Clean and crispy: the ideal temperature for washing white clothes has been named

Alina MilsentLifestyle
Life hacks for washing. Source: Created with the help of AI

When choosing a wash temperature, you should consider several nuances: from the type of fabric to the type of stain on your clothes. For example, polyester and other fabrics can shrink when washed in hot water, and a white linen shirt requires a different temperature than a white towel.

Considering these aspects, the first thing to do is to check the care label. After that, you should sort the laundry by fabric type and set the correct washing temperature. Experts tell you what the optimal temperature is for white clothes.

What is the optimal washing temperature

Generally, you use warm or hot water to wash white laundry, depending on the composition of the fabric. For stubborn stains, you will probably need hot water. However, the currently popular bio powders contain special enzymes that lose their effect at temperatures above 30 °C. For most items, lukewarm water should be enough to activate the detergent and remove dirt.

Hot water (90°C) is best for brightening white laundry without bleach but can cause some fabrics such as cotton, linen, or silk to shrink.

Scientist Sammy Wang has a simple explanation for this: "During the manufacturing process, fabrics and clothing are stressed and stretched, and during washing, shrinkage occurs because the fibers are trying to return to their original state."

You can use hot water to remove stubborn stains – if the fabric composition allows it. An example would be a kitchen towel stained with oil or a pair of socks covered with sweat and dirt. High temperatures will help kill bacteria and viruses and get rid of most stains. Warm water (about 40 °C) is suitable for medium-soiled items. This option is safer for the fabric and less likely to cause shrinkage than hot water.

If you want to wash a white silk shirt or other delicate clothes stained with wine, lipstick, or grease, it is better to pre-treat the stains with a product designed for delicate fabrics. After that, select a gentle cycle and set the water temperature according to the instructions on the care label. Use a mild detergent and avoid bleach or other harsh chemicals that can damage the fibers.

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