The water temperature you use to do laundry at home can affect the kind of cleaning you’re getting.
Hot water is suitable for stubborn stains on sturdy clothes, whereas warm water and cold water are perfect for delicates that have little soils on them.
For towels, you can use either hot or cold water to wash them and they’ll turn out nice and clean. When you have stubborn stains on them however, hot water is the best bet, as it releases stains and soils much faster, unlike cold water. It also has some disinfection properties.
Below, we’ll discuss more on the water temperature best suited for washing towels.
It really doesn’t matter
For real, it isn’t that big of a deal. It doesn’t matter that much the water temperature you use to clean your towels, as all water temperatures when paired with the right cleaning products will get you a decent cleaning in the end.
With that said however, it’s good to know the perks and disadvantages with each kind of temperature so you can make better decisions when next you’re washing towels.
Hot Water & Cold Water
Hot water, by virtue of its hot nature, facilitates cleaning better than cold water. This is because the molecules are in constant rapid motion resulting in their bombardment with stain molecules which causes them to release much earlier in the laundry session.
So when it comes to getting heavily soiled clothes clean, hot water is almost always the better choice. But be sure to check with the fabric care label to confirm the status of the fabric in hot water.
While hot water provides all these benefits, you should know that the benefits definitely come with a trade off, a huge one for that matter.
While using hot water, you’ll enjoy the benefits of faster soil removal, at the same time however, your clothes become more prone to shrinkage, become weaker and even end up losing their intensity faster. This is the entire opposite effect with cold water.
It will delay a bit when it comes to soil removal, especially in heavily soiled garments, and you may even be required to wash the clothes for a second time, but the cool thing about cold water is that it keeps the integrity of fabric well, as well as preserving their colors. It also does not shrink, wrap or distort clothes like hot water does.
If you want to sanitize however, use hot water
Having said all of these, there’s always one application that using hot water is almost always a must, or the best choice. That is when you need to sanitize your clothes.
Cold water doesn’t have any sanitization properties, on the other hand, hot water does, because of its intense nature, and so can kill pathogenic growth like some bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Whenever you have a cloth that has been worn by the sick, or has come in contact with disease causing microorganisms, you want to use hot water (alongside other laundry disinfectant products) to disinfect the clothes.
Don’t get it wrong, you can actually use cold water to clean clothes that have come in contact with microorganisms. But you have to rely mostly on products like bleach or laundry sanitizers to achieve sanitization.
Do you wash sheets in hot or cold water?
Like towels, you can choose to wash sheets in hot or cold water. Just bear at the back of your mind that using hot water means that the fabric will deteriorate faster.
The much closer alternative to hot water will be using warm water, but even that doesn’t compare to using cold water which is very gentle on fabrics and will keep their intensity for a much longer duration.
How to wash towels to keep them soft?
Fabric softeners are great to use on towels to make them softer. However, because of their build up and the way they coat the exterior of towels, they are not suitable to be used consistently. Using fabric softener constantly on towels will reduce the absorbency by a great degree thereby ruining them in the long run.
Another thing that contributes to a crunchy towel is high heat. It will flatten the fibers and cause the towel to go rough.
If you’re using too much detergent also, it’s more likely for you to run into hard and toughened towels than if you’re using the right amount of detergent.
If you want to make your towels softer, pay close attention to the things mentioned above, and use natural softeneing products like vinegar or baking soda.
For vinegar, add ¼ cups of it to the fabric softener compartment of the washer. For baking soda, add ½ cups of it to the wash cycle. Whatever you do however, avoid pairing the two products in the same laundry session as that can result in an overflow.
Another thing you can try is to use dryer balls. These will hit against the fibers and unflatten them, thereby causing the overall texture of the towel to become soft.
Do you wash white clothes in hot or cold water?
For white clothes that have heavy stains and soiling on them, the best water temperature to use would be hot water. But always make sure to check the fabric care label to determine whether or not the fabric can withstand the use of hot water. Not all fabrics can tolerate a hot water bath, some like polyester will shrink or distort.
Cold water would also do a great job at removing stains from white clothes. But make sure to soak them first for about 30 minutes so the stains are loosened up a bit, and washing is more efficient. Also make sure to use high-quality detergents as well as laundry products that cause whitening and brightening of fabrics.
Can you wash towels with clothes?
Towels are naturally sturdy materials and as a result you don’t want to pair them up with other types of clothing in the washer, especially delicate ones. It can cause damage to them.
Another thing about washing towels with clothes is that because they’re larger, the spinning action in the washer makes them wrap around smaller clothes and prevent them from getting washed. This is the same issue you’ll face when you try to wash bed sheets with clothes.
So if you can always, try to wash your towels separately and if they’re new, wash them alone for the first three washes.
Both hot or cold water would do a great job at cleaning your towels. Hot water has the added advantage of facilitating soil and stain removal faster than cold water, although you can still achieve an equal kind of cleaning with cold water in a longer period of time.
The best advice from the laundry community is to always use cold water for towels and clothes in general, unless you need to disinfect or tackle heavy stains on them. Before you ever make an attempt to use hot water on clothes, make sure to check the fabric care label to see whether or not it can survive a hot water bath in the first place.