Best Water Temperature for Doing Laundry

The temperature of the water is very important when washing different fabrics as each one has its peculiarities and washing technique.

You need to use the right water temperature and pay attention to the washing instructions printed on the label of each of your clothes, doing this will guarantee good washing results at any point in your washing cycle.

How to Choose the Best Water Temperature For Your Laundry

Best Water Temperature for Doing Laundry

Read The Fabric Care Labels

Reading your fabric product label is very important; take a minute or two to read the care labels on each piece of clothing. You’ll find valuable information you need when choosing the best water temperature and the suitable type of washing cycle.

Following simple instructions on the fabric label is vital if you are a laundry novice or if the garment is new.

Sort Dirty Laundry

After you’ve finished checking the labels, it’s time to sort the dirty fabrics according to their colors, washing temperature, and fabric weight. You’ll have much better outcomes in controlling the lint, removing the stains, and preventing any color transfer if you wash similar types of fabric together.

Opt for Cold Water First

If you checked the label, and found no useful information in it, then stick to the general washing rule. Wash soiled clothes, especially the colored ones, with cold water because using the cold water method will cause the least damage to fabrics (like shrinking, fading, or color bleeding).

If you are not satisfied with the stain removal results, you can use hot or warm water. Once you have some pro laundry experience, you’ll discover that some garments can be washed at more than one temperature.

Set the Rinse Cycle Temperature

One very handy tip that works with all wash cycles and different types of fabrics is to use a cold water rinse. Rinse water has little to no effect on stain removal, so cold water will work efficiently in rinsing away detergents and their leftover component.

Set the washer dial on cold rinse and leave it for every wash load. You’ll get a better result and save money by not paying to heat the water.

Best Water Temperature For Washing Sheets Or Heavily Soiled Clothes

The best temperature for washing sheets is 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60°C), your sheets or towels and that sportswear or very dirty clothes need to be washed at a warm or hot temperature so as to fully eradicate the stains.

Best Water Temperature For Washing Whites Or Light Clothes

Whites or Heavily Soiled Clothes should be washed at a temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35°C); you can also use this temperature when you want to wash light-colored clothes. This is the ideal temperature for washing white clothes or for light-colored clothes.

Best Water Temperature For Washing Colored Or Dark Clothes

Dark clothing or denim dresses are best washed at a 68 degrees Fahrenheit (35°C). This temperature also works for those clothes that have not been stained and do not need great effort to wash clean.

Best Water Temperature For Washing Towels

Towels should be washed in warm water to help kill potential bacteria and mold. Warm water is ideal for people with colored towels, while hot water is better for white towels.

However, if your towels are linen or have a decorative finish or delicate fibers, a cold wash will preserve them better.

At What Temperature Do You Wash Cotton Towels? Most towels are made from cotton, so use the cotton wash recommendation and set the wash temperature to at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40°C). While 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60°C) is ideal for white towels, 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40°C) is best for darker towels to keep them from fading.

Water Temperature Guide for General Laundry

Washer temperature

The Best Fabrics For Hot Water Laundry

There are still situations when hot water is quite needed to give that cleaning and hygiene results you need. For instance, white cotton clothes (especially underwear worn close to the body), bed and kitchen linens, bath towels, heavily soiled or sweaty garments, sickbed linens, and oily stains.

Benefits: Cleans heavy stains as well as oily stains, sanitizes linens infected with bacteria or fungus, it kills any insects that can be found in your clothes too,

Problems: Can fade away the colors, as well as shrinks some fabrics.

The Best Fabrics For Warm Water Laundry

Washable man-made cloths like polyester, nylon, spandex, and rayon blends; lightly soiled clothes

Benefits: it Helps to dissolve hard powdered detergents, and it also offers more energy savings as compared to hot water

Problems: Can still fade some colors, it does not sanitize the cloth; it can’t also remove some heavy soils and stains

The Best Fabrics for Cold Water Laundry

Dark or bright-colored fabrics, including any delicate garments

Benefits: it is the most cost-saving and energy-efficient water temperature. It’s less likely to fade items or shrink them. The cold wash method is also the most acceptable water temperature for any washable fabric.

Problems: it’s the least efficient method for removing stains, and won’t sanitize your clothes properly.

For best results with cold water washing, pretreat the stains before you wash them; you can use a fabric softener for tough fabric.

Use an enzyme-based liquid laundry detergent or soap formulated for a cold water wash. Ensure the heavier and hard items are presoaked in the water/detergent solution to give the solution more time to break apart the stains from the fabrics.

What Are the Differences in Washer Water Temperatures?

In most fabric washers, the hot water setting starts from 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius) or above. For specifics, you can check your washing machine manual and your home water heater settings.

If you have a steam cycle enabled washer, you can increase the temperature in each load.

The warm water setting is around 90 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3-32.2 degrees Celsius) for most washers.

For the cold water setting, most washers have around 80 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (26.7-15 degrees Celsius).

Temperatures during winter can greatly affect cold water temperatures. If the cold water drawn into your washing machine is below sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit (15 Celsius), powdered detergents will most likely have difficulty dissolving. This might leave white residue streaks, and clothes are unlikely to be cleaned properly.

Hot or cold water for laundry?

The new models of washing machines have a hot water system – which helps a lot with cleaning – but it’s not the best way to start washing clothes, as the high temperature, in the first wash, can intensify the stain and dirt of the clothes.

The cold water technique will give you the best prewash result, removing excess stains and dirt and preparing the clothes for the real wash. But since each washing purposes are different, it doesn’t hurt to know which temperatures to use in each situation.

The Best Washing Temperature

Hot water (above 129.2 degrees Fahrenheit)

Despite making clothes cleaner, hot water can damage and wear out the garment faster. To get the best result and, at the same time preserve your fabrics, choose the maximum temperature for the clothes below.

White clothes,

Very dirty or with grease stains,

The above classes of fabrics are always washed in hot water, as well as sheets and pillowcases – as the heat can kill possible germs and viruses.

Warm water (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit)

Jeans, cotton, and clothes worn frequently (uniform type) can be washed in warm water.

Coldwater (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit)

More delicate fabrics such as underwear, silk, wool, linen, and dark clothes should be washed in cold water. It doesn’t clean as well as hot water, but it’s the best choice for delicate items or may shrink.

In addition, it is in cold water that you leave the clothes to soak (no more than 12 hours) when the fabrics are with blood, wine, oil, chocolate, or coffee stains.

The Dangers Of Choosing The Wrong Washing Temperatures

There are several dangers associated with choosing the wrong temperatures to wash clothes. And yes, there are dangers for both cold and hot water when used incorrectly.

In the case of hot temperatures, there is a risk of shrinking the garments and a greater likelihood of dyeing some fabrics (that’s if you’re not careful).

In the case of cold temperatures, the big risk is not getting real efficiency in eliminating the most stubborn stains and not guaranteeing a correct elimination of mites and possible microbes. 

Always remember that above all the guidelines and general recommendations that Tender Touch Laundry can offer you, there is one step that should never be missed! And that is checking the label of each piece.

That product label is the identity card for that garment in question and will specifically tell you the best temperatures to wash them.

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