached. When you got as many boys running around it is much needed lol.
• United States
21 Jun 08
My little one is tough on her clothes too! I'm always surprised how one little girl can pick up so much dirt! I clean all the time, I wonder where she is picking it up from! LOL! You know kids.
• United States
20 Jun 08
I use Cold-Water Tide for my everyday clothes. It's specially designed to wash in cold water. I also put some baking soda in each load, to help freshen my clothes. As for sheets and towels, I tend to flip a little on those loads; depending on how long I've had them sitting downstairs, I'll wash them Warm/Cold (for a short time) or Warm/Warm (if longer). Now whites are a different matter--I WANT them to be white and have found that chlorine bleach (nothing fancy) works best in Hot water. Since they're largely socks, towels and a few pillow cases, I'm not as worried about shrinkage like my day to day clothes.
• United States
23 Jun 08
I'm still getting the hang of these household tasks, so all your hints are much appreciated! I love the idea of using bleach in hot water. Sometimes I use it in cold water and it does not whiten well. Now, I know why! Thanks.
• United States
20 Jun 08
I only use warm water for all of my laundry.And use the cold water for the rinse.I just don't trust the cold water to get my clothes clean.Maybe one day I will try it.I don't even think about the heat and water bill.I just like my clothes really clean.
• United States
20 Jun 08
I'm suspicious of cold water too! I feel like there are still germs in the clothes after they are done.
@DarkDancer (1012)
• Dayton, Ohio
20 Jun 08
I use cold water for laundry, even when I have to use the laundry mat. While I thin that it probably is better for the environment, I also think it is easier on my clothes. (which in some ways still makes it better for the environment.)
• United States
23 Jun 08
Cold water is definitely easier on clothes.
@samijo719 (1054)
• United States
14 Aug 08
I wash everything in cold except towels and cheets those I wash in warm or hot. I tend to find my clothes fade less and last a great deal longer in good condition when I was on cold.
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
14 Aug 08
I wash my casual clothes in cold. The only time I was in hot is when something has been soiled (if you know what I mean) by my little boy or one of my dogs. It just seems to me that those special cases require heat to truly cleanse them. But everyday wear clothes seem to get clean enough in cold water. Not only are you saving money using cold water but it prolongs the life of your clothes.
• Philippines
14 Aug 08
I always use tap water, we don't have a water heater and surely hot water would cost so much since the electricity and the fuel here are so expensive i think even rich people here don't use any hot water for laundry. Plust if its about the germs and bacteria its best to use soap with antibacterial which is widespread nowadays.
@bagumbayan (2707)
• Philippines
12 Aug 08
Use water direct from the faucet. No need to keep it cold or hot. Does it matter.
@kaezy_kulet (2465)
• Philippines
21 Jun 08
whatever comes out of the faucet that is what we use..our water her is naturally lukewarm so we need not to heat up water for laundry..but if the weather is cold we just do the same..we are not very specific in the water we use for our laundries.
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
20 Jun 08
When my children were small I used to have hot water in my washing machine. With the improved washing powder in the market now I no longer use hot water. The hot weather here is enough to kill the germs, if any, on the washed clothes.
@judy43 (299)
• United States
20 Jun 08
I use cold water always,but If my towels are extra dirty I will use hot water
• Lubbock, Texas
20 Jun 08
I like to use hot water for towels and bed linens, but cold for everything else. I used to use clorox for my white clothes to sanitize them. It's nice for them to be white, but sanitary is more important and I use as few chemical products as I can. Now I use apple cider vinegar to sanitize and also put a little baking soda to help with any odor that might linger. Detergent can leave a residue on your clothes making them dingy. The vinegar and soda help release all the detergent.
• China
20 Jun 08
I think it's better to use cold water.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
20 Jun 08
I use cold water for color clothes and hot water for whites.
• India
20 Jun 08
I dunno I dont do it..My mom does it:)
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
20 Jun 08
I wash all my clothes but whites in cold water. I use warm for my whites. The detergents nowadays do great in cold water compared to how they were made years ago only because more and more people are washing in cold to save on heating the water.
@jashley1 (746)
• United States
20 Jun 08
I always use cold water for everyone's clothing just to avoid shrinking. I do wash towels and the baby's clothing in warm water though - and rinse in cold. I'm not sure if it helps reduce the water bill or not though.