Which Washing Temperature for Which Type of Laundry? Soil Level Examples Recommended Wash Temperature Pre-Wash Slight No dirt or stains: Light summer clothing, sportswear, T-shirts, shirts, blouses, bed linens and towels 15°C / 20°C (30°C if no 20°C programme available) No Normal Moderately dirty: T-shirts, shirts, blouses, underwear, kitchen linens, bed linens and towels 15°C / 20°C (30°C if no 20°C programme available) No Heavy Extremely dirty and stained: cleaning textiles, work uniforms, children’s clothes, sports gear stained with grass and soil 40°C / 60°C No* Stains* Stains – from eggs to oil and even berries – should never be left to dry. Immediately pre-treat them with stain or spot remover (with or without bleach), especially oil stains and stains on shirt collars. The item of laundry should be washed as soon as possible. After the pre-treatment, the pre-wash cycle is not needed. Exception: when the item of laundry is extremely stained, that soaking is needed, a pre-wash cycle is then recommended. This applies especially for bloodstains. Washing at 20ºC is Cool Publisher: S.A.F.E. (Swiss Agency for Efficient Energy Use, www.energieeffizienz.ch) Download PDF: www.topten.eu/documentation.html Partners: EKZ (Elektrizitätswerke des Kantons Zürich, www.ekz.ch), ewz (Elektrizitätswerk der Stadt Zürich, www.ewz.ch) and WWF Switzerland (www.wwf.ch) Zurich, June 2017 Edited by: Barbara Josephy, Eric Bush, S.A.F.E., Zurich Translation: Diane Damino, S.A.F.E., Zurich Graphics and Layout: grillenzirp.ch, Flüelen Fotos: fotolia.com eu documentation Appropriate for slightly and normally soiled laundry Uses up to 70% less electricity Gentle on clothes and fabrics Cold washing is cool – if it’s done correctly Clean Washing at 20°C In addition to preparing the wash cycle properly, the following factors also contribute to an energy-saving and clean wash performance: Laundry does not need to be pre-washed. After the wash cycle has ended, take the laundry out and dry it as soon as possible. From the hygienic point of view, the wash temperature plays a minor role. It is more important to dry the laundry thoroughly – preferably with sun and wind. Leave the door to the washing machine and detergent compartment open so that the residual moisture evaporates. To prevent the formation of bioﬁlm, run a load of laundry at 60°C with heavy-duty detergent one or two times per month. Before Washing at 20°C The following factors will contribute to good washing results: Classify laundry by colour, type of fabric and dirtiness. A wash cycle at 20°C is appropriate for slightly and normally soiled laundry (see back page for table). Pre-treat stains immediately and wash the item of laundry as soon as possible (see back page for table). Fill the laundry drum to proper capacity (except for delicates and wool fabrics). Over-ﬁlling reduces the washing eﬀect, under-ﬁlling can stress the fabrics. Save Up to 70% Electricity Most of the energy used from washing machines is to heat up the water. A wash cycle at 20°C needs around 70% less electricity than one at 60°C. No 20°C Programme? Identify Water Hardness The higher the calciﬁcation level in the water, the harder the water is. The water hardness is relevant for laundry washing, because detergents contain water softening agents. Therefore if water is soft, less detergent is needed than for hard water. Consider the dosage recommendation from the detergent manufacturer and make sure you are aware of the hardness level of the water in your home. Older washing machines often have a 30°C programme as the lowest available temperature. In this case wash your slightly and normally soiled laundry at 30°C with the programme for delicates. If you are using a dryer after washing, it is recommended to run a separate spin cycle using the highest number of revolutions possible. Doing so lowers the amount of the dryers electricity need considerably. Tips for Laundry Hygiene Protecting Fabrics and the Environment Almost all detergent manufacturers oﬀer detergent for the temperature range of 15°C/20°C, 30°C, 40°C, 60°C and 90°C. There are heavy-duty detergents for washing at low temperatures in powder, liquid and gel varieties (with or without bleach) as well as detergents for coloured laundry. These detergents should not be dosed higher for the temperatures of 15°C or 20°C than for other temperatures. They wash the laundry clean with considerably less chemicals than 20 years ago. Washing at low temperatures protects the environment and is gentle to clothing and fabrics. Consider the dosage recommendation from the detergent manufacturer regarding the degree of dirtiness and water hardness. From the hygienic point of view, it is safe to wash at low temperatures in residential households with people without any illnesses. Only for households with people that have an especially weak immune system, a contagious disease or a house dust mite allergy it is recommended to frequently wash the laundry at 60°C. Consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. If you have a shared laundry facility and concerns about hygiene, wash the ﬁrst load of laundry at 60°C. Eﬃcient Washing and Drying The energy-saving website www.topten.eu presents a list of top-rated energy-eﬃcient washing machines. The most eﬃcient laundry-dryers can also be found on the Topten-website.