However, there are a few exceptions. Some heavily soiled clothes or those with tough stains may benefit from a hot water wash. If you’re dealing with a persistent stain or dirt on a colored item, you may want to try treating the stain directly before washing, rather than washing the whole garment in hot water.
Always check the care label on the clothing item for the manufacturer’s recommended washing temperature. If in doubt, it’s usually safer to wash in cold water to prevent color bleeding or fading. Cold water is also more energy-efficient than hot water, making it a more eco-friendly choice.
FAQs washing colors in hot water
Can hot water damage my colored clothes?
Yes, hot water can cause colors to fade and bleed, and certain fabrics may shrink or become misshapen. It’s generally safer to wash colored clothes in cold or warm water.
What should I do if the care label recommends hot water but I’m worried about the color bleeding?
If you’re concerned, do a spot test: dampen a small, hidden area of the garment, place a white cloth on it, and apply heat (like from an iron). If color transfers to the cloth, it’s likely to bleed in hot water.
What if my colored clothes are heavily stained?
If colored clothes are heavily stained, consider pre-treating the stains before washing. You can also use a warm water wash if the care label allows for it.
Is it more energy-efficient to wash clothes in cold water?
Yes, washing clothes in cold water is more energy-efficient than using hot water, and it’s generally just as effective for cleaning clothes.
What’s the best detergent to use for colored clothes?
There are many detergents on the market designed specifically for colored clothes. These products are formulated to help prevent color fading and bleeding. Check the labels to find a product that suits your needs.
When should I use hot water for washing clothes?
Hot water is typically used for heavily soiled clothes or for whites. It’s also used for items that need to be sanitized, like towels and bed linens. However, always check the care label first.