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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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