When it comes to laundry, water temperature and fabric care are two things that are often not at the forefront of your mind when washing clothes. However, the water temperature and fabric care instructions are there to ensure the longevity and quality of your garments.
When it comes to water temperature, following the care instructions properly aids in preventing shrinking, stretching, and fading of your garments. Cold water is usually a safe bet for all fabrics and colors. Cold water is also eco-friendly and cost-effective. Despite being called “cold,” most modern machines will heat the water slightly to ensure that the detergents properly dissolve. Since cold water isn’t as effective at cleaning old, set-in stains and heavy soils, you may need to pre-treat your garments with a solution before throwing them in the wash.
Warm water is also a safe option for a more thorough clean, but it doesn’t hurt to test your washer’s water temp with a candy thermometer to ensure it’s not pumping out water hotter than around 90°F. Warm water is great for cleaning man-made fiber, knits, and jeans without too much worry about fading or shrinking.
Hot water is the most sanitary option and keeps whites bright and sanitizes heavily soiled garments like diapers and sports equipment. The high heat can be rough on certain fabrics like knits and wools and can shrink or damage them. The high temperature can also cause bleeding of colors, so washing with like colors is paramount. Always give your garment’s care tag a quick read before deciding to throw in a load on hot.
In addition to choosing the correct temperature, it’s always a good rule of thumb not to overcrowd the washing machine. An unpacked washer allows for proper agitation of the garments and a more thorough clean. Follow these guides, and you’ll be on your way to perfectly fresh and clean laundry. Or, if you’d rather us do the loads for you, then stop into Wash Em Up and we’ll have your laundry washed and folded within 24 hours for your convenience.