Choosing Hot or Cold Water for Stains
Some stains dissolve best in hot water and others in cold. Some stains require both cold and hot water to fully remove the stain. Learn what water temperature to use for which stains with this infographic.
MATCH THE STAIN TO THE WASH TEMP
Find out if you need cold or hot water, or both, for common stains like these.
THESE NEED COLD WATER
THESE NEED HOT WATER
THESE NEED COLD THEN HOT
Why Does Hot or Cold Water Matter for Stain Removal?
Hot water can set some stains into fabric but can dissolve others depending on the composition of the stain. One example of a stain that requires cold water is a blood stain. When choosing hot or cold water for blood stains, selecting hot could cause the stain to “cook” into your clothes while cold water works to remove the stain.
Although many stains respond best to a rinse or soak in cold water, then a wash cycle in warm or hot, this is not always the case. See this guide about pretreating and removing multiple types of stains.
Choosing Hot or Cold Water For Different Types of Stains
There’s no question that trying to get stains out of clothing is a frustrating experience, especially when choosing what water temperature to clean them in. The best temperature selection will depend on which kind of stain you’re fighting and the type of item you’re washing. The guidelines below should be adjusted per the care instructions on your item’s tag.
Berry stains come out of clothing with both hot and cold water. Start by using cold water to flush as much of the stain away as you can. After applying an enzyme detergent to the stain and letting it sit, wash the garment in hot water or the warmest setting recommended on the care tag to remove the stain.
To learn more, view this article on how to remove berry stains from clothes.
Coffee stains can be confounding, especially for fervent coffee drinkers. To get them out, use cold water to remove what you can of the stain, then apply an enzyme detergent. Once you let that sit, wash the garment in hot water or the warmest setting recommended on the care tag to remove the rest of the stain.
To learn more, view this article on how to remove coffee stains from clothes.
Getting a mud stain out of your clothing is a two-step process. Start by scraping as much mud as you can off your clothing, then wash the garment in cold water. Next, apply an enzyme detergent and wash the garment again in hot water or the warmest setting recommended on the care tag to remove the stain.
Oil stains are tricky because they do not act like other stains as they can continue to spread on your clothing. To combat this, remove as much of the oil as you can by blotting gently with a paper towel, then pretreat the garment with enzyme detergent and allow it to sit for ten minutes. When ten minutes is up, wash your clothing in hot water or the warmest setting recommended on the care tag.
To learn more, view this article on how to remove oil stains from clothes.
When combating grease stains, the faster you act, the easier they are to remove. As soon as you identify a grease stain, you will want to rub enzyme detergent into the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes. Once the time has elapsed, machine wash your garment in hot water or the warmest setting recommended on the care tag to remove the stain.
To learn more, view this article on how to remove grease stains from clothes.
Blood stains require cold water to clean. Start by flushing the stain in cold water, then soak it with an enzyme detergent for 30 minutes. If the stain remains, apply detergent directly to the stain and wash it in cold water with an oxygen bleach.
To learn more, view this article on how to remove blood stains from clothes.
Grass stains are the exact opposite of blood stains. In the case of a grass stain, rub an enzyme detergent directly on the stain, then wash it in hot water or the warmest setting recommended on the care tag (without removing the detergent). Repeat this process until the stain is fully removed.
To learn more, view this article on how to remove grass stains from clothes.
Red Wine Stains
To remove a red wine stain, begin by flushing it with cold water, then apply an enzyme detergent and let it sit. After a few minutes, wash it in hot water or the warmest setting recommended on the care tag, adding oxygen bleach for white cottons.
To learn more, view this article on how to remove red wine stains from clothes.
When attempting to remove a tomato stain, make sure you do not use hot water as this could set the stain. Instead, use cold water to flush it, then rub enzyme detergent into the stain and let it sit for five minutes. Finish by rinsing the stain in hot water or the warmest setting recommended on the care tag to remove it.
To learn more, view this article on how to tomato stains from clothes.
Should You Wash Whites in Hot or Cold Water?
When washing whites, removing dirt and stains is important. Because fading the color of the fabric isn’t a concern, it’s ideal to wash your clothing in warm water. Warm water can effectively brighten clothes that have turned yellow by removing stains, thereby keeping white clothes white.
What Temperature Is Best For Washing Colored Clothes?
When washing colors, it is usually best to wash them in cold water. This is because colorful clothes contain dyes that can bleed to other clothes in hot water. If you want to protect the integrity of your colors—and not end up with a tie-dye surprise—washing on cold water is best.
Explore Maytag® Washers with Dual-Temperature Wash
The Extra Power button by Maytag boosts stain-fighting performance on any wash cycle with a dual-temperature wash.
A ten-minute blast of cold helps lift stains that dissolve best in cold water and prevents the rest from setting.
A higher temperature targets stains that need warmer water.
Find Your Next Maytag® Washer
Sometimes, you need extra power for your washing. When that happens, it's best to turn to Maytag® front and top load washers for powerful cleaning. With features on select models like dual-temperature wash and the Extra Power button, you're getting dependability, power and performance you can count on.
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