For years, we’ve been told to wash laundry in hot water. It won’t kill germs otherwise, it won’t get clean otherwise… well, science has caught up with the housewives.
The water in our laundry machines do not get anywhere near hot enough to kill germs or bacteria. Most humans can stand water around 110 degrees which I would guess is about as good as it gets for the home washing machine as I’ve never had a problem touching the hot water. In order for it to even start killing anything, water has to be 120 degrees and to sanitize you need 212 degrees (boiling point.) The dryer will do a better job at killing the germs and what have you so why waste the hot water?
Cold Water Only – How and Why You Should Wash Your Laundry in Cold Water
90% of energy used for washing laundry is just for heating the water. It’s estimated that if you washed just 4 out of 5 loads of your laundry in cold water instead of hot, you would save 72 pounds of CO2 emissions in one month. That’s a lot of tax on the environment that you could avoid.
Washing laundry in hot water costs a lot more! Did you know that if you just washed just 80% of your laundry in cold water that you can save between $60-100 in one year!
Laundry detergent has come a long way. There are now detergents out there that work in cold water, cleaning your clothes just as good as detergent in hot water.
Washing clothes in hot water destroys them faster then if you washed in cold. If you wash in cold water you will increase the lifespan of your clothes and preserve color better.
Once I learned all this, I decided to give washing in cold water a try. Within a week, I could see that washing in cold water works great. My clothes come out just as clean. After getting comfortable with washing my clothes, towels, and sheets in cold water, I decided to take the plunge.
If you truly want to test your believe in cold water washing, then cloth diapers is the way to do it. Let’s face it, there’s not a piece of clothing that will gross people out as much as cloth diapers. There’s something about cloth diapers that makes people feel the need to use rubber gloves and all the disinfectant in the world. However, when you realize that hot water from the laundry machine will actually do nothing to kill bacteria and germs then there’s really no reason not to give cloth diapers in cold water a try.
So I did.
And you know what? My cloth diapers are perfectly fine. They come out looking and smelling just as clean when I wash them with cold water as when I used to wash them in hot. I will never again wash my diapers or any other laundry in hot water again. Instead I will do my part to save the earth and save myself quite a bit of money too by turning the washing machine knob to COLD! (Note: I have found that once my babies get around that 6-9 month mark, their cloth diapers do need a warm wash… not hot; just warm)