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Laundry -- hot, warm, or cold?

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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-11 06:33 PM
Original message
Laundry -- hot, warm, or cold?
I'd like to hear other opinions. There is a long-standing, ongoing debate in my household. I truly believe that doing laundry in hot or warm water (as appropriate to the type of fabric, of course) results in cleaner laundry that appears brighter/more vibrant when finished. Others in my household disagree and seem to feel that cold water is ok for all types of laundry.

I also feel that for certain types of laundry, such as towels and underwear, hot water is more sanitary, especially if line/air drying where there isn't the heat of a dryer to kill bacteria.

Finally, one other laundry issue/question -- do you feel that dryer fabric softener sheets can be reused for a second go-around. I do -- I think they are fine to use for a second load -- I generally use two used ones in place of one fresh new sheet, since I figure only some of the softener product is retained in the sheet after it's first trip through the dryer.

What do you think of these issues?
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-11 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. I wash based on what the tags say.
And, all of my darks get washed in cold, regardless. I think hot water fades the color. Towels get washed in warm water. Underwear gets cold, because that is what the tags call for. As for bacteria, the soap kills most of it off. And, some bacteria breed more rapidly at warmer temperatures, BTW.

I don't use dryer sheets. If I use any fabric softener, it's usually some white vinegar I put in a Downy ball at the start of the wash (to be dispensed during the rinse cycle). It's more environmentally-friendly, and no nasty,stinky perfumes to burn my sinuses. No vinegar scent in the end, either. And, unlike synthetic fabric softeners, it doesn't hinder the absorptive ability of towels.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-11 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. +1 n/t
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lizziegrace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-06-11 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. +2 n/t
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-11 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I have a question about the vinegar.
The only reason I use a fabric softener at all is so that everything that I take out of the dryer does not stick together with static electricity. Does the vinegar prevent this? I was so sick of two weeks later having socks that are full of static, so I started to use softener. I don't use dryer sheets, but put a softener in the rinse water. I love the idea of using vinegar, especially with the towels, but don't think that is will solve my problem.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-11 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I never noticed any static problems.
You could always try it out. It only takes a half a cup on the rinse cycle. And, white vinegar is really cheap.
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lizziegrace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-06-11 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. Fabric softener sheets caused the dryer drum to become 'tacky'
and if I dry dark denim, the color sticks. Next load ends up with blue streaks which will NOT come out. I can't afford a new dryer or even a new drum, so medium and light colors are air dried on racks in the dining room in the winter and on the clothesline in the summer.

I tried a magic eraser and it budged some of the blue from the drum, but my shoulder couldn't take the scrubbing it would require.

When I replace the dryer some day, I won't ever use dryer sheets.
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northoftheborder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
7. laundry issues
I wash most things on warm, w/cold rinse, including towels. (If someone has been sick I might wash towels and sheets separately on hot.) I think oily stains, and other soil come out better with warm water. I wash all my kitchen towels and cloths together and use hot, to disinfect, plus bleach sometimes. Underwear, warm or cold, as it is all lingerie, and would be ruined in hot water. I don't use softener, as my water isn't particularly hard. I use dryer sheets only if I have some things that are nylon or other synthetic, just once. Items which have a "cold" wash only I wash by hand.
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
8. warm wash, cold rinse
Edited on Tue Mar-08-11 12:06 PM by trud
Warm wash, cold rinse is what I do. I tried vinegar instead of fabric softener, but after awhile it got intolerable. I use Downy Free fabric softener (and All Free detergent), so no perfumes.

(I don't particularly care if my laundry is vibrant. Clean is good enough for me :-) Hot water would trash my underwear, I'm sure.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
9. I'm conflicted.
I'm used to cold or warm water and drying the clothes on racks inside.

But I also use laundromats and there has been an issue of bedbugs spread by the public machines. One recommendation to lessen the possibility of bringing home a future infestation is to wash in hot water and dry on the hottest settings. As we can mostly agree, hot water is not recommended for all clothes, color or fabric-wise. And dryers in my neck of the woods are 6 minutes for a quarter, another $2 added to the tab.

I could inspect each inch of clothing, inside and out, but I'm worried I'll miss eggs or nits. (They're very small.)

I'll take any advice you may have.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. as Stephanie Miller would suggest
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Wow, thanks!
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