It depends on what you are washing. If I am washing white clothes (usually underwear, tee shirts, bras, panties, etc, I use hot. Also, hot for wash clothes and towels (for both kitchen and bath). For fadable colored clothes and permanenent press, I use cold. Sheets and pillowcases (bedding), I use hot. Manufacturers say modern detergents doesn`t require hot water, but I like knowing (especially) personal articles are washed in hot water. Never wash anything that will shrink in hot. If in doubt, use cold.
I use cold water, it saves on energy and the pocket book. It also prevents the colours from running and don’t forget the decals on a lot of T shirts. . It does not set stains like hot water does, and it does not shrink wools or other clothes. If you have a good brand of laundry detergent and a stain remover and can bleach the whites if needed, then one does not really need the hot water for the wash. I also hang the wash outside to dry, that saves on the $$ too and makes the laundry smell so fresh.
Some of your answers are a bit out…. Hot water does not shrink cotton. Many washing machines are cold fill only, but if you select a warm wash the machine will heat its own water. Washing in cold water will work as modern detergents are better, but you will not get things as clean as you would at 30 or 40 degrees. And we are not talking about killing germs here – to kill all germs you would need to wash in boiling water for a lengthy period. Which would wreck most fabrics.
Lot of argument about that. Hot water kills more germs; I use it (and bleach) for towels, napkins, rags, handkerchiefs, and underpants. (But if you’re going to do that, you might as well start with white towels, because that’s pretty much what you end up with). Since I don’t use paper napkins or towels, I have a fair amount of really dirty white stuff to wash.
I think (with no reason whatsoever; it’s just one of those prejudices) that warm water works a little better than cold on the dirt, but I’m moving more and more to using cold on colored things, especially dark or delicate ones.
After all, we wash our clothes, for the most part, before they’re really dirty, so we don’t need extreme measures.
They get just as clean in cold as they do in warm or hot. I have always used cold water. The hot water hose has never been hooked up. Besides, it’s cheaper to use cold.
If you get a stain on your clothes, definitely DO NOT use hot or warm water on them or they’ll be pretty much ruined for a while.
Cold water uses less energy, and keeps your colors from running
Cold-Lowers your water bill by $73 a year.