Water Temperature – What’s the Perfect Temp for Washing Clothes?

This is a trick question. When it comes to water temperature, there is no perfect temp for all clothing. Before deciding upon a water temperature setting on the washing machine, you should first consider what type of fabric and fibers the clothing is comprised of. Hopefully, you have already sorted the laundry by color and fabric and separated out any brand new, never washed clothing to be washed on its own.

Clothing are made of different types of fabrics and depending on what an article of clothing is comprised of will determine the perfect water temperature for washing it. Here is our complete Water Temperature guide so that you are not making these decisions without understanding water temperature and what it does to clothing being washed.

Hot Water

The hot water setting on a washer usually means that you will be using water that is 130°F or hotter. This temp is perfect for your dirtiest clothing if the fabric is not delicate. Cloth diapers and dish cloths are best washed If the fabric is delicate, or the tag directs you to hand-wash, you should hand-wash the item in warm water. Whites are best washed in hot water to keep them crisp and white. Hot water does the best job against heavy soil, dirty and germs. The drawback is that washing laundry in hot water can cause fabrics to shrink, and fading will happen over time. For some delicate fabrics, hot water will damage them, so be sure that you have checked your clothing labels before switching the washing machine to the hottest water option.

Warm Water

This setting is appropriate for a lot of different fabrics and fibers. Man-made fibers, knits, and jeans are best washed in warm water that is around 90°F. Warm water usually will not shrink clothing, and it is not as big of a fading threat as washing clothing in hot water. You can read more about effective Ways to Prevent Clothing Shrinkage when doing laundry by viewing more information provided by our site.

You should not wash Viscose, a type of rayon, in any warm water, and some articles made of viscose are not machine washable at all. Polyamide is another fabric that should not be washed in warm water, or any for that matter, depending.

Cold Water

Dark colors, reds, and delicate machine washable fabrics should be washed in cold water. Cold water is around 80°F. Clothing that contains dyes that might bleed or run onto other fabrics should be washed in cold water. Cold water also is a good energy saver, and those that wish to be greener and ecologically mindful. If you are trying to wash an item that is heavily soiled in cold water, you should first pre-soak the clothing or pre-treat it with a detergent.

An important note to keep in mind when washing clothing in various temperatures is that the colder the water is that you are washing in, the more detergent you will need to get them fully clean. Hot water kills germs, warm water is a nice solution for clothing that can be washed in a warmer water setting. Water that is colder than 60°F typically does not get your clothes as clean as they need to be.

Best Wash in Illinois provides exceptionally efficient washers and dryers. Our washers have a hot water setting that will keep your clothing clean and free from germs.

Best Wash has the best washers and dryers (many free!) for your washing and drying needs. Quickly clean your clothes and laundry at any of our Illinois- or Missouri-based laundromats, or have it picked up and delivered! Read about us or look up locations.