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Washing laundry: 5 tips for temperature and cleanliness

The hotter the water, the cleaner the clothes? If you want to wash laundry effectively, you should not necessarily heed this rule of thumb, as it leads to high energy costs. These five tips tell you when you should wash really hot and how you can get your laundry clean even at low temperatures.

Doing laundry is really not rocket science – one would think so. But many feel insecure, quickly resort to additional chemicals and wash as hot as possible. This raises the question: is the laundry really only clean and germ-free at a high temperature? The simple answer: no. You can find out here when it is really necessary to wash warmly and under what circumstances low water temperatures are sufficient.


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Hot or cold?

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Even at 30 or 40 degrees, the laundry is nice and clean.

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In private households with healthy residents, washing clothes at 90 degrees is actually completely unnecessary thanks to modern detergents, since today’s gels and powders sufficiently reduce germs even at low temperatures. In general, normally soiled laundry should therefore be washed at 30 or 40 degrees. Exception: If there is a contagious virus in your family, the bedding and clothing of the sick person should be washed separately at 60 degrees to kill all bacteria and viruses. The same applies to allergy sufferers and people with a weakened immune system.

Soak and pre-treat stains

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In order to be able to completely wash stubborn stains such as wine or paint stains from the laundry, they should always be pre-treated.

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In order to be able to wash out heavy soiling at a low temperature, you should let clothes with stubborn stains soak in water for a while before actually washing them and then pre-treat them with a stain remover. After that, even the most stubborn stains usually soften with a 40-degree wash cycle.

Use eco mode

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With the Eco mode, the laundry is not only clean, it is also easy on the wallet.

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In order to achieve an optimal washing result at 60 degrees and still save energy, the Eco program should be used if possible. The 60-degree eco setting generally achieves the washing performance of a 60-degree wash without ever actually heating the water to 60 degrees. Although this process takes longer, it also consumes much less energy, so it causes less costs and cleans just as thoroughly as a warm wash cycle. Conclusion: If time permits, it is better to wash in eco mode.

It depends on the detergent

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Detergent powder rids the laundry of more germs than liquid detergent.

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Particularly important at low washing temperatures: the detergent. If you wash at 30 or 40 degrees, you should always use a powdered detergent. These contain bleach, which effectively tackles the germs. Good to know: You can easily do without additional hygiene detergents when using a heavy-duty detergent. Overuse of these chemicals can actually do more harm than good. For example, the long-term use of a hygiene rinse can trigger skin irritation and allergies.

It is also worth taking a look at the packaging of the detergent. Manufacturers usually specify precise dosage specifications there, which you should use as a guide. If the machine is full of clothes, it is also advisable to use more detergent. However, out of consideration for the environment, you should not fill in too much unnecessarily.

Clean the washing machine regularly

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The drum of the washing machine should be cleaned regularly.

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However, you should wash your laundry at least once a month at 60 degrees in normal mode with a heavy-duty detergent powder so that no so-called biofilm forms in the washing machine, which causes unpleasant odors in the long run. That recommends that Federal Environment Agency to maintain the washing power of the machine. If you don’t want to grow germ cultures in your washing machine, you should also clean the drum and the rubber seals on the edge with a cloth after each wash. If you then leave the door open so that the residual moisture can escape, you have done everything right.


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