For those who wash their clothes in cold water --a question?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by chicken, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. chicken

    chicken Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    511
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Do you wash all your clothes in cold water, even the whites and light colors? I am thinking our well water in winter is way to cold to possibly get the whites presentable or do you even have trouble with that. I guess I think back to our ancestors who boiled water to get the whites presentable and I find it hard to think that cold water will cut it. Guess I could just try it but was wondering if others here have a problem with it or not.
     
  2. Charleen

    Charleen www.HarperHillFarm.com Supporter

    Messages:
    3,087
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    Western NY
    Our whites are considered off-whites :rolleyes: and it's not because of water temp. We have a lot of lime & rust in our water so washing at a higher temp is moot. I really think that soap and agitation have more to do with it than temp.
     

  3. hmsteader71

    hmsteader71 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    We are on city water and I don't exactly like it but can't change it either. I do all my clothes in cold water. I do occasionally notice a dinginess about them but it's usually after several washings. I use Purex and it works well. I noticed Cold Water Tide at Wal-Mart and about passed out at the price-$17.00.
     
  4. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,398
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    We gave up on cold water wash. Yes, it saves a little on the energy bill, but we wound up using WAY more detergent and using a harsher wash cycle, which wears the clothes out faster. We figure it is cheaper just to stick with warm.
     
  5. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Southwestern PA
    I started washing all our clothes in cold a few years ago (after one too many shrinking incidents with tempermental washing machines), and they seem fine to me--but maybe I just don't know what I'm missing! If the white things have a specific stain, like ring around the collar or whatever, I pre-treat it with one of those Oxy products, and it seems to work fine. I will admit that the soles of our "white" socks are never really white after the first wear (they turn positively tan over time), but I blame that more on dirty floors and 3 dogs than on the washer. I certainly don't bother with pre-treating socks!
     
  6. Clifford

    Clifford Love it, or leave it...

    Messages:
    402
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wausau, Wisconsin
    I use a homemade laundry detergent and wash all the colored clothes in cold. I do use hot water to keep the whites - white. I figure I'm way ahead as the my laundry detergent costs about 75 cents a gallon as opposed to the $5 - $6 a gallon store bought, and it works just as good if not better. It keeps the whites clean too.

    If anyone would like the recipe, just ask and I can post it.
     
  7. Mama McJack

    Mama McJack happy homekeeper

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Location:
    Montana
    I prefer powdered laundry detergent and have found that it doesn't always dissolve well in a cold-water wash. Besides that, I am washing cloth diapers and definitely plan to continue using hot water for those. I usually do warm...soap dissolves and most things get clean. I would like to do cold water washing for the money savings, but it just doesn't work for me.
     
  8. mtmama

    mtmama Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    304
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Location:
    Montana
    I only use hot water for my whites- the socks just don't come clean in cold even with bleach. I use cold water for all the rest of the clothes, and they come out clean. I only use liquid detergent. We have well water, and I use Xtra brand detergent.
     
  9. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    24,572
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MS
    I use cold for clothing and hot for bed linens, underwear and towels.
     
  10. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,528
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alaska
    I wash dark colors and reds in cold water IF they are not really dirty. Dirty work clothes, even if they are dark, get washed in warm water. Whites all get washed in hot with some bleach (undies, socks). Light clothes might get washed in cold or warm. Undies, diapers and other things that might harbor some germs really need an additional boost. I'm not sure that just hot water will kill some of those germs.
     
  11. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    19,807
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003

    Yes, please, I'd like the recipe. :)

    I have switched to liquid detergent because the powder doesn't dissolve well in cold, and because my furnace is in the laundry room (poor planning on the former owner's part). The dust from the dryer and powdered laundry soap are not good for the furnace, I learned. I cut down on the dust when I can -- even moved the cat boxes away from the furnace.

    Pony!
     
  12. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,961
    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Fl Zones 11
    A little ammonia in the wash water helps too. That was on an earlier thread about whites laundry. Don't remember if we were discussing homemade versus bought, cold vs warm or top vs front- but I did remember the ammonia! :)
     
  13. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    292
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Location:
    Meade Co Kentucky
    This product (iron out) works great for well water that makes whites look dingy. Cold or hot water makes no difference.

    http://www.ironout.com/
     
  14. COUNTRY WISHES

    COUNTRY WISHES Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,268
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Location:
    NW NJ's lakeland hills
    Just be sure not to mix bleach with the ammonia!

    I like to use the Oxyclean products I find they work very well on stains and do boost my detergent by helping it to create more suds in hot or cold water. I do not use bleach very often but I did read on the Oxyclean bottle that it is a no-no to mix this product with bleach as well.

    Mostly I use cold water for everything but underwear, bedding or towels. I like to know that they are disinfected. I also have a dust allergy so it is important for me to kill any dust mites on my bedding as well.
     
  15. fishtrap3

    fishtrap3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    165
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I would also like your homemade recipe...
     
  16. floramum

    floramum Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    258
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Location:
    SW FL
    Since I Moved I Dont Have The Option Of Warm/hot Water For The Washing Machine. I Use Storebought Liquid Detergent And Add About 1/2 Cup Of Dishwasher Powder Detergent. Use Bleach On Whites. Haven't Got The Formula Down Pat Tho, Some Of My Every Day Whites Get Stained......wear White A Lot Down Here In Fla.

    Would Like That Formula Too, If It Works In Cold Water.

    Thanks - Mum
     
  17. Clifford

    Clifford Love it, or leave it...

    Messages:
    402
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wausau, Wisconsin
    LAUNDRY SOAP

    Grate 1 regular size bar of Fels-Naptha soap (or one bath size bar of Ivory if you can’t find Fels-Naptha) into a pan, fill with warm tap water and heat on the stove stirring occasionally until the soap melts. Do not let it boil.

    Then add about a gallon of very hot tap water and 2 cups of washing soda to a 5 gallon bucket (with lid) and stir it well. Then add ½ cup of Borax and stir well.

    Next, pour in the melted soap mixture, again stirring well, and fill the bucket with hot tap water. Stir well again, then occasionally stir it as it cools.

    Let it sit overnight before using and stir it each time before use. Use 1 cup for each load.

    It works better than any purchased detergent and is considerably less expensive. You can add a bit of essential oil for fragrance if you desire.


    (Washing soda is manufactured by Arm & Hammer and is in the laundry Isle at the Grocery store. Borax is under the name 20 Mule Team Borax in the same isle. Fels-Naptha is carried by most store chains in the bar soap, or laundry section).

    This works great for me and my family. Costs about $3.00 for 5 gallons of detergent.
     
  18. halfpint

    halfpint Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,585
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    Alabama
    My recipe is similar to Cliffords, only I use about 1 cup each of the borax and washing soda for a 5 gallon bucket. I also use my homemade plain soap (just lye, lard and water) grated up.

    When I'm going to make laundry detergent, I usually grate the soap the night before and add hot water to it and let it sit overnight. Then it only takes a few minutes to dissolve when I put it on the stove.

    Dawn