3 Tips for Cold Weather Laundry

Winter temperatures may be the cause of some of your laundry woes. If you live in an area with very cold weather, the water headed to your laundry machine is likely a much lower temperature than recommended for proper Laundry Powder performance during those cold winter months.

The water CAN be too cold in the winter

60 Degrees Fahrenheit. Cold water temperatures need to be at least 60 degrees to properly dissolve most laundry powders and detergents. Anything below 60 degrees F will cause your laundry cleaners to not fully dissolve, resulting in less than great cleaning.

60 degree temperatures or higher are necessary for proper performance of most laundry detergents and soaps. Yes, this includes pods, liquids, and powdered versions. Though the liquid detergents have already been mixed with water, in order for these detergents to become the properly saturated solution for your wash, they must incorporate fully with the water.

Temperatures under 60 degrees often lead to issues such as a lack of cleaning performance and residue or build-up on clothing.

Why is that?

If you’ve ever ventured into making your own lemonade, chances are that you discovered adding sugar directly to the water and lemon juice will, at first, leave a gritty textured lemonade. After a little time, if left long enough, the sugar and water will eventually become a tasty simple syrup. However, you can speed up the process significantly by adding heat to the water and sugar mixture.

This is because most solids become more soluble with increasing temperature. This means they dissolve better when it’s warmer.The added heat increases the molecular movement, adding friction which dissolves the solid and liquid particles better.

Fortunately, our Laundry Powder will dissolve fairly quickly in cold water. However, once water temperatures dip below that 60 degree mark, all powder and liquid laundry products take much longer to dissolve and may not have completely dissolved in time to properly wash your clothes.

“Cold” and “Tap Cold” are  Different!

Most modern machines' "Cold" wash cycles use a mixture of hot and cold water to gain an ideal temperature for each setting. For the “Cold” setting, that is usually set no lower than 60 degrees F. However, during very cold seasons, the water may not warm up quickly enough.

We tested a cold water setting in January (in Colorado) and found that it dipped below that ideal 60 degree temperature.

Cold Water Setting Temperature Display 58.6 degrees F

"Tap Cold", on the other hand, will not adjust the water temperature. Instead, “tap cold” will fill your machine with water straight from the water pipes in your home. During the cold winter months, this might mean a dip below that ideal 60 degree water temperature.

We tested the "Tap Cold" setting and found that the tap water was 54 degrees in winter.

Tap Cold Temperature Reading 54.3 Degrees F

If it’s really cold, use “Warm” or “Semi-Warm”

If you live in a very cold location, we suggest you change your water setting to warm or semi-warm during those more frigid months. While slightly more energy-intensive, these settings will help to raise the water temperature to the recommended 60 degrees (or above).You may have to test which one works best for you on the chilliest of winter days.

This is usually a short term fix and shouldn’t have a large impact on any overall goals in reducing energy in the long run, and should have a lower overall impact than having to run multiple wash cycles with very cold water.

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