Check the tag of your garments for washing instructions as the manufacturer knows what is best for their garments.
If the label is missing or unclear, then wash in cold water. Cold water prevents shrinkage, color bleeding, and fading. If the cold water doesn’t do a good enough job removing stains, then move to warm water, then hot water.
Hot water is great to help get out stains and helps to kill germs. It cleans heavy soil, sanitizes linens that are infected with bacteria or fungus, and kills insects.
Using hot water is good for white cotton, bed and kitchen linens as well as to kill germs from bed linens when someone was ill. It is also great for removing oily stains and heavily soiled or sweaty garments.
The issues with using hot water is that you can experience fading and some shrinkage may occur. If you have protein stains, the hot water can set this stain instead of removing it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that using hot water is environmentally unfriendly. Heating the water and using electricity is largely produced by fossil fuels and this releases byproducts into the Earth’s atmosphere.
When using warm water will help dissolve powered laundry detergents and of course is more energy saving than using hot water.
Using warm water is good for washing nylon, polyester, spandex and rayon – as well as lightly soiled clothing.
Just use caution because using warm water can cause some colors to fade and cannot remove heavy stains. It also does not sanitize your laundry.
Using cold water is obviously the most energy efficient. Always remember to pretreat stains before washing. With cold water, liquid detergents are best or one that is made for use in cold water. Use cold water for delicates as well as dark colored clothes.
If your whites are losing their brightness, it could be that are overloading your washer or your temperature could be too low.
Turning dark colored clothing inside out before washing helps to avoid wear which will cause a dull appearance.
One last tip – try using less detergent. Using too much detergent can create an overabundance of suds that will just trap soil and redeposit it on your clothes. Try using half of the recommended amount and see if you like the results. You will also save money this way.