The washing machine is an essential appliance in our households to keep our laundry clean and fresh. While we use it regularly to wash our clothes, bed linen, towels, etc.. Combining efficiency and economy. In fact, most people almost instinctively orient to the 104 °F program, which is perceived as a kind of universal temperature, ideal for all types of laundry. In reality, it’s a bad idea that can hurt your wallet. In the ranking of the most energy-intensive appliances in the home, the washing machine is certainly far behind, but with rising energy costs, it is necessary to pay close attention to the factors that affect energy consumption in the home. Washing clothes at 104 °F is one of them. Why and how? Let’s take a look at it together.

Why should you stop washing your clothes at 104 °F?

Washing clothes at 104 °F, as the average French person does, is often considered a good compromise between washing efficiency and reasonable electricity consumption. It’s a bad calculation. In fact, the energy consumption of your washing machine can practically double if you choose this temperature, while with another program, available on most washing machine models, you can achieve the same result with less consumption in dollars.

Why washing at 104°F is a bad idea?

Washing clothes at this temperature is not necessary to get clean and shiny clothes. It turns out that newer washing machine models have energy-efficient programs that allow them to be efficient at low temperatures. In addition, several manufacturers now offer active detergents starting at 70 °F. But beyond that, two other arguments should be able to convince you to give up washing at 104°F: On the one hand, it’s energy saving , on the other hand, it’s protecting the planet. You may not know it but lowering the washing temperature by 50°F can make a significant difference.

Is it different to wash your clothes at a temperature of 104°F instead of 86°F?

For your wallet, yes! Keep in mind that most of the energy used during a machine wash is used to heat the water. Consequently, reducing the temperature by 104 to 86°F means reducing your energy consumption. However, the most surprising thing is that the result remains the same for your clothes, especially for everyday clothes. Except for certain types of laundry, the 86°F program is suitable for almost everything and will satisfy you.Lowering the temperature is also an ecological gesture.

Why is washing clothes at 86° green?

According to an awareness campaign carried out in March 2021 by the detergent brand Ariel, entitled “Every degree counts” and whose aim was to promote the effectiveness of cold washing, if every French household systematically opted for the program at 86°, it would save as much energy as the consumption of the city of Nantes or even the equivalent of the carbon footprint of two million cars if the operation were carried out at European level. By this is meant that the production of a machine at low temperature benefits the environment by reducing CO2 emissions, which helps protect our planet by reducing the negative impact of global warming on our ecosystem.

Making a machine may seem like a trivial activity that could be summed up in a few quick gestures, such as opening the door of the washing machine, piling everything you want to wash into the drum, adding detergent, closing it and starting the program. But as we all know, it is not so simple. This task raises many questions for many people. Let’s take a look at the most common ones.

Can colors be mixed at 86 °F?

Yes, you can, but under certain conditions. If you choose the program at 86°F, you can save yourself the hassle of sorting laundry. Of course, by taking care to separate your clothes from tea towels, hand towels and other laundry made of sturdy fabrics, which are generally more soiled and stained and therefore need to be washed at high temperatures, especially to eliminate bacteria. In addition, when washing at low temperature, the fibers of the clothes are less damaged, the colors do not bleed or become dull. Therefore, they are better preserved. However, you can never be too careful. For example, washing a white garment between colored garments, especially if they are new and you are washing them for the first time, is clearly not a very good idea.

What laundry to wash at 104 °F?

As mentioned above, you can wash your everyday clothes in cotton, wool, linen, etc. at 86°F instead of 104 °F and achieve the same result in terms of cleanliness. However, for textiles with direct body contact, such as underwear and bath towels, the 104 °F program is sometimes recommended.

At what temperature should sheets be washed?

When washing sheets, the right temperature depends on a few important factors, namely:

Material of the sheets: cotton sheets can be washed at higher temperatures, up to 140 °F, while more delicate materials such as silk should be washed at lower temperatures.

Washing frequency: a washing temperature of 104°F is recommended for a weekly washing frequency. This will help maintain the quality of the sheets over washes. However, if you choose to machine wash every two weeks, the soiling level of the sheets and the presence of microbes may require a temperature between 140°F and 195°F, especially for white sheets.

At what temperature does a garment shrink?

In most cases, clothes shrink at temperatures above 140 °F, but this can vary depending on the fabric and type of fibers used. To ensure your garments are preserved , follow the washing and care instructions on the garment label. These may recommend specific washing temperatures and drying methods to prevent shrinkage. The benefits of lowering the temperature of your washing machine may seem minimal, but compared to the number of machines you use per year, the savings in energy and money are immediate, in addition to the satisfaction of doing something good deed for the planet.