Washing Machine Temperature Guide

Have you ever taken a good look at the front of your washing machine? Most of us all know the different wash cycles and the different timer settings but the other side of the dial is just as important.

The temperature plays a huge part in your washing cycle and if you wash clothes on the wrong temperature it can have a multitude of different effects. If you are having problems with your water temperature you may need to contact our washing machine repair technicians. But many people don’t like to adjust the temperature dial too much just because they’re afraid they could potentially damage their clothes.

That’s why the 30/40 °C wash is so common because it’s the safe middle ground for the majority of washing machines. But washing certain materials in certain temperatures can provide much better results and knowing which temperature to use is easy than you may think.

Below we’ve listed all the main temperatures and outlined the materials they work best with, knowing when to do a hot and cold wash can save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to your next wash cycle. With our helpful guide below, you can be sure that your next wash will always come out clean. However, please always check the care labels for instructions.

Infographic: Washing Machine Temperature Guide

Infographic: Washing Machine Temperature Guide

The 20°C Wash

This might not be an option on all washing machine’s as it’s a relatively new option, in the UK it was introduced as an energy saving option. Numerous comparisons have been performed and it shows that on average there is a 66% reduction in running costs, but while it certainly saves power and energy how does the lower temperature affect the cleaning performance?

Overall the 20°C wash offered very effective cleaning on delicate clothes like cotton or wool, however stubborn stains might take a couple of washes to wash out. Low-temperature washes can also cause a build-up of grease around your washing machine’s detergent drawer and the door so make sure they are regularly cleaned.

The 30°C Wash

The 30°C wash cycle can be thought of as an upgraded version of the lower 20°C cycle it is more effective on delicate materials like cotton, wool, and silk. However, it again can struggle on tougher stains and won’t perform as well on tougher materials. When combined with high-quality detergent this wash cycle can perform very well on a wide selection of different materials so it is one of the most common wash cycles used in the average household.

The 40°C Wash

The 40°C wash cycle is probably the most commonly used wash cycle in the average household, it can be used on a wide selection of different materials including tougher, hardier ones. A great selection of materials can be washed effectively on this cycle including many day to day goods.

Cotton, linen, polyester, wool and much more can all be thoroughly washed. The 40°C wash cycle is the most balanced and probably the best all-round cycle however if you want to save energy and have lower running costs then the colder wash cycles are the better option.

The 50°C Wash

The 50°C wash cycle can give you that extra kick you need for more difficult and stubborn stains, it’s perfectly suitable for a large range of materials especially tougher ones like thick linen, polyester, wool, and nylon. It’s very similar to the 40°C wash cycle but can be useful when you need a little bit of extra power.

The 60°C Wash

The 60°C wash cycle is generally the maximum temperature for many washing machines, although some can go higher. But what does it do differently? Well since it’s a hotter wash it is ideal for getting rid of the toughest stains like oil or grease.

It is also the best wash cycle to use for items like towels, underwear or bedding, however, while the 60°C wash cycle is good for getting rid of tough stains it is very costly to run and takes a lot of energy. Delicate materials should never be put into a 60°C wash cycle and you should also avoid coloured materials if possible because the heat can cause colours to run.

One commonly believed benefit of the 60°C wash cycle is that the heat kills bacteria, while this can happen many viruses and bacteria are highly resistant to heat. So, in the majority of cases, it will be the washing detergent that kills the bacteria, not the washing cycle.

Higher Cycles

There is one other wash cycle that your washing machine might have namely the 90°C wash. This is only really suitable for a very select group of clothes. Like white cotton and linens, the 90 °C will be very similar to the 60°C wash cycle when it comes to killing bacteria.

So, unless you’re cleaning white cotton or linen then there’s no real reason to use the 90°C wash when the 60°C cycle will do the job. Not all washers will have this cycle available due to the stronger push for more eco-friendly devices.

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