Warm water cleans well and doesn’t damage things too much. It works well on strong synthetics, cotton, and things that are only lightly stained (for heavily soiled items, use hot water).
Valiente says that a common mistake is to think that you have to run everything under hot water to clean it. She says that you shouldn’t wash clothes in warm or hot water unless they are very dirty. “Use just cold water. Over time, warm water breaks down clothes and elastic.” Where should warm water be kept? The expert says not to use towels, clothes that shrink, or workout clothes that smell even after being washed in cold water.
Laundry that is washed in warm water is better for the environment. When fabric is washed in hot water, small pieces of plastic fall off of it, contaminating the microfibers. These tiny fibers get past water filters and end up in the oceans and in the water we drink. The tiny particles look like food to the aquatic organisms, so they eat them. At that time, the natural eco-system as a whole is in danger.
Most people now agree that washing clothes with cold water is better than washing them with hot water. Most people copy their parents’ cleaning habits, which their parents probably learned from their parents. However, it may be time to rethink the rules you were taught.
Wool and silk are not as strong as synthetic fibers, so hot water can damage their structure and shorten the number of times they can be washed. Also, dark-colored clothes or linens can lose their color when washed in hot water, so cold water is best to keep the color true. Protein-based stains also need to be washed in cold water to help get rid of the discoloration.