Are you caught in a cycle of washing your clothes on hot because you think it’s more effective? If so, you may actually be doing your favorite T-shirt more harm than good — and wasting money.
Dirty Labs, a sustainable detergent brand, is here to get you up to speed on the benefits of cold-water washing. In a January Instagram post, the company shared a photo of a clothing care label that boasted the advantages of using cold water, including preserving garments and saving energy.
“Looking for an easy way to be more sustainable in your day-to-day life? Make sure you’re washing your clothes in cold water!” the company says in its caption. “Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s better for your garments as well.”
There are a ton of benefits to opting for cold water when doing laundry.
Hot water tends to shrink, fade, and wrinkle many fabrics, so a cold wash may actually extend the life of your garments and save you ironing time. Delicate fabrics like lace and silk, along with brightly colored pieces, actually do better in cold water.
And don’t be fooled by the myth that hot water is best for lifting stains — blood and sweat can actually set into fabric with hot water. Cold water, on the other hand, is effective at lifting a variety of stains, including grass and makeup.
Plus, using cold water will save you money by cutting energy use by 75% to 90% (yup, that’s how much energy your washer uses just to warm the water up). This energy conservation directly benefits the environment.
Other ways to save energy when doing your laundry include air drying garments and washing your clothes less frequently.
Using cold water has another environmental benefit — your clothing will be less likely to shed microfibers (also known as microplastics), which can eventually make their way into oceans and drinking water supplies. Each year, the average American and Canadian home releases 533 million microfibers into the water supply as a result of doing laundry.
There was nothing but support for Dirty Labs’ Instagram post.
“Been doing it for years!” one person comments. “Reduce, reuse, conserve.”
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