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Better way to wash clothes? Is the cold cycle better than the hot cycle?

Posted at 10:10 AM, Jul 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-07 10:10:32-04

It's one of the basic rules of laundry. The hotter the water the cleaner the clothes.

The reason:  your detergent.

Historically detergents needed the hotter water to be more effective.

But Consumer Reports experts say that rule no longer exists.

Now there are detergents formulated to work better in cold water.

In fact, Consumer Reports says the cold cycle is more effective at cleaning your clothes and removing stains.

If the water hits higher than 75 degrees the detergents become less effective. And the heat may help stains dig deeper into your clothes. The hot water can also damage some fabrics.

Here's when you should use hot water:

If you have to sanitize your clothes.

Because of illness -- bugs -- or if your baby wears reusable diapers. Even then the hot cycle may not be enough.

Use bleach if you need to sanitize or place those items in boiling water. You can also use your iron to kill germs.

So, happy washing on the cold cycle.

Consumer Reports says if you use decent detergent and have a machine that's working well your clothes will get cleaned.