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#391896 03/12/08 08:20 PM
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One of the things in my Clean Chic book is that we should be washing all clothes in cold water. They say that hot water doesn't sterilize clothes by any stretch of the imagination, and it really doesn't help much with stains either, with modern detergents. So it saves a TON of energy to wash everything in cold and the clothes are just as clean.

I have always washed whites in hot water. It was just "how it was done" and I never thought about it. I am going to try doing them in cold, to see ...

As an added benefit, clothes will not fade as quickly when washed in cold ...


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Due to my skin problems I have been told to wash in hot and even do it twice, but I use laundromat and everything I do is in hot water.

I do not use softener, bleach or dryer sheets and only all clear and sometimes when I am in a flareup I dont use any detergent on towels and sheets.

I got a chillow pillow that works really well for hot flashes:

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Only in winter season, i prefer to wash clothes with hot water.

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Bonnie - my son and I are both very sensitive to detergents and such, and we have a front-loading washer (which apparently gets the clothes more clean). We use the special allergen-free laundry soap and that works very well. We don't use softener or dryer sheets at all - that's why I was testing out those plastic dryer balls which seem to do well.

I found the study on hot water washing but actually it says

"In addition, researcher Jung-Won Park, M.D., Ph.D., of Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues found rinsing laundry twice in cold water was also effective at removing all traces of dog dander in laundry washed at any temperatures. "

So if you just thoroughly rinse, that is just as good. And not only that, but a thorough rinsing is really important for those of us with sensitive skin because it makes sure that all the detergent gets off the clothes.

Maybe do an experiment. Do one run where you do hot water with detergent - so it'll be hot but the detergent and items will still be in the clothes. Then do another run where you do warm or cold water with detergent - but set it on a long rinse cycle so that all the allergens and detergent really get rinsed off. I bet you'll find that the thorough rinse is what is important!


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I wash all our clothes in cold water, and have been doing that for about 6 years since we moved to a place where the washing machine can't be hooked up to a water heater. I've been hoping to get a new water heater that could do it, but now maybe I won't! This is great news.

Our clothes always seem as clean as before when we used hot water. I can't tell any difference. I thought hot would be better for underwear, but if it doesn't matter I'm happy to hear it.

I have a problem with poison oak, and I've heard hot water gets it out of clothes better than cold, so if that's true, that's the only reason I'd still want the option for hot water.

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Right I always thought that hot water was for undergarments for sanitary reasons but apparently "hot water" is about 140F which does absolutely nothing in that sense. And as far as pollens and allergens, a long rinse cycle apparently is much more beneficial than that 140F temperature (which again isn't anywhere near boiling). Also a front loading washer is better because in a top loading one the clothes "sit in a stew" of the dirt for a long while and then they get a brief rinse. With a side loading washer, the water flops around through the clothes, the dirt gets away from the clothes right away, and the allergens are flushed out and don't sit on the clothes. But the long rinse is really important to get all the detergents and other allergens out of the clothes at the end.

I think with the oils for poison ivy and poison oak it is the detergent that matters, not the temperature. You want a detergent that lifts the oil away from the clothes and gets it out in the drain so again a long rinse cycle would be critical there. Otherwise the washing machine, if you had a top loader with little rinse, would just make sure all clothes in the wash were evenly coated with the oil smile


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I use cold water for everything, but then i am also careful to do presoaking as needed, and to add baking soda, borax, vinegar or bleach as needed with the wash in question. smile

Laundry is kinda like my form of cooking. smile

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Well we've been doing cold water only for a while now - with a second rinse - and everything seems cleaner than before. No allergy issues, everything is nice and fresh. So I count this as a victory smile


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I've read that any sterilizing of clothes can be done by drying it in the dryer so washing in hot water isn't really necessary. I've been washing everything in cold water, and washing only full loads, for some time now to save energy.

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good thing I'm a terrible laundress.... I've always washed only with cold! smile
I feel clean enough.


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Hi, I have always washed my clothes in cold. When I was a teenager, a red top ran really bad and ruined everything in the wash that day. I continuned, until my son began in a career of football, then only his clothes got the hot water. Now, it is recommended that you wash in cold to save money and energy. I'm hoping to be helping the cause.
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Originally Posted By: Jilly


Laundry is kinda like my form of cooking. smile


Laundry is my form of cooking as well I suck at both!

I can cook well enough that we dont starve and I do laundry wellenough that we are clean but I dont iron mend or get fancy with the cleaning. my whites are as white as they can be with out bleach. I figure my socks dont have to be glaring white and if they look better going into the wash then they do coming out of it then its time for new socks! laugh I like new socks! that is the only thing white white that i have to wear.

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We don't iron either - we maybe take the iron out once a year for something. We dress casually here. I am definitely finding that cold-only is doing well even with workout clothes and so far I haven't had any stain issues!


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We make a point of having clothes that can take washing and drying in a machine (not hand washing, not dry cleaning, not ironing).

The few things we have that we don't dry in a machine (some wicking workout clothes, my bras and our fuzzy socks) I just hang up in the laundry area and then put away.

I have a friend who irons every morning, and I find that bizarre. But I can see that she sees it as a morning mediation and it means something to her. smile

For me, we have an iron we got from walmart for 6 bucks and I use it to add patches to things (like a sci fi patch to my backpacks or hats). And it's around if a guest needs an iron or if I need to get candle wax out of the carpet. blush


Last edited by Jilly; 04/07/08 02:41 AM.
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I agree completely - I try not to have any hand wash or dry clean clothes around. I do have a few formal dresses that are dry clean only, and I rarely wear them, and actually feel guilty when I have to then bring them in to the dry cleaner. Unfortunately I adore the Chinese embroidery style and they just don't seem to have those in non-dry-clean.

Those Holy Clothing dresses that I love to wear claim to be hand wash only - but I finally gave up and wash them in the machine, separately by colors. With the front loader, you can do small loads and it only uses a tiny bit of water. So what I do is wait until I have 3 or 4 "red" dresses that need washing and then do them all together. It ends up being about a half load since they're so long.


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My daughter is very particular about her clothes and hand washed quite a few things marked "dry clean". She uses Woolite.

I personally don't like the chemicals they use in dry cleaning, which have been linked to cancer.

I did see an "eco-friendly" dry cleaner just the other day but not sure what that's about or if it's possible to do drycleaning with no harmfu chemicals.

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I would definitely use an eco dry cleaner if they had one around here. I'd be really afraid about washing suits in water though ...?


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OK the ultimate test - I had blood on my PJs from a cut I'd gotten. I washed them in cold, with my super-rinse setting. There are no stains at all!! So I am fully convinced. They smell super clean, I have no itching problems, and there are no stains.

Cold is King smile


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what I think is funny is that we all assume dry cleaning is done dry. It is actually done with a mixture of chemicals and water. It is just different and requres pressure and chemicals.

Personally I do not buy things that are dry clean only. If I have them I habd wash them if possible. The only eception is my suits. I do take those in. However, when they come home I usually air them and then steam them to remove any residual smell.


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Lisa, that is actually not a good test. smile You can ONLY get blood (or other protein based stains - ie, body fluids) out in cold water.

Heat cooks it in; changes the enzymes so it becomes 'set.'

smile

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Jase, I don't buy dry clean things either. I think the last time i dry cleaned anything was....um...actually, I have NEVER used a dry cleaner. lol. Truth. smile

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Jase - are you sure? Wikipiedia says about dry cleaning -

"Dry cleaning is any cleaning process for clothing and textiles using an organic solvent rather than water. The solvent used is typically tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), abbreviated "perc" in the industry and "dry-cleaning fluid" by the public. Dry cleaning is necessary for cleaning items which would otherwise be damaged by water and soap or detergent. It may be used if hand washing� needed for some delicate fabrics � is excessively laborious."

The things I dry clean are things that water would damage ...


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I only know what I know from a cleaner friend of the family. He said they used water as part of the process and pressure. They told me to save my money and hand wash with woolite and air dry. Of course you really cannot do that with suit jackets.

Maybe i was told wrong or they were telling me how to clean something other than dry clean only.


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Could you ask him again and find out if he really meant they did dry cleaning with water - or if he meant with a water-like liquid? Solvents were originally kerosene and are now a less flammable version, but they shouldn't be water ...?


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