What Temperature Should You Wash A Soiled Laundry?

One of the biggest problems we have with laundry is heavy soiling. And believe it or not, the temperature of water used to wash the cloth can actually affect how clean it turns out from the washer! 

We have three categories of water temperature; hot, warm, and cold water. Which is best for soiled garments?

How water works best

As far as removing soiling from clothes is concerned, hot water is the best! The reason for the upper hand is simple: hot water has molecules that are in rapid motion, bombarding dirt and soiling in the nooks and crannies of your fabric construction thereby causing them to loosen. With the aggressive action of laundry detergents and boosters combined, cleaning becomes even more efficient! 

Why do you think manufacturers recommend using hot water with a beach for white cotton clothes that have picked up stains?

But there’s one thing you should know about using hot water in your laundry, not all clothes actually fare well with it. Take polyester for instance, it can shrink with consistent submersion in hot water and so also wool and silk.

So make sure to always check the fabric care label of your fabric to find out whether or not it can be submerged in hot water. And if it can, then that’s good news.

Cold water would work too, but rely more on laundry products to remove most of the stains!

The molecules in cold water are not moving vigorously, but that doesn’t mean they don’t clean clothes well. To achieve decent cleaning with cold water, rely more on laundry products and soaking to do the soil removal job for you! 

Laundry products like stain removers which are meant to be made into a solution with water and then used to soak laundry can help remove soiling by a mile. And when you combine this with the agitation of the washing machine, you should have a pretty decent soil removal in the end.

Another option is soaking

Soaking is actually a very good way of removing soil from clothes. When you soak clothes, the dirt on them loosen up and depending on the water temperature you’re using to soak the clothes, be it hot or cold, the rate of loosening of the dirt either increases or decreases. 

In the case of hot water, it will hasten the process of soil removal, and in the case of cold water, soil removal would take a bit more time due to how gentle the molecules are moving. At the end of the day however, all clothes soaked properly prior to washing will clean better than clothes washed without pre-soaking. 

Can you wash black clothes in hot water?

Black clothes fade faster than any other color of clothes. And so you want to avoid treating them with things that actually cause them to become dull faster. 

As such, try as much as possible to avoid washing them in hot water because their colors will come off with every wash, reducing the intensity concomitantly. 

When it comes to washing black clothes, you want to do that using cold water. And in order to preserve the intensity of the clothes, you want to make sure you wash them with salt, especially when they’re new, and also add vinegar during the rinse cycle in the fabric softener compartment. 

One good thing to also do is to choose the perfect laundry detergent for your black clothes. 

Detergents like Woolite dark are specially formulated to preserve the intensity of black clothes for a very long duration before it begins to fade. So using these kinds of detergents can actually prevent your clothes from fading faster with time.

How do you wash delicate soiled laundry?

Sturdy clothes having soils on them are an easy treat in the washer. You can easily toss them in there with hot water and be sure of retrieving perfectly cleaned clothes in the end. 

When it comes to delicate clothing however, the story is a bit different. Cleaning becomes difficult! You wouldn’t want to go hard on them to avoid causing damage, and at the same time, you know you need to step things up a bit in order to loosen up soils faster! 

So it’s a pretty difficult situation to find yourself in.

But here are the things you should make sure you’re doing and to note too.

No matter what, avoid using hot water on delicate items. Most delicate items cannot fare well under hot water application, and some of them will shrink, melt and sometimes even fade.

The best way to tackle stains on delicate clothes is to pre-soak them before washing. So soak them in a solution of stain remover, or laundry detergent, for as long as possible, preferably 30 minutes or more depending on the level of soiling on the delicate clothes.

If you have stains on the delicate fabrics, then you want to treat them first using the appropriate stain removal technique before presoaking?

When laundering, put clothes in a mesh bag and run the delicate cycle. You can also choose to wash by hand; which is something I would recommend because you have much more control over the amount of agitation you’re putting on the clothes.

When soil removal isn’t satisfactory, you can repeat the cleaning all over again, but do not exceed more than twice to avoid damage. For the second time, you want to take out the mesh bag to facilitate cleaning.

If that doesn’t work, or you’re afraid of damaging your clothes with that practice, then you should take them to a reliable dry cleaners that will handle them properly!

Final Thoughts

The best water temperature to use to wash soiled laundry is hot water. Hot water has molecules that are moving very fast which bombard dirt and loosen them much quicker. But there is something to note about hot water. It can be very damaging to fabrics. 

Before you ever consider using hot water on any fabric, make sure to check the fabric care label to ensure it is perfectly safe to use in the first place, otherwise you can end up shrinking, melting or distorting your clothes.