True that washing machines in many parts of the world don't heat the washwater?

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OK, here's the pitch: here in Germany all washing machines have heating rods which heat the washwater to temperatures from 20 to 95° C (= 70-200° F), with most of the washing done at 30 or 60° C (90-140° F). The other day I heard a radio feature that most modern detergents work well already at 20° C (i. e. normal room temperature), that the notion that only hot washes were thorough was antiquated, and so much so that in many parts of the world, such as Australia or the US, washing machines wouldn't even possess heating rods at all, and just used water at tap temperature. So is that the truth, Ruth? I'd specifically like to hear from Yanks and Ozzies, thanks.
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On Thu, 7 Feb 2008 08:33:53 -0800 (PST), Charles Self

Well here in Hawaii, I do not use warm or hot water- only cold. We have no heating rod in our washer.(Our dishwasher does warm its water.) I think soaps have been developed to work in cold water and after several years of no heated water and using Arm& Hammer detergent, clothes look great! Even the farmer clothes are clean and sparkly:).
aloha, beans roast beans to kona to email farmers of Pure Kona
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Charles Self wrote:

Sometimes hot water is required to bring wash water up to room temperature (20 C). That's warm enough for some items, but detergent manufacturers may define Cold as 82 F (28 C).
For most items, American detergents work well at Warm. Body temperature, 99 F (37 C) is ideal. Many detergents contain enzymes that work best at that temperature. My washing machine doesn't have a heater, but it has a computer to mix water at about 99 F.
Hot washes are usually for whites. I used oxygen bleach (sodium percarbonate) for a dress shirt that had yellowed badly in a closet. Without enzymes, oxygen bleach works best above 140 F (60 C). My household water isn't that hot. I soaked it in a pan on the stove at 150 F, using a potato masher to agitate. It came out clean and wrinkled.
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Charles Self wrote...

In the USA our washing machines use water at tap temperature, but we have large water heaters in our homes that we use for showers and washing dishes.
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I am surprised to hear washing machines contain heaters! I prefer hot water (125 degrees) for white loads and that's the output of our 45-gallon gas water heater. Many folks prefer to use cold water to wash clothes, but hot water kills germs faster and seems to get white clothes cleaner. Soaps specially formulated for cold water washing are found in most stores. You can get an extra "boost" by soaking clothes in cold water for a few hours before washing in cold water. Most automatic dishwashers in the USA contain heater units.
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I have interesting information about the "kills germs faster" bit: I just heard an interview with a researcher on hospital hygiene who said that a regular washing machine wash removes and kills all germs completely even with cold water. The only parasites it doesn't remove (or kill) are lice and worms. Also, Cholera germs are removed completely but not killed *in the waste water*, which is why hospitals may chose to still "cook" the laundry at least of some of their patients. Actually the bigger threat comes from infected laundry that is being left lying around without washing. Bottom line: except in a few exotic cases (lice not being that much of an issue these days) you can wash the laundry of even seriously infected people at low temperatures.
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Charles Self wrote:

I would need to see evidence to believe this "researcher" This fairly recent report thinks cooler temperatures are the way to go _if_ treated with ozone. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/article3379279.ece As you are probably aware, people are dropping like flies in hospitals here from the MRSA bug which seemingly is not touched by a 40c wash but is when laundry is given a very hot wash.
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http://www.br-online.de/b5aktuell/inhalte/magazine/verbrauchermagazin.xml You can hear the guy in the podcast. He's Armin Schuster of the Institut fuer Krankenhaushygiene (Institute for Hospital Hygiene) / Freiburg. Sorry, it's in German. I think that you make the interesting point that a cold machine wash might not kill off superbugs such as MRSA, which is why hospitals, care homes etc. might want to forbear from cold-washing their laundry. I on the other hand wanted to point out that cold washes appear to be surprisingly (if not totally) effective even against serious "bugs".
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Dear Charles Self:
...

Actually, it takes a certain colony-size before you can have effective transmission. Washing will (at least) tend to dilute the number of colonies, and the detergent alone may serve to reduce the colony size.
David A. Smith
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Charles Self wrote:

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Charles Self wrote:

MSRA is a variety) cannot be detected after washing at 40C. Other germs grow in washing machines, but tumble drying kills them.
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E Z Peaces wrote:

I don't have a tumble dryer. I would be slightly happier to do a cold wash if I could peg out my washing and let the sun have a go at it. With the short dull winter days, freezing fog or continual rain I am not taking chances. I have lost two family members within the last year both of them contracted MRSA.
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Mrs Bonk wrote:

MRSA appears to be transmitted by direct contact. Lots of people have colonies of SA. Hospital personnel are likely to have the drug-resistant kind, and they are often lax about hand washing.
If you must stay in a hospital, hire a bodyguard to keep doctors and nurses out of your room. It's better to entertain them at home, where you can meet them at the door and say, "I'm sure you want to freshen up first." A lavatory security camera is cheap insurance if you invite a doctor to your home.
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Phisherman wrote:

Dear Phish, I hope senility isn't setting in, or maybe you should be taking more water with it. Don't you recall we have had this very same discussion many moons ago and you said the very same thing?
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wrote:

Dear Mrs Bonk, Coming from you, I'd have to say that's a compliment.
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OK, here's the pitch: here in Germany all washing machines have heating rods which heat the washwater to temperatures from 20 to 95° C (= 70-200° F), with most of the washing done at 30 or 60° C (90-140° F). The other day I heard a radio feature that most modern detergents work well already at 20° C (i. e. normal room temperature), that the notion that only hot washes were thorough was antiquated, and so much so that in many parts of the world, such as Australia or the US, washing machines wouldn't even possess heating rods at all, and just used water at tap temperature. So is that the truth, Ruth? I'd specifically like to hear from Yanks and Ozzies, thanks.
australian person here: yes, hot washes are mostly a thing of the past - cold washes work perfectly well for most things & that's what people mostly do.
however, if you want or need to do a hot wash, you just set the machine for a hot wash, to fill from the hot tap instead of the cold tap. a few households (e.g. mine) only have a cold laundry tap so that's not possible, but that's a bit uncommon too to only have one tap.
frankly, a machine that heats the water is the most odd thing i have heard of for a while! not least because i was under the impression that germany is a rather ecologically-responsible nation. kylie
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0tterbot wrote:

I am not Australian or American but I am tagging along on this thread anyway. I am amazed that a machine that heats water is as odd to you as a machine that doesn't heat water is to me! I couldn't possibly wash certain items in cold or lukewarm water, they would feel and look dirty. Without doubt some of my whites need near boiling to be clean. Some final rinses should be warm but I can't remember which ones. If my label says wash at 60c or 40c or 95c how can I do that without a heater? I have had hot and cold intake machines but it is guesswork to get the right temperature on a front loader without a heater. I appreciate other countries don't always have access to the energy/water saving front loaders so maybe the temperature is easy to fix with an top loader?
http://www.washerhelp.co.uk/usage_2.html#cl_q1 This read is interesting imo and raises valid points
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no they wouldn't - that's your psychology, not your clothes ;-) almost all washing powders & liquids are usable (& formulated thusly) for hot or cold. frankly, unless you're a mechanic or something, you will get as good a wash in cold. i'd want hot water if i'd been doing an oil change on the car (which i don't do, just to be clear ;-) - otherwise, no.
i do remember the days (i was a kid) when "hot" washing was the only way to do it - but that was a carry-over from the old days of washing clothes in a boiler. people's psychology adjusted. (and washing powders became more effective too, i'd hazard).
Without doubt some of my whites need near boiling to be

you will find your clothes labels decree a number of things which are simply untrue, so i wouldn't get too worked up about it. kylie
I have had hot and cold intake machines but it is guesswork to get

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0tterbot wrote:

I washed my kitchen towels today along with some chefs whites. I tried a cold wash. The soap never dissolved and the washed items came out as stained as they went in. Perhaps I will try a new detergent rather than my old powder however I cannot agree that a cold wash will take out the grease and dirt as well as a nice hot wash with soda and plenty of good soap will.

Why on Earth would I be worked up? I have my energy saving appliance that washes extremely well and is good for the planet and today I purchase a new combination oven/grill/micro at a bargain price .

nobody seems to have commented on the disgusting gunge and the effect on the machine it has from a cold wash. PS I often service my car including doing oil changes. I do quite enjoy tinkering.
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Mrs Bonk wrote:

If you weren't so darn cheap you could have had a Mac. No wonder you're worked up. Regardless, don't get drunk and wash your PC in the laundry sink. It only works for Macs. Ask Letsplay.

I agree. Disgusting pictures like that don't belong on the WWW. I have emailed the webmaster and asked him to remove his site.
I had stuff like that before I switched to modern American detergent.

might be able to understand you. And German. Learn German.
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