Is It Ever Necessary to Wash Clothes in Hot Water?

Or is it okay to wash everything in cold water?

12 Answers

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  • 2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Today's detergents get most clothes clean in cold OR hot water. HOWEVER, there are times when washing in hot water would be absolutely necessary:  to remove bedbugs for instance. Or if the clothes were very greasy. Or if you are washing white cotton items and you are using chlorine bleach. At those times, cold water does not work well for getting things as clean as you want them. For 99% of most soiled laundry, cold water works fine, as long as you use a detergent formulated to work well in that temperature. 

  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    a hot water temperature of 70 degrees celsius  will kill all bacteria 

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The only things I ever wash in hot water are white socks and underwear, because that is what my husband's dr. recommended.  My husband works outside a lot, and he perspires.  He was getting some skin problems, and the dr. recommended changing the water temp and a different detergent.  That has worked for him.  I wouldn't ever wash colored clothes in hot water.  I do wash knits in a warm/cold cycle.  I also wash towels and bed sheets the same way.

  • elhigh
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I do all the laundry in my household.  I NEVER use hot water.  I'm a pro handyman so some of the dirt on my clothes can be pretty intense, but it all comes out clean so I guess the whole hot water idea is kind of pointless.

    Don't overdo the detergent either.  That cup they put in the box is about 4x bigger than you need for a typical load.

    You don't need hot water to kill pathogens or bed bugs either - the dryer will do that, and very effectively too.

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  • 2 months ago

    I always use cold water for everything, however, I dry my clothes and bed linens on a high heat. And also, since I live in an apartment building and we all share one laundry room, I always wipe off the washer and dryer I'm going to use and I also wipe off the laundry table and the chair I sit on while waiting for it to get done and I always sanitize. 

  • drip
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Yes, with a decent soap.  I only use hot water when I wash dirty towels. Towels/rags I have cleaned with, that has lots of Lysol, bleach or cleanser on it. Kids underwear when they were young. 

    I wash most things in cold water. Even my son’s work clothes.  

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Do you use laundry sanitizer?  If not things like athlete's foot spores can be transferred to other clothes and linens and before you know it everybody's got strange rashes in places they don't want to talk about because the lazy sod who doesn't air their shoes and change their socks regularly has gone and infected the machine!  Household with kids in daycare where threadworm or headlice are rife?  You need to hot wash.  Living in a household with a nasty teenager who swears the skidmarks happened AFTER the boxers hit the laundry basket?  You need to hot wash or use sanitizer.  Do your clothes or bedlinen get sodden with sweat?  Hot wash is better than using extra detergent since modern machines suck at rinsing.

    I ALWAYS hot was socks and towels, no exceptions.  If they don't survive they have no business in my home.  That weekly wash also cleans the machine which stops it smelling funky.  It's only occasionally I need to run anything else hot.  In the winter I run most things warm because the water in the pipes here is only 4C at most which is too cold to lift even light body soiling (that's normal body oil), it gets redeposited as a film in wrinkles in the garments - not nice!  

  • 2 months ago

    clothes that have been exposed to significant contageous illness should be either washed in hot water and good detergent, or discarded [thoroughly burned by preference but most home do not have incinerators these days].

  • 2 months ago

    The only time I use hot water is if I'm shrinking fabric before sewing with it, if I'm washing dish towels, or something that is greasy/oily, or needs to be disinfected. Otherwise, I use cold for everything.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    White clothes are always recommended to be done in hot water.

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