August 16, 2010

Wash Your Clothes With Cold Water

For as long as I can remember I've been washing my clothes with cold water.  People seem to think that you "have to" wash your clothes with warm/hot water in order to get them clean.   I'm here to tell you that is not the case.   I've never had a problem getting the clothes clean with cold water.   If you disagree with me then try it out yourself.   Go ahead, I dare ya.

The reason to use cold water is that it saves energy.  About 90% of the energy used when washing clothes in a top load washer is to heat the hot water.   So if you wash your clothes in cold water you can cut your energy use by up to 90%.

The Seventh Generation company has a calculator thingy that will let you estimate how much you can save if you wash with cold versus hot/warm.    For me and my wife we only do 3 loads a week in our washer and we have electric hot water.  Their estimator says we save about $34.89 a year in electricity by washing our clothes in cold water.    A large family that does 10 loads a week could save $116 a year.    Of course the exact savings depends on the washer in question, the cost of your electricity and how often you wash clothes.


  1. Don't they say it's good to wash sheets in hot/warm water because of bed bugs?

  2. If you have any kind of pest problem then yes I think hot water would be a good idea for such things. I don't know much about bed bugs personally, we don't have that problem around here.


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