Like most people, I thought it needed to be warm water until a couple of years ago, but it turns out that’s not the case anymore. Why? Because they don’t make washing machines and detergents like they used to. It’s 2018 and they make them better! The consensus among laundry experts (yeah, that’s a thing) is that the technologies have changed, making the more user-friendly cold water the way to go.
(the exception to this is if someone has been sick and the laundry needs to be sanitized)
Why use cold water? It’s better for your clothes, for you, and for the Earth. Here’s why:
- “Consumer Reports’ past tests found detergents have gotten much better at putting enzymes to work in removing dirt and stains at lower water temperatures, and are less effective at higher temperatures.”
- Hotter water temps can actually be bad. “Protein stains (blood, sweat) can set in when washed in hot water, and hot water may shrink or wrinkle synthetic fabrics.”
- And my favorite, “Since about 90 percent of the energy consumed while running a load is used to heat the water, the average household opting for cold can eliminate as much as 350 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. For most homes, this will amount to about $40 in savings a year.”
Ryan Hagen writes to help reverse global warming and bring more sustainability into the world. He is the founder of Crowdsourcing Sustainability and sends out an informative and uplifting sustainability newsletter every week. This post was originally featured in the newsletter.
Read other content from the “Take Sustainable Action” section or see all sections of the What on EARTH?! sustainability newsletter.