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Water Temperature


You may choose cold water washing for any number of reasons, but remember to consult the care label on garments.

This information is designed to help you get good results from washing in cold water and explain the energy system involved in washing clothes.

Why does water temperature matter?

Successful laundering requires three forms of energy in the right balance to effectively remove soil from fabrics.

  1. Thermal Energy - supplied in the form of hot or warm water;
  2. Mechanical Energy - supplied by the machine's agitation action;
  3. Chemical Energy - supplied by the laundry detergent. If energy is reduced in any one of the three, (either by decreasing the water temperature, the amount of detergent or the amount of agitation) then in order to achieve the same level of cleaning performance, one of the other energy inputs must be increased to restore the balance to the total washing system.

What is the best temperature to achieve optimal cleaning?

The choice of hot, warm or cold water for a given wash load depends upon a number of factors including;

  • The amount and type of soil
  • Type of fabric
  • Colourfastness
  • Advice provided on the garment care label

What detergent should I use?

All laundry detergents can be used in cold, warm or hot water. However, the effectiveness of laundry detergents is reduced as water temperature decreases (even for those products labelled as specialist 'cold water' products).

Cold water brands differ from other brands in that they do not contain ingredients designed to give optimum results in warm water.