CNN - Washing dirtier clothes in hotter water may be a basic rule of laundry, but it could also be incorrect.
The reason behind the common idea that hotter water cleans clothes better actually has to do with how detergent cleans. Consumer Reports experts said that this rule actually no longer exists, and that cold cycles were found to be more effective than hot.
Experts found that if the water was higher than 75 degrees, detergents became less effective at cleaning, and that heat actually helped stains dig deeper into clothing. They also found that hot water could damage some fabrics as opposed to cold.
Hot water cycles should only be used to sanitize clothes because of illness, bugs or for babies' reusable diapers. Even these cases may not be helped by using hot water. Experts said bleach or boiling water may be more effective in washing for these cases, or using an iron to kill viruses and bacteria.
Ultimately, experts found that if a washing machine is in working condition and a good detergent is used, clothes would be better washed on cold cycles.