Say Goodbye to Hot Water – Cold is the New Clean
When it comes to how you wash your clothes, you probably learned growing up that laundry should be sorted by color and washed at different temperatures. But according to experts from Consumer Reports, the traditional rules of laundry have changed.
Washing machine energy efficiency has improved dramatically over the past decade. ENERGY STAR- rated washers minimize the need for hot water. Plus, detergents today are more effective at cooler temperatures. Just what does this mean for you?
Cold water does the trick
According to Consumer Reports, for regular cycles, you no longer have to use hot water to get clothes clean. Newer machines use less water. However, compared to machines made 15 years ago or longer, they are much better. By using the cold cycle instead of hot or warm, you’re helping the environment by saving energy.
Even if you’re trying to remove a stain, cold water is still a better option. Detergents actually become less effective once the water temperature reaches above 75 degrees. This means a hot-water cycle can actually help stains set into clothing, and may damage fabrics and colors. If your clothes are heavily soiled, a better alternative is to select the “Heavy Soil” option for longer washing times and multiple rinses. For brighter colors, try cold water with a bleach alternative. An added bonus – cold water reduces wrinkling and can make your clothes last longer. This is because heat breaks down dyes in clothes and can cause shrinkage.
Of course, there are still some uses for a hot-water cycle, as cold water doesn’t sanitize fabric. It’s recommended to soak bed linens and towels in hot water mixed with chlorine bleach to reduce bacteria, when a family member is sick and potentially contagious. The same goes for cleaning dirty cloth diapers.
Conservation is one of WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems commitments. We are an ENERGY STAR partner. That’s why we outfit our laundry rooms with high-efficiency machines. They are specially designed to clean clothes with cold water and reduce water usage. It is estimated that if you replaced 20 conventional commercial washers with ENERGY STAR – qualified units, each year you could save approximately 69,496 thousand gallons of water.