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Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Posted by beagle_nc (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 7, 09 at 11:01

I have a Bosch500 plus Nexxt and have been using warm and hot water washes but to save energy have thought about doing more cold water washes. Am currently using Wisk HE and snuggle fs. My old Kenmore has ATC and always used cold with that except for towels and sheets. TIA.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

ICK!
I would only use cold to preserve color on lightly worn clothes...but really, it's warmer water temps that loosen (with the help of detergents) and lift body oils off of clothes.
You have a front load washer...it's efficient. Use all the hot water you need. I doubt you'll save a significant amount using cold.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Put it this way ... the clothes will surely come out of the machine cleaner than they than went in, but very likely not as clean as they could be. I've never washed in cold water except for fabrics that truly cannot take a little heat.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

See my post from yesterday in the thread below.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/laundry/msg1022500829458.html?10


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I have tried going cold only and after a while my clothes just started to look dingy. So I alternate. My darker clothes I will go a while with cold and every once in a while blast those loads with warm water (i.e. wash with cold only for about 3 months with the blacks/navy loads and then for a month use warm, and start all over again using cold exclusively for another 3 months). With my whites, I always wash on warm (I don't use hot, I do try to be frugal).

I just can't do the exclusively cold. I have tried and for my needs it doesn't work all that well.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

i'm sure i've read posts here talking about how people are doing their whites in cold only ...and all i can think is there is no possible way. i don't see how anything would STAY white for long. unless of course i'm the only person who actually sweats?


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

You should ask is your detergent designed to perform in cold water, and how cold cold is?

"Detergent manufacturers and care labels define cold water as 80-85F. If the temperature of your cold water is colder than that, then most detergents will not activate and clean effectively (unless they are specially designed to do so)."

Cold water below 65F is not recommended for washing.

Some washers will add hot water to maintain a certain temperature even on the "cold" setting.

-Grainlady


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Thanks everyone for responding. And I agree with you, just hoping to save a few $'s but I would rather have clean clothes. Thanks again :).


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I use cold water when washing our nice dark clothes, delicates, and handwashables. For those loads, I've used Tide Total Care and Woolite (both HE liquid). They both give great results.

Does anyone else remember Cold Power detergent? It was formulated specifically for use in cold water. I remember a friend's dh was an auto mechanic, came home every day with extremely greasy clothes, and she said Cold Power got his clothes spotlessly clean. But I haven't seen it on store shelves in years.

Tide has a Coldwater formula, but I haven't tried it because I haven't seen an HE formula at any local stores.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Tide Coldwater is now available in an HE formula, but only as a liquid.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

We have two kids with too many clothes who throw them in the hamper too often. I only use cold and have never had a problem. Would they be cleaner with hot water....they seam clean enough now so I'll save on my electric bill!


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Cold, warm and hot are relative terms as Grainlady said. The temp of the water in many areas will vary throughout the year. You really should know the actual temperature you're washing in or you're not going to know what your results are. However, as I often say, many people don't get their clothes truly "dirty" so they don't really know if they're getting "clean" or not. A lot of people will wash clean clothes.

I definitely remember the Cold Power name. FWIW, Cold Power is not sold in the US anymore but is available in Australia, New Zealand and African markets. It's made by Colgate-Palmolive.

The one thing that hasn't been mentioned is what you're doing to your machine by only using cold water. But some will find out soon enough.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I don't like drying 100% cotton clothes in my dryer for fear of shrinkage. If I wash cottons in hot water, will there be shrinkage too? My daughter refuses to have her white martial arts outfit washed in warm or hot because she's afraid they will be too short for her. So we wash those in cold water but they never look clean.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

IIRC the Nexxt 500 usually uses its internal heater to guarantee that even "Cold" washes don't go below a certain temperature, although I don't have my manual handy to relate the specific temps. So in that respect at least you'll get at least repeatable results with cold water no mater what the season is, which helps somewhat.

That being said, I really don't use cold water for washing much of anything.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

You can get an effective clean with cold water, but it really helps if you use a detergent specifically designed to work in cold water, like Cheer or Tide Coldwater here in the US. I have actually found some stains come out better in cold water as warm or hot water can actually set some types of stains.

I usually use cold water washes for my colors and darks. Sometimes warm on colors but only if they are heavily stained and my warm water wash is set around 70F anyway, which really isn't warm enough to set a stain. I use warm water washes for pastels and whites. I very seldomly do a hot water wash with anything. Hot water is usually reserved for when I clean out my machine. My clothes come out clean in cold and warm water washes, so I have never really seen a need to waste money on energy doing hot water washes.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

What kind of washer does a 70F warm wash?


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Suburbanmd,

Sorry about that, I meant to type 78F. My fingers were going faster than my brain again. LOL!

I have a Frigidaire Affinity. I can not control the water tempurature. The machine comes out with default settings. It regulates the tempurature by allowing a certain amount of hot with cold. It has five tempuratures: Cold straight from tap, Cold at about 68F, Warm at 78F, and the hot is 100somethingF. At least that is what the manual says give or take a few degrees. I don't have it in front of me right now.

Anyway, my warm water washes actually feel cool to the touch. Not warm to the touch like the warm you would get from the old top loaders.

Somehow my clothes still come out clean.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Here is how my Maytag Neptune inner tub looked on my first machine after using nothing but cold washes for 4 years and too much detergent for front loaders..


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I like hot water. Hotter, the better. I know I kill whatever might possibly be in there, stains are gone and washer is spotless too.
My cycles are 158-194 degrees. NEVER cold water.
I don't care if it costs me more in water or electric.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

fordtech,

OMG! That is awful. I am so sorry that happened. It reminds me of a vid I saw on youtube regarding a Kenmore washer. Only diff was instead of seeing rust you saw a whole lot of white corrosion on the alluminum parts.

czechchick2,

I have always been afraid to wash everything in hot. Most of the care labels on our clothes, even our towels, call for warm or cold washes. I tried to get daring once and washed our towels in hot, but they shrunk and got really stiff. A few even developed holes.

Doesn't the hot fade colors and wear out the fabrics faster? That's one of my fears using hot.

Heidi


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

You don't need to wash everything in hot.
I wash whites in hot (socks, underwear, t-shirts, towels).
Sturdy colors get warm (dress shirts, t-shirts, pants).
Delecate colors get cold (brand new dark colors).


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

fordtech, what is that brown stuff in your old Neptune? Rust?


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

That's a plastic tub. You're looking at mold.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

happymomof2kids: My Miele's cold setting is "by the book", 86F. So if you were using a Miele and did a cold wash, it would be warmer than your Frigidaire's warm wash, yet wouldn't harm items marked for cold wash. So you could do cold-wash items on warm in your Frigidaire, and they'd be fine. And if the Frigidaire's hot wash is just a little over 100F, then you could use it for warm-wash items. Miele's warm setting is 104F.

I wash towels at 158F with no apparent harm. Well, one time a red towel (which my daughter brought home from college) ran in the wash. But other dark colored towels have been fine.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Always used cold on every wash .
Clothes are clean and sanitary .
Could it be that cold Florida well water is already warm enough ?
Only difference was noted when using fresh water made from sea water ( reverse osmosis ) in my FIL's house . Clothes washed there in all cold water came out blindingly white !

After reading the posts here I wonder . Have I been doing laundry wrong all these years ?


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

suburbanmd,

Thank you. I'll give it a try. I'll start with our older clothes and see what happens. Maybe it will help with rinsing issues as well if everything is washed at warmer tempuratures. My rinses are cold, but maybe the warmer washes will distribute the detergent better and enable it to be carried away easier when it drains.

I'll find my manual which is somewhere around here and see exactly what the hot water wash is.

Heidi


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?-Found manual

Ok found my manual. My hot water temperature is 120F.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

gatormom, water temps are definitely relative according to area, and Florida water (as well as that in other hot-weather regions) is definitely warmer at all temps than water elsewhere -- unless someone elsewhere is using an internal water heater or sanitary cycle which heats wash water.

I learned this when we visited my dh's relatives who lived in Florida. I washed some clothes in "cold" water one day, but the water wasn't cold at all. It was like warm water in my area! Though I live in a warm-weather region, the water temps here are nowhere near as warm/hot as Florida water temps.

happymom, it seems to me that 120 degrees Fahrenheit is the "low" end of hot water -- perhaps someone else can clarify that. We keep our hot water heater set at 140 degrees. If my washer had an internal water heater, I would keep it set at 120 degrees.

To clarify an earlier post:

I wash white socks, cotton undies, t-shirts, and towels (separately) in hot water.

I wash jeans, colored t-shirts, colored towels and sheets in warm water.

I wash our nice dark clothes, delicates, handwashables, blankets, and comforters in cold water.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Yes, that is brown and white mold in the inner tub. I bought a new machine, still Neptune but with the updated components and touchscreen controls. We learned how to do laundry all over and do at least one hot load per week, usually two and LCB when necessary. The biggest improvement came with using Persil and STPP. But I switched out to Sears detergent for the past year. I dont like the results so I will be going back to Persil soon. But I am adamant in insisting that you do one hot load per week to keep the mold and mildew away.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

happymomof2kids, cotton laundry does shrink-usually but I know that and it does not bother me. It shrinks in the first hot wash so it isn't big deal (is it like maybe an inch per yard or so?). T-shirts I buy bigger so I know they will be fine after I "shrink" them. Never had problem w/jeans being too short after washing.Socks didn't get small either and towels are fine too.As for the fading, after 15 years of washing my black sheets, they did loose little color, they are lighter shade of black but not grey. I don't have holes in clothes b/c of washing it in hot water either.
I hand wash my beaded things and silk in sink by hand in Woolite and warm water and down comforters in warm too but other than that I swear by really hot water and really good rinse.Germ and residue free laundry is my priority.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

"You can get an effective clean with cold water, but it really helps if you use a detergent specifically designed to work in cold water, like Cheer or Tide Coldwater here in the US. I have actually found some stains come out better in cold water as warm or hot water can actually set some types of stains. "

Stains and body oils are two different issues. many stains especially with proteins will essentially be cooked on in hot water and you want a cold water pre wash.

But cold water is never as effective in removing body oils and other agents making cloths soiled no mater what the detergent."cold water detergents" do work better than normal detergents at cooler temperatures but it doesn't mean they really do the job.

Indeed rinsing in cold water will not remove much of the detergent either.

My undergrad was in chemistry, but I think most people with common sense know that there are many significant variables in individual cases. If you live in the northeast, in winter, "cold water" can be 35 degrees and it won't clean anything well. The cold water people are talkign about here could be anything from 35 degrees to 70 degrees.

Also how big and what type of washer do you have. a top loading super capacity washer might hold something like 25 gallons of water and a front loader (with a heavy tub no less) might hold three 3 or four gallons. If the washer is cool or cold even putting "hot" 120 degree water into the washer could give you an actual water temperature inside of 80 degrees if you are just putting a few gallons into a standing cold front loader. so some people here maybe washing on a cold setting and getting the same temperature as others on hot or warm setting! low water using machines with high thermal inertia and no supplemental heater are going to run much colder

I think the smartest thing you can do is have a fair amount of clothes wash each color and fabric at the right temperature.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Many modern machines today use automatic temperature control, ATC. So you can set it to cold and it will still add hot water enough to get you an average cold of about 70 degrees. You will need a model with onboard heater however if you want to maintain your set temperatures as the water will cool down soon without it.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

This is fascinating! I wash everything in truly cold water and have had no problems. Have a front loader (Whirlpool Duet) that is connected ONLY to the cold water tap. I use Ultra from Costco. DH and I both have office jobs, so the clothes don't get really dirty, but everything, including our sweaty gym clothes, come out clean. No "ring around the collar" or anything like that.

Every once in a while I will add vinegar to the rinse cycle when I wash the towels to make sure they don't get a soap build up. I don't use fabric softeners. Ford's photo of the mold in the Neptune is gross, but my washer doesn't smell moldy.

I am trying to extend the life of my clothes AND do my bit to save the environment.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I almost always use the warm water setting on my washer. For darks or delicates with no stains, I will sometimes use cold. However, my warm setting is actually "lukewarm" in my opinion.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Even with ATC, getting the correct target temp in the machine depends on a couple factors ... the temp setting of the household water heater, and how long is the household plumbing between the water heater and the machine. HE toploaders and frontloaders that use only a few gallons of water per fill ... ATC may not be able to reach the target temp if there's a long distance of plumbing to be purged before hot water reaches the machine. On a very long run, the machine may be 1/3 to 1/2 filled before hot water arrives, and even running only hot for the remainder of the fill in an attempt to compensate, the result may be cooler than the designed target temp.

I checked that on my Calypso yesterday. I normally run the hot water and drain pump via the machine's diagnostics (takes just a few button presses) until it's hot flowing in before starting a load. I have a tankless water heater that can be set at any temp between 50F and 140F ... so my procedure is to set the water heater at the temp I want (105F, 110F, 125F, etc.) and set the machine for a hot (non-ATC) fill. Thus, the water heater setting controls the temp. On a test running a warm ATC fill, water heater at 130F, and not purging the line first ... the temp in the machine measured 90F when the fill initially finished. The machine filled a little more after a couple mins of agitation to top-off the level, and the final temp was 94F. It started the fill by mixing the hot and cold supply (which was cold until hot water reached the machine, then barely warm to the touch), then finished the last minute or two with only hot. The final top-off fill was also hot. This was on a large load of casuals. A smaller load would have taken considerably less water and likely not reached even 94F.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Hi, colorcrazy. I live in West Bethesda, not far from you.

I can tell you this: After I did my first batch of dish towels in good, hot water, suddenly the remaining "clean" towels in the cabinet were so smelly and slimy that I had to rewash them too. So water temperature does make a difference, and not just for towels. I think that connecting a washing machine (unless it's designed to heat the water internally) to cold only, particularly in a four-season area, is "fascinating". But if your procedures comport with your values, and you're satisfied with the results, that's all that matters.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

" * Posted by fordtech (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 12, 09 at 19:34
Many modern machines today use automatic temperature control, ATC. So you can set it to cold and it will still add hot water enough to get you an average cold of about 70 degrees. "
_________________
My observation is that is not the case on front loaders with ATC and no heater. I think that the warm cycle is set to 80 degrees and I think the makers are lowering the actual definitions of warm and of "cold" all the time to chase higher energy ratings.

the more "modern" the machine the colder "cold" and "warm" are


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Well just for curiosity's sake I actually took my washes temperature. LOL! I loaded my laundry and set it for a hot wash. I let the machine fill and wash for a few minutes. I put the machine on pause, opened the door and the thermometer read 107 F. I put it back on wash waited 1 minute and it read 105 F. Waited another 2 minutes and the thermometer read 104.8 F.

Looks like I can use my hot water setting for most of my wash. I just use the warm setting for things that are really delicate or need special care.

The water temp is most likely the reason we keep getting sick here. I've been disenfecting around the house like mad but we keep catching the same cold. Now it occurs to me it is most likely the laundry. Now I know it takes significantly higher wash temperatures to kill bacteria, but I'm guessing, with a higher wash temp plus the detergent, at least a lot more bacteria should be carried away in the wash water.

I'm betting washing at higher temps helps with the mold issues on gaskets as well.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

i also have a front loading washing machine, connected ONLY to cold water. No special soap / detergent. Everything is great. And I'm north enough for cold water to be cold. Love the front loader. So much better than the top loader it replaced, which used to be connected to both hot and cold water.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

davidro1, I'm curious: Do you use liquid or powdered detergent -- or both?


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

pwdr only. They all work.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Think twice and warm it up a bit and use powder detergents!

Here is a link that might be useful: Do you really want to wash in cold water only?


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Instead of saying "I wash in cold and my clothes are clean and sanitary" one should say "I wash in cold and my clothes are clean enough for me"!
You are deluding yourself if you think cold washes get your clothes clean- even with "cold detergent". Clothes that don't look very dirty are saturated with body oils and those will not come out just with detergent. And I don't want to even think about UNDERWEAR. If you're worried about setting stains- you should be pre-treating regardless of temp.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

frank1965 is right on target. you can only kill bacteria with bleach or temperature. cold water wash is barely getting anything clean and it is certainly not sanitizing anything


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

The only things I'd add to kerbosch's comment is that the physical wash action and general alkalinity of a properly loaded washer is "inhospitable" to bacteria and will remove or kill ~some~, even in cold water. That being said, the more temperature or *chlorine* bleach (LCB) you add, the more you'll get rid of. Even a small amount of LCB can kill off a significant quantity of germs, albeit at the potential expense of the colors in your clothes and their longevity.

If you have been directed to sanitize your laundry for a specific medical issue and can't use LCB you could always use Lysol concentrate (in the small brown bottle) in the main wash cycle, but that's total overkill for day-to-day use.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

IIRC, a friend who is a nurse said just one tablespoon of LCB per gallon of water kills all bacteria. That amount may not cause discoloration of laundry.

Lysol concentrate does kill bacteria without bleaching clothes. It is particularly helpful for people who do laundry for people who are sickly, etc.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I'd put Samsung as one towards the cool side, perhaps to chase energy fficiency. Despite the manual defining Cold as 60-85, Warm as 85-105, and Hot as 105-125, I think most would see the machines operate only at the bottom of those ranges.

I ran several tests over the summer, when my cold tap was 75 and my hot water heater at 125. Even with a fairly short run from the water heater to the washer, by the time the standing cold water has been purged in the hot lines and the stainless tub has warmed up, a Warm load would only start at 85-90, and a Hot load at 95-105. The internal heater only kicks in to reach the bottom of the range, and may not even reach that until the end of the wash cycle.

Despite Samsung's definitions, I think most folks would subjectively feel 85 deg water as cold (just not as cold as tap), and 105 deg as lukewarm.

So since I ran the tests, I've been washing colors on Warm instead of Cold, as it's still what many detergent and washer manufacturers consider cold. But now I also do light colored towels on Hot rather than Warm, and I'll sometimes now do heavily soiled colors on Hot without worrying so much about shrinkage anymore.

Right now, my cold tap is 70 and I've boosted my tankless water heater to 130 so that the Samsung internal heater kicks in less. I just ran a Warm load and again it's still at 85-88.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I do exactly the same as Mara and have done that for the last 20something years.

Whites in Hot
Everything else in Cold

I have never had a problem with mold anywhere, but for everyone that has front loaders, you are supposed to leave the door open after washing to prevent mold from growing on the inside.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

wwu123,

You'd probably do just as well to leave the water heater setting as it was and let the machine heat its water internally as needed. Less energy used that way. Not intending to get into a tankless water heating tangent here ... but the most efficient use of tankless is by not overheating the water.

I also have a tankless water heater. My procedure is to use the water heater to control the washer's temperature. I set the tankless at the temperature I want for the load (105F, 115F, 130F or whatever) and set the washer's temp selector on hot. Of course, that doesn't work on machines that restrict the temperature selections, such as not allowing a hot setting on the Delicate cycle. My machine is ATC for cold and warm, but full tap-hot for the hot setting, and thus the water heater determines the temp.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Yes, I'd agree in general the lowest temperature you can get away with on any water heater, tank or tankless, is always going to be the most efficient.

But at least for the Samsungs, the internal heater does not kick in above 105 deg, which is not hot, so it contributes really nothing to setting or maintaining truly hot temps. So same as you the water heater temp influences it, with 120 deg netting me about a 105 deg wash, 130 deg netting me about 115 deg, etc.

It would be great if I could find a thermostat calibration knob in a service manual, that would allow me to me to adjust the actual setpoint for the internal heater higher.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Actually, I keep my tankless set at 100F to 102F as the "normal" temp, for showering and any dishes I handwash. My dishwasher has internal heating, so can work with a cold input. I raise the tankless setting only when needed for clothes, or the occasional relaxing soak in my jacuzzi tub.

I find that there's a 8F to 12F drop in temp of water in the washer's tub after filling compared to the input. My washer doesn't have an internal heater.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I too wash in warm or hot, no mold issues, smells, never use Clorine bleach or a bleach Alternative. Thats just more to rinse out of your clothes. I use name brand HE detergent and FS. Whites look like snow! A friend of mine has a FL, washes everything in stone cold water all her life, till see seen my whites, she then changed. If you cant wash your pots and pans in cold water and get the grease out of them, why would a person think the bosy oils are coming out of their clothes. That must be why some people come to work in the morning smelling stale and musty, and just showered.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

The pots and pans analogy isn't really all that applicable as pots and pans unlike clothing are not porous so water doesn't pass through them - hot or cold water will penetrate most fabrics. While I have been known to make the odd spill I don't generally eat off of my clothes or prepare food on them so I don't require quite the same degree of sanitizing for my clothes as I do my dishes (perhaps this makes me filthy but I don't think so). As someone who washes in cold using a phosphate free detergent and does make the odd spill on my clothes I can verify that cold water washes do lift dried on food and stains as well as leaving clothes clean smelling and bright. However for kitchen cloths or whites I will use a hot water setting (conveniently serves as my periodic hot wash to hopefully help keep mold at bay in my FL as well).


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I wasnt emplying that anyone eats off thier clothes, and it would seem that a porus substance would make it harder to remove any possible bacteria in it. Lets face it, we all have seen people sneeze into the palm of their hand, or use the sleeve of a shirt, and wipe there hand on their clothes. If you have any harmful bacter in your clothes, and you wipe against them, the wipe your eyes, or rub your nose, you risk having these germa enter your body.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

It was smidge snide on my part but the suggestion that washing clothes in cold water isn't hygienic is hardly a value neutral statement (washing in cold might not be for you but suggesting that those of us who do are wearing dirty clothes that smell seemed a little OTT to me). Cold is actually a very effective killer of both germs and bacteria. Still I don't use just cold water I also put in detergent when I wash which is intended to help remove\kill dirt and bacteria. If temperature were the issue - warm is many bacteria's optimum temperature for growth and development.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

If it works for you than stick to it thats my motto.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I'll agree with this.
This thread is a great place to see who thinks what.

But it's counterproductive and unharmonious to discuss hygiene and cold water versus hot water. Both hot and cold work well.

Back to clothes washers:
Water all by itself is a great solvent, removing lots.
Adding a little detergent is good too.

I often run a prewash in water only, then redo it with some detergent.

Occasionally I prepare shirt collars in advance by wetting them, adding detergent on top, letting it soak in and scrubbing lightly.

My Front loader is attached to Cold Water only, and in winter it's really cold water.

I also use different detergents: changing the detergent is like changing your shampoo. Each time you change, there is a slight but noticeable improvement. Each kind of shampoo / soap / detergent is good at most things but not at all things. What it can't handle well, the next one can. That's Par for the course.

I think those who feel Hot Water is the Right Thing, may be mistaken.

Let's figure out a rigorous and scientific experiment.
Something that can be repeated by anyone who wants to verify the results.

Something more rigorous and scientific than what people have written so far, which all sounds like:
"here are my feelings about what works."

hth


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Survey about european laundry habits

Maybe you can be interested in this survey made in four european countries with different laundy habits. I know, it's a 132 page .pdf file, anyway I think it's worth to read the summary at least.

Interesting quote :
"The Spanish washing processes, by contrast, although low temperatures (15 and 30 C [59F and 86F]) are used, show a higher reduction in the level of micro-organisms after washing. This effect is probably caused by an additional rinse in the washing programme. This effect might represent an interesting finding from the point of view of the environment. Demanding more water is a lesser burden
than washing at high(er) temperatures."

This survey doesn't face side effects as that one displayed by the above Neptune tub shoot.
Be aware that oxigen bleaches contained in powdered detergents are effective since 105F if TAED (bleach activator) is present, otherwise they start working @ 140F

Here is a link that might be useful: Norvegian survey


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Thanks for posting that fascinating article. There goes my day :-)

Another interesting quote:

"From the research results of the hygienic study, there are strong indications that the hygiene quality of washed laundry when still wet is related to the washing temperature and the presence of bleaching agents. A general observation is that the result of washing processes at low temperatures (15 and 30C) shows a rather low hygienic quality. Hardly any reduction in numbers of micro-organisms is achieved. This is confirmed by an additional test. Almost all micro-organisms were removed from the laundry samples by a 95C programme
using a detergent containing bleach.
One of the most interesting findings is that washing at low temperatures seems to spread micro-organisms among the different laundry items in a washing sample rather than removing them."

Not surprising to find contradictions among different studies. Anyway, clean laundry isn't all about hygiene, it's also about look, feel and smell. Hospitals try to be very germ-free places, but that doesn't make them pleasant. Personally I don't give much thought to germs in my laundry.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

davidro1, I dont have to prewash, or pretreat collars and scrub them before I wash them in warm water, just curious if its due to the water temp or not


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

There are many bacteria and microscopic parasites that are actually GOOD for you and required by your body, skin, etc. Killing everything isn't always the solution, unless you need to sterilize your laundry due to disease. As long as my laundry smells good and comes out bright and clean, I'm happy. I'm also someone who always washes in the 105-160 degree range depending on what I'm washing. Even my silks can tolerate 85 degrees or "warm". Why would I ever use cold?


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I agree with you sshrivastava! I just found some white socks, underwear, white towels that need to be washed, so I decided to try cold wash and see how it goes. I will report back and give honest results on them. I used Gain He, two tablepoons, and FB, just like I do if it were a hot wash


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

There are many bacteria and microscopic parasites that are actually GOOD for you and required by your body, skin, etc. Killing everything isn't always the solution...

LOL. The bacteria that you speak of live on your body and do quite well procreating and taking care of themselves. They most certainly do not need your assistance in survival by preserving them on your clothing, etc. Oils and bacteria on your clothing do contribute to odor, however, but little else.

Having said that, if you are happy and the clothes "smell" fresh to you (most likely due to perfumed detergent and/or fabric softener if you do cold washes exclusively) then that's fine. I doubt anyone in this forum makes money every time someone does a hot wash! :)


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Cold wash followup: Socks and towels are not as clean as when washed in in hot. I used the same amount of time on the cold wash as I would do on a hot one. So now they are getting done on my whites whites at 130F Im glad I get whites and cold, it taught me not to do it again.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

"Having said that, if you are happy and the clothes "smell" fresh to you (most likely due to perfumed detergent and/or fabric softener if you do cold washes exclusively) then that's fine. I doubt anyone in this forum makes money every time someone does a hot wash! :)"

I wash almost exclusively in cold and use an unscented HE powder and my clothes still smell fresh and clean coming out of the washer. However with the new detergent I find my clothes much brighter and less stiff - probably attributable to the age of my former machine (very short rinse cycle). For about 6 months before purchasing my FL I was using some leftover liquid Tide my Mom gave me and I do miss the scent (my last non HE detergent was also unscented so I am sure I will adapt again). To each her\his own.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

i just find it OK to wash with water often. Cold water. I'm available to reset the machine and get it to run again. Also, I'm a soap miser. Washing with water is A-OK by me. Then a little soap. Or the same, in reversed order. A little soap, and lots of rinse. It may happen that work socks and gym socks are not white white and that's fine by me. Over and out.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

dudleyfuddpucker said:

LOL. The bacteria that you speak of live on your body and do quite well procreating and taking care of themselves. They most certainly do not need your assistance in survival by preserving them on your clothing, etc. Oils and bacteria on your clothing do contribute to odor, however, but little else.
And I certainly don't need to obsess over what bacteria is living in my clothes when, as I stated earlier, I regularly wash in very warm to hot water. For goodness sakes, I've been doing laundry almost my entire life and never once fell victim to the flesh-eating bacteria that live in my clothes! Certainly if you can survive by washing your clothes in lukewarm water in apartment-style top load washers, you'll probably live to make it through the next big meteor impact.

;-)


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

"Obsessing" and "flesh-eating bacteria?"

Hmm, are we reading the same thread?


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

It's called *sarcasm* dudleyfuddpucker!


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

My samsung has the activfresh option that sanitizes with silver in cold water, it works great and my colors look and smell very clean :-)


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Just a reminder that the 4 ways of cleaning -temperature, time, chemical action and mechanical action tend to work together and to substitute for each other to some extent.

I just discovered that the lady who does our laundry has been washing everything on cold, probably to save time. I don't have to throw out all my shirts that have stains on them that never came out! They just need to be washed warmer.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Good reminder. I often let stuff sit and then I reset and re-wash. It's a way to make use of action #2 (time).

"4 ways of cleaning -temperature, time, chemical action and mechanical action"


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

@ andi2928

Sanitizing is different than cleaning. You can have a "sanitized" shirt that still has stains on it. Sanitizing kills germs, bacteria, etc., but it does not remove soiling. Silvercare does nothing to actually clean your clothes.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

FWIW, I recently bought a bottle of Tide Free for Coldwater HE Liquid laundry detergent, and have used it three or four times by now.

Extended wash time has been used sometimes, in my FL washer, depending on how dirty the load is (like sweaty golf shirts). Darks in COLD and whites in WARM. Any visible stains are pre-treated with Shout.

I don't care for the way the laundry smells when it first comes out, sort of chemical, but after it dries it smells really, really nice and clean. Everything seems to be quite clean, with no detected stains or odors coming back while the garments are being worn.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

I can say, with the exception of very special washes, I NEVER wash or rinse in cold water. I just can't believe that cold water releases soil as well as hot or warm. I never wash in hot water either because my washer only offers the cold rinse with a hot wash cycle, and I believe that rinsing in the warmest water available is most sanitary. I read where washing/rinsing in cold leaves bacteria (fecal and other crud we can't see) on the clothes -- yuk. Baby clothes, underwear and even sheets and towels just won't be clean in cold wash/rinse, even though you can't see the stains. I just wouldn't choose cold water washing to save a few hot water pennies. I want to know that I've done all I can to make sure our things are clean and fresh.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

@ annie1971

Not washing in hot water because your machine only provides a cold rinse is, in my opinion, misguided. You do realize that if you wash at 120F or higher, your rinses will end up being warm? That's because any cold water entering your machine will be warmed by the higher temperature of the inner and outer drum, clothes, and door. And saying that cold water won't rinse away "fecal and other crud we can't see" is also not especially accurate. In this respect, there is no difference between cold and warm water rinses. It's the main wash portion of the cycle, through the use of detergent, that you are removing fecal and other matter.

You may be in for a shock, but by washing in warm and rinsing even in warm water will do nothing to rid your clothes of germs and bacteria. Your baby clothes, underwear, sheets and towels are already not clean - by your own definition - when washed and rinsed with warm water.


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RE: Do cold washes get clothes clean?

Warm rinsing was legitimate back in the time of soaps, before synthetic detergents were available. Nowadays there's no need for it. I've seen people argue that warm rinses open the fabric fibers so residual detergent is more easily released ... but again, that harkens back to the days of soap.

Warm rinses do promote slightly faster machine drying ... but the energy used to heat the water outweighs the reduction in drying time.

One other legitimate use of warm rinsing is when washing woolens, which are more likely to shrink when subjected to a large change in temperature.


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