Most of us probably equate hot water to a deeper clean – after all, hot water kills germs, right?

While that may be true when you’re washing your hands (or other body parts), it turns out the logic doesn’t hold true for getting the grime, stink, and stains out of your dirty clothes. Back in the day, hot water was required to get the most out of your detergent, but now most manufacturers have created products that work as well in cold water (unless you’re using powder, which will require warm water to dissolve).

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And get this: it’s not only true that warm water doesn’t get your laundry any cleaner than cold, but there are several reasons that washing in cold water is actually the better way to go.

Better Stain Removal

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Some types of stains – like ones from blood, sweat, and other proteins – will only come out in cold water. Warm water will set them in further, and when it comes to keeping your colors bright and your fabrics the right size, cold water is also your friend.

It’s Environmentally Friendly

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90% of the energy used to power your washing machine is used to heat water, so using exclusively cold water saves hundreds of pounds of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

Wallet Friendly

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Switching to cold water could save your family more than $200/year, according to personal finance blog The Simple Dollar.


So, while you might be tempted to set the water to hot if you’ve got something particularly gross or smelly, just resist! Your clothes, bank account, and the environment will thank you!

h/t: Mental_Floss