Can you wash towels in cold water

One of the frequent questions that most of the house women have is, can we wash towels in cold water? We use towels to clean our face and our body parts, to perform this we have a special type of towel. Apart from that we also make use of towels for cleaning surfaces, wiping our hands and so on.

Wide uses of it make it more prone to bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. If you don’t wash it properly, it can cause infections and other health related illnesses. Therefore, it is crucial to follow the right washing and maintenance technique in order to maintain the hygiene and longevity of towels.

In this article, we are going to investigate whether we can wash the towel with cold water or not? If yes, then what are the things we need to keep in mind to get an excellent result. And in what situation we can go for cold water laundry.

What is the science behind washing?

Care for towels

You might think washing a towel is all about just taking water, adding some detergent and starting washing it or you might use the washing machine and add the same things. But, washing is actually a complex process which involves several physical and chemical mechanisms. The detergent that you use plays a crucial role during the washing process.

The detergent contains the surfactants, which are molecules that have both hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties. During the washing process, the hydrophobic end of the surfactant molecule attaches to the dirt or grease, while the hydrophilic end attaches to the water. Which helps break down the dirt, grease and other contaminants and suspends them in water to be washed away.

Here, The effectiveness of detergent totally depends on factors such as type and amount of detergent used, the hardness of the water, and the temperature of the water.

Talking about the temperature, hot water helps dissolve more dirt as compared to cold water. Which makes it easier to remove external dirt agents from your clothes.  

However, with hot water there are more chances that it may damage certain fabrics and may cause them to shrink or fade. Therefore, it is crucial to use the right temperature for each of the garments you wash. Doing laundry with cold water and detergent are specially formulated with enzymes and surfactants that work well in temperatures reach as low as 60°F.

Pros and cons of using cold water while laundry

Using cold water while washing has many disadvantages and advantages. Therefore, when making any final decision do look at its pros and cons.

Pros :

  • Washing a towel with cold water can help you save energy bills and carbon footprint, as it can save up to 75% of energy.
  • Cold water is gentle on towel fabrics as compared to hot water. As a result it can prevent the damage such as shrinkage, fading, and damage to the fibers
  • Some of the detergent uses work efficiently in cold water, which eliminates the need for pre-treatment or adding any additional rinses.

Cons : 

  • When it comes to removing the nasty stains and bacteria the cold water is not that effective as compared to hot water. If your towel is heavily soiled or has been exposed to bacteria, try to use hot water instead of cold water.
  • It may increase the laundry expense, as while washing it with cold water you may need to put in more detergent to get the significant results.
  • Cold water laundry may take longer drying time which makes it inconvenient especially if you have less time to wash your things.

When to use Warm or hot water?

People always have trouble when it comes to choosing the right temperature for the cleaning. As one needs to keep in mind several factors such as the type of stains or contaminants, the level of soiling, and the manufacturer’s instructions. Here is a simple guide that can help you decide. 

  • If your clothes get dirty using blood, sweat, and oil stains, it can be difficult to remove them with cold water. Therefore, it is recommended to wash it with a warm towel. Apart from that, if the towel gets exposed to bacteria or germs, then also go for hot water.
  • If your towel gets heavily soiled or it is used for cleaning surfaces then washing them in hot water can significantly help remove the dirt and grime. Similarly, if the towel is lightly soiled or used for drying the body, wash it with warm water to remove dirt and sweat.
  • Lastly, certain towel have a special instruction, that one need to follow while washing or drying. Follow them to avoid any damage. Also, different fabrics required different washing temperatures. For example, terry cloth towels should be washed in hot water to ensure that they are completely sanitized, whereas the microfiber towels can be washed in warm water.

Towel drying guide

Towel drying guide

To increase the lifespan and durability of your towel, you need to follow some of the measures. Here are some of the things that you need to keep in mind after washing your towel while putting it to dry:

  • Shake towel before drying : By shaking in air before putting them to dry will help you to fluff up the fibers and will remove extra water from it.
  • Avoid overloading dryer : If you are using the dryer then avoid overloading it. If you have more towels, dry some of them first, then go for others. Also use a low heat setting to avoid damage.
  • Properly remove dry towel : While using the dryer, don’t keep the towel inside it for a longer time, this can damage the towel properties.

Final Takeaway

Yes, you can wash towels in cold water. In fact, washing towels with low temperature water is a great way to keep them soft, ocean, and fluffy. Also, it is energy-efficient and it is a great way to maintain the quality of the towel.

However it is important to use the right amount of detergent, use the detergent that is specifically formulated to use it with the cold water. plus one should also use the correct water temperature based on the type of dirt one wants to remove from the towel. 

Finally, if you are using the special kind of towel, then it will come with the instruction manual which will guide you on cleaning and drying.

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