How Water Temperature Affects Results

One of the most important factors in the results of a given load of laundry is the water temperature used. Temperature can affect every part of the washing process, along with several related factors that involve the energy needed to remove soil.

At Rhino Laundry & Commercial Dry Cleaning, our commercial laundry and dry cleaning equipment is engineered to provide the proper temperature and energy for all your loads. Here are some basics to know.

Forms of Energy

There are three basic forms of energy involved in a given washer:

  • Mechanical: Energy supplied by the washer’s washing action, and the washer’s wash time.
  • Chemical: From detergents, bleach and other additives that may be used.
  • Thermal: The temperature element, from the use of hot or warm water.

The right balance between these energies is vital to ensuring the proper cleaning process. Limiting one will mean another energy source needs to be increased, but these can have certain negative trickle-down effects.

Detergent Effectiveness

Warm water is important because it often increases the effectiveness of detergent. With higher temperatures, chemical reactions with detergent and other additives increase in speed. For every 18 degrees Fahrenheit added to the water temperature, the speed of these reactions doubles.

On the flip side, if water is too cold (below 65 Fahrenheit), little or no chemical reactions will even be taking place. This means no energy is coming from the detergent, and this energy has to come from other sources. Many detergents also won’t dissolve in cold water and may leave a powdery white residue on the clothes.

Recommended Temperatures

If you take hot water over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll likely find better results. Here are some basic tips for temperature uses:

  • Use water between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for most white fabrics and heavily soiled colored fabrics.
  • Use water between 80 and 105 degrees for most other clothes.
  • Use cold water (between 65 and 75 degrees) for very lightly soiled or bright clothes.
  • Cold water should never be below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use liquid detergent if washing in cold water.
  • For warm or cold water, add a non-chlorine bleach for heavily soiled items.
  • Always use a cold rinse – this helps save energy, and is just as efficient as a warm rinse.

Want to learn more about water temperatures, or interested in scheduling a commercial washer installation? Speak to the pros at Rhino Laundry & Commercial Dry Cleaning about any of our services.