Why You Shouldn’t Wash Your Laundry in Hot Water

washing machine

It seems intuitive to do wash your clothes in hot water when doing your laundry. It just seems like hot water should clean dirty clothes better than warm or cold water ever could, right? Wrong! You need to switch to washing in warm or cold water. Here’s why. First, hot water does not clean clothes better. Hot water is also tougher on clothes, helping to wear and tear them faster, as well as fade colors quicker.


More importantly, using hot water to do your laundry is an energy drainer. When washing, 85 to 90 percent of the energy used is for heating the water. Using warm water instead of hot water for two loads of laundry a week will save 500 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution, if you use an electric water heater, or 150 pounds of carbon dioxide, if you use a gas heater.  Always use cold water when rinsing!

29 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Wash Your Laundry in Hot Water

  1. a vehicle

    It seems intuitive to do wash your clothes in hot water when doing your laundry. It just seems like hot water should clean dirty clothes better than warm or cold water ever could, right? Wrong! You need to switch to washing in warm or cold water. Here’s why. First, hot water does not clean clothes better. Hot water is also tougher on clothes, helping to wear and tear them faster, as well as fade colors quicker.

    More importantly, using hot water to do your laundry is an energy drainer. When washing, 85 to 90 percent of the energy used is for heating the water. Using warm water instead of hot water for two loads of laundry a week will save 500 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution, if you use an electric water heater, or 150 pounds of carbon dioxide, if you use a gas heater. Always use cold water when rinsing!

    Liars.

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  3. Mary

    I agree with some aspects of this article. Cold water washing does not effectively clean clothes, and the remaining soil left in garments will cause them to wear faster. Using warm water (40 degrees) is better for your clothes and your machine.

    A question I always ask others when discussing this topic:

    Q: Would you wash your dishes in cold water?
    A: Why? Because cold water (even with sufficient detergent) will not remove oil and fatty stains effectively.

    The same concept can be applied to washing your clothes.

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  9. Kelly

    I am happy that this blog has confirmed my practice to selectively wash clothes in warm water especially those that have oil or grease traces with them. I have noticed that hot water removes much of the color tint of many clothes.While cold water does not remove oil or stain as much as warm water. Thanks!

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