Cold Water Can Be Too Cold to Get Clothes Clean

While waiting in a commercial establishment, I perused an old Martha Stewart Living magazine, might have been the Sept. 08 issue. She indicated that a cold water laundry wash in the very cold winter may be too cold for the detergent to function properly (even detergent specifically made for cold water) because the water is too cold. Thought I'd share this info. Actual temperatures were mentioned in the article if anyone needs further information.


Source: Martha Stewart Living Magazine

By Holly from Richardson, TX

February 20, 20090 found this helpful

I avoid cold water washing because I have had to have outlet pipes replaced. They were completely bunged up with washing powder. To avoid this the repair man said that you have to wash very hot loads now and then.

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February 20, 20090 found this helpful

Hi there,

Just curious if the article mentioned whether this only applies to powdered detergent?

I've been washing in cold only for 20+ years, but switched to liquid many years ago. I used to noticed white powdery marks on my clothes (especially dark/black), so I could see how that might clog up pipes and not properly wash the clothes.


Sutton, QC

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April 18, 20090 found this helpful

Powder isn't generally good for your pipes or septic system as it contains tons of clay. The only exception I've found is Charlie's Soap. You only use 2 TBS per large load and it gets things super clean! It does not contain Clay and is an all natural cleaner. the only problem, is if you have very hard water it may not work as well or cause build-up in cloth diapers. If you have normal or minimally hard water is a great detergent for everything!

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