Washing Clothes in Hot or Cold Water – Which is Better?

It’s a well-rehearsed debate; is it better to wash clothes in hot or cold water? Those on the side of hot water will say that heat is best for tough stains and bacteria and, therefore, the superior washing method. The cold-water spokespeople will champion the notion that hot washing is antiquated and ineffective. So, what’s the verdict, hot or cold? Let’s find out.


Benefits of Washing Your Clothes in Hot Water

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Gets the Job Done on Particularly Dirty Clothing

You’ll want a hot water wash for clothing that has been well lived in – think workout wear, socks, and underwear. While it’s not the most gentle temperature, it does power through dirt and odours. Hot water has superior cleaning oomph because high temperatures speed up the chemical reaction of your washing powder, allowing it to get to work faster. Wash your clothes in hot water if you want to guarantee a successful trip to the self-service laundromat.


Kills Germs, Bacteria, and Viruses

Is the flu making its way around your office or kid’s classroom? You may want to consider washing your clothes in hot water. High temperatures will eradicate germs, bacteria, and other nasty things that find their way onto your clothing.


Removes Greasy and Oily Stains

Hot water is excellent for removing oily or greasy stains that cling to your clothing wash after wash. The higher temperatures generate far greater molecular movement in the water, allowing it to blast off dirt, grease, and oil stains that would otherwise remain in place.


Benefits of Washing Your Clothes in Cold Water

The Eco-Friendly Option

Over the last decade, we’ve grown increasingly concerned about the environment, and deciding between washing clothes in hot or cold water has become an eco-conscious decision. While hot water washes are tough on stains, all that extra cleaning power comes at a cost. Around 90% of the energy used during a load of washing is spent on heating the water, meaning only 10% goes into running the machine! We can all reduce our carbon footprint by simply using cold water washes.


Prevents Colour Running

There’s no pain quite like pulling your favourite jumper from the wash and discovering it’s now more sickly salmon than hot pink. Dyed clothing is susceptible to colour bleeding in hot washes; we recommend washing brightly coloured clothing in cold washes to maintain its original colouring.


Gentle on Your Clothing

For your standard day-to-day dirt, cold washes are a far less taxing washing alternative to hot water. Higher heats, while tough on stains, are equally as tough on the fabric itself. Cold washing your clothing will significantly extend the shelf life of your favourite shirt.


The Final Verdict: Hot or Cold Wash?

Washing clothes in hot or cold water is less about which is better and more about when each method is better. The optimal temperature will depend on several factors, including the type of dirt, fabric, and the likelihood of colour running. Before making your way to your local laundromat in any of our locations across New Zealand and Australia, a quick read of the washing label will send you down the right track.