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Water temperature

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

Does water temperature matter?

Clothes hanging on washing line

This information is designed to help you get good results from washing in cold water and offer advice on the best temperature ranges for washing certain garments.

You can choose cold water washing for many reasons, but remember to consult the care label on garments. Successful laundering requires three forms of energy in the right balance to remove soil from fabrics efficiently.

  • Thermal energy supplied in the form water temperature
  • Mechanical energy supplied by the machine's agitation action
  • Chemical energy supplied by the laundry detergent
  • If energy is reduced in any one of the three, then to achieve the same level of cleaning performance, one of the other energy inputs can be increased to restore the balance.

What is the best temperature for 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 on the garment care label.

Before washing any garment and selecting the wash temperature read the garment care label. As a general rule, hot water (60°C) may be used for white and colourfast fabrics, warm (30°C-40°C) for man-made fibres (synthetics, rayons), while cold water is recommended for dark or bright colours that 'bleed' and permanent press fabrics. 

In the case of heavily soiled articles, if it is suitable for the garment (consult the care label), warm-hot water should be used. It may also be necessary to increase the amount of detergent used. Consider soaking heavily soiled items prior to washing. (A warm or hot wash at regular intervals will help keep the interior of your washing machine clean. Once every fifth wash should be enough.)

What detergent should I use?

Most laundry detergents can be used in cold, warm or hot water. Some will perform better at warmer temperatures. Others are formulated to perform well in cold water. Check the details on the pack for recommendations.

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