What’s Hot, ( and What’s Not)!

Photo by Dan Taylor

So it’s Friday night.

Another long week just bit the proverbial dust, and I know that what you absolutely want to talk about right now is washing machine settings.

Have no fear. If you’d rather curl up with a movie or spend time with your family, (gasp!), this handy guide will be here when you’re ready.

To truly master the beast that is the weekly laundry, it is important to understand water temperatures and their effects on your clothing. Below is a quick reference for the three main temperature choices. About as exciting to read as a VCR manual, this post exists for your future reference.

Cold: Use the “cold water” setting to wash mildly-soiled clothing, new clothing, dark clothing, or items that may be prone to bleed or fade, (think new towels and brights). Items that may shrink–including those made with wool–should also be washed with cold water.

Warm: Not remarkably different from the “cold water” standard, use the “warm water” setting to wash moderately-soiled items that are light-colored, bleed-prone, and permanent press.

Hot: Use the “hot water” setting for whites. Your lightest load gets the hottest setting. Also use hot water for items that are heavily soiled, (think muddy, grass-stained, soccer-worthy). It is important to remember to scrub out stains on clothing before tossing them into the hot water. Hot water “retains”–and can actually harm a stained piece of fabric.

Despite this handy run-down, it is important that you consult the special care labels on anything you wash. Also note that cold and warm water is generally better on your budget.

Now. Go enjoy that movie.

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