Thread Number: 69414  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
Tide Cold Water question
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Post# 922896   2/21/2017 at 16:59 (240 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Apparently Tide Cold Water in a small jug is on sale at one store locally. I have to admit I'm curious to try it. Plus, while I don't want to go to cold water washes, it would be nice to cut the temperature a bit. But I'm wondering two things:


First, what temperature range is a realistic minimum for it to work? (Most of my laundry isn't tough stains. It's more about freshening.)


is the scent as potent as other versions of Tide? (I'm afraid already know the answer is yes...and that is one reason I'm not in a huge rush to go and buy the stuff.)

Post# 922902 , Reply# 1   2/21/2017 at 17:32 (240 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I use Tide Cold Water (Fresh Scent version) frequently and it's my favorite detergent scent. It works best in temps 65-90 degrees. Stain removal--not a big problem for you--decreases at temps under 60 (although Tide claims it cleans down to around 43 degrees). Stain removal also decreases at hot temps, probably due to the enzymes used in this particular formulation.

My Maytag has a fun Cold Wash cycle, but it only allows 'tap cold' water to be used. That's just too cold during Minnesota winters, so I save that cycle---with it's MagicMinute-like shampoo---for the summer.

I use Tide Cold Water and the 'cool' temp setting (around 68 degrees) in conjunction with the Normal cycle most of the time.

The scent is pronounced when clothes emerge from the washer (especially if a slow spin speed is selected) but some of that dissipates in the dryer. Scent is such a subjective thing; but I'd give it a try. You might find it fits the bill in cooler temps.

Post# 922926 , Reply# 2   2/21/2017 at 19:39 (240 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Cannot speak for the scented version, but the "free and clear" is excellent in terms of cleaning and stain removal.

Have soaked badly soiled table linens overnight in Tide Coldwater F&C with things mostly clean by next day. What stains remained could be easily shifted by a short hot wash using oxygen bleach.

Remember reading something in Consumer Reports or maybe elsewhere that Tide CW works best in a temp range of 85F to 100F. There was an article in newspaper (New York Times?) about cold water detergents which (IIRC) stated that P&G designed this product work in cold to warmish water. Hot or high temps would have a negative affect on performance. P&G stated (again IIRC) this was due to the enzymes (mainly) used were designed to work in cooler water temps.

For the record many liquid versions of Tide including "Free and Gentle" clean very well in warm water, so there is that to consider.

Post# 922941 , Reply# 3   2/21/2017 at 20:38 (240 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

Funny, I'm working on a bottle right now- It seems to work great in all temperatures, kind of sudsy (I have the HE version) but not unbearable. May actually work a bit better in warm than hot, but works better in warm than cold (we are in Michigan, so the water here is COLD this time of year). Scent is very pleasant, not super strong but fresh and clean, not flowery. I believe it's the same scent as the "new and improved" original scent. I'm also working on a large jug of Tide Simply clean and have been very pleased with the performance and scent level of that as well, along with the price. That, on the other hand, works in cold but works better in warm and hot water. I usually use a tepid warm for most loads.

Post# 922947 , Reply# 4   2/21/2017 at 21:15 (240 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I didn't realize Tide Cold Water was available in a free & clear version. Have never seen it out here on the prairie. I've become fond of Downy Free & Gentle fabric softener for loads of dress shirts/pants. Haven't tried a free/clear detergent, yet.

Post# 923023 , Reply# 5   2/22/2017 at 04:06 (239 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I didn't realize Tide Cold Water was available in a free & clear version.


The stuff is apparently only officially available in Canada, although I've heard stories (maybe legends) of a jug turning up in the US in some store near the border.


Someone mentions wanting/needing the Free and Clear on the reviews on a web page talking about Tide Cold Water, and the official response was:


...Tide Coldwater Free is currently only available in Canada. However, we'll be sure to share your interest in the product with our team and in the meantime, it may be helpful to know that you can still wash your clothing in cold water (down to 60°F) with your regular Tide detergent.


(From reviews on


I wish the Free version was available here. I generally prefer unscented these days. And, practically speaking, unscented gives a better sense of how well a detergent works, since there is no scent to potentially hide the fact that an item didn't get properly freshened.


Of course, as Tide points out in the quote above, the regular Tide Free and Clear works down to 60...but I'm A) curious about Tide Coldwater, not regular, and B) for those dialling the temperature back, the regular version would appear to need a higher temperature to work to a given standard vs. Tide Coldwater.

Post# 923028 , Reply# 6   2/22/2017 at 04:48 (239 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
For reasons known only to P&G

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Tide Coldwater "free" was only available for a short time in the USA, or at least nationwide distribution. Had one known would have snapped up several bottles before the stuff vanished. Now it cannot be had in our neck of woods for love nor money.

This *might* have had something to do with things:

Post# 923040 , Reply# 7   2/22/2017 at 07:52 (239 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
Hey Frigilux

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What's your Maytag's cold water cycle like? Can you describe it? Oh, and what's a magic minute?
You're not the only one with frigid water in winter. Tap cold in winter is super cold here too. It feels like ice water. I can't imagine it being any colder. And it's weird because this winter has not been that cold at all overall. I'm almost sure one of the models of the Maytag FL will be my next washer when my Duet dies.

Post# 923046 , Reply# 8   2/22/2017 at 08:04 (239 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
I like Laundress

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Like the Tide Coldwater Free & Clear.  If I had known it would be discontinued as quickly as it was I would have bought more.  It did a very good job and my daughter didn't itch.   I have heard the Tide Coldwater (regular) has more enzymes than the regular mix, that is just what I have heard, so I suspect this is why my daughter does the scratchy dance when I wash her clothes with it.


The regular Tide Coldwater is too perfumey, at least for me.  I mostly wash in warm or hot, but there are a few things I wash in cold; as the fabric demands it.  Most of those items I use Woolite in the cold cycle, as it isn't overly perfumed.


My Maytag FL machine has ATC cold, so the water isn't tap cold in the winter,  during the summer the tap cold is almost warm water washing anyway. 



Post# 923049 , Reply# 9   2/22/2017 at 08:16 (239 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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wow, so many factor to consider.....

in the 70's during the energy crisis, many people turned to COLD water as much as possible....making the best use of our energy sources, mainly the electric bill, and what would reduce it....back then we had COLD POWER detergent that worked pretty good.....

CHEER came in with ALL-TEMPERATURE.....rather than a different detergent for each did it all....

I see a need to come back to that again.....and may be in a way, they are dong that, wonder if there is a reformulation of something like TIDE to work in all temps....

I haven't been to a laundromat in a while, but curious, what are the temps those machines are operating at?.....I do know they use more water in those machines than a residential machine uses for a FLer...

but curious, do we only have green house gas concerns for this side of the earth? would think something like this would be world before, phosphates are removed from our detergents, but other parts of the world still use it.....aren't we all on one world, one water, one ozone?

Post# 923057 , Reply# 10   2/22/2017 at 08:59 (239 days old) by appnut (TX)        
What Frigilux says about Cold Water cycle

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Mark, this is what he's said about the cycle in September & October 2015


COLD WASH CYCLE: Picked up a small jug of Tide Coldwater Clean HE Turbo yesterday to test the Maytag's dedicated cold cycle. Light Soil = 1 hr + 30 min; Medium = 1 hr + 34 min; Extra Heavy = 1 hr + 39 min.



Machine sprays concentrated detergent solution on the load, but just enough to wet it. Then it tumbles for 15 minutes. At that point the remainder of the water is added and the cycle continues. Cool! It's this machine's version of the Magic Minute.



I've also used the Cold Wash cycle on my Maytag Maxima several times. It cleans very well. It sprays a concentrated detergent solution on the clothes and tumbles for 15 minutes. Then the rest of the water is added and the wash cycle continues. I use Tide Coldwater detergent for that cycle and have had great results.





Post# 923066 , Reply# 11   2/22/2017 at 09:17 (239 days old) by johnb300m (Chicago)        
addendum, Maxima/Duet Cold Wash Cycle

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In addition to what Frig and Bob said, I've witnessed the following activities of the Cold Wash cycle in my Maxima;

As stated, it will start out spraying a concentrated amount of water/detergent and will tumble at a relatively high speed, keeping the clothes mostly on the walls of the drum. Kind of like a "Catalyst" phase seen in top loaders!
It will do this for the first 15min. in variable tumble speeds from low to high to both tumble the clothes then spin them (likely to reduce wear during this active soak phase).
It then advances to a standard wash after adding the rest of the water.
But it still has multiple tumble patterns. Anywhere from a slow speed to really rub all the clothes together, to a quick speed where they don't harshly fall and hit the bottom of the drum, they gently hit more tangent to it. Like on delicate cycle. In between it'll do more active soak sessions where it tumbles 2-3 times and rests for a time, then again the other way.

I've been sorting my clothes differently now and using the Cold Wash cycle for all my darks and work shirts.
It takes a bit longer but it works really really well thus far.

Post# 923069 , Reply# 12   2/22/2017 at 09:43 (239 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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NOW your getting the idea of the low water usage of the newer FL/TL HE machines......

concentrated detergent, and soak, adding a bit of mechanical tumbling, or spins to pull the lather through the clothing...

this works a heck of a lot better than diluting the detergent....

toss in a few saturated rinses....and a high speed spin......

yeah, the thing is 'time frame'....takes a bit longer, but you can't argue with the results.....

Post# 923182 , Reply# 13   2/22/2017 at 17:32 (239 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I agree, Martin. I think HE frontloaders have really tapped into the gold standard for combining water/energy savings with excellent cleaning.

Mark--- Vintage Kelvinator/ABC washers would begin their unique concentric agitation before the tub had completely filled with water. The detergent solution was a little more concentrated for a minute or two before the incoming water reached its maximum level. Kelvinator called it the Magic Minute.


Post# 923214 , Reply# 14   2/22/2017 at 19:18 (239 days old) by mamapinky (blairsville pa)        

Discount is where I've been finding Tide Coldwater this stuff. I've used it often in hot water and it works great. For those of you that are close to Ollies check it out. Cheryl

Post# 923226 , Reply# 15   2/22/2017 at 20:16 (239 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
Cool and Thanks :)

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I can see me using cold wash just to try it out or maybe for specific things, but overall I don't think it would be something I would use often if I had it. I hope the rinses are generous though. I remember COLD POWER and I remember it smelling really good! I also remember ALL TEMP A CHEER and it smelled great too. In fact, I remember all detergents/fab softeners smelling a lot better back then than they do now. It seems like they have more of a perfume smell now than a clean smell - with a few exceptions.

If COLD POWER doesn't exist anymore, Tide should call theirs TIDE COLD POWER. I like the name better.

It sounds like another cycle that you may not use a lot, but you're glad to have it if you need it - kind of like sanitary.

Post# 923241 , Reply# 16   2/22/2017 at 21:01 (239 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Last time I even tried a cold wash my clothes came out as dirty and almost as stinky as when they went in. Also our water is as cold as 42° so I'd still have to introduce warm to bring it up to optimal temp for the cold water detergent. I think the best time to try it would be during summer when the city water is upwards of 70°.

Post# 923283 , Reply# 17   2/23/2017 at 05:44 (238 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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my daughter does the scratchy dance when I wash her clothes with it.


Now that this comes up, I recall hearing complaints about Tide Coldwater irritating skin... Another possible reason for me to avoid it. I have some skin issues, and I'm always concerned when I hear skin irritation of any sort.


Tide in general has been blamed for skin irritation in the past IIRC. Maybe something about Tide. Maybe just the fact its so popular (thus more likely to be something someone tries and has issues with).


Although I've had no problem with Free and Gentle liquid (used within the last year) or powder (used within last five years or so). The regular powder (used 3 years ago or so) also caused no problems for me.


Post# 923284 , Reply# 18   2/23/2017 at 05:45 (238 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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CHEER came in with ALL-TEMPERATURE.....rather than a different detergent for each did it all....

I see a need to come back to that again


But what's the fun of having just one detergent that does everything? LOL

Post# 923530 , Reply# 19   2/24/2017 at 07:09 (237 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Bob-- Thanks for finding/posting my archived comments on the Maytag 8100's Cold Wash cycle.

John-- Glad you posted about the changes in tumble action during the 'Catalyst/MagicMinute' portion of the Cold Wash cycle.

Clarification: My first post (Reply #1) may be misleading. I actually wash most loads using Tide Ultra Stain Release or Persil ProClean 2-in-1, the Normal cycle and the Hot or Extra Hot water temp setting. When I do use Tide Cold Water detergent, it's with the Normal cycle and Cool water.

Post# 923694 , Reply# 20   2/25/2017 at 02:46 (236 days old) by Joe_in_philly (Philadelphia, PA, USA)        
Tide and Cold Water

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According to this CR article, It seems to imply that the cold water technology has been extended to the entire Tide line, which would make a separate coldwater version unnecessary. Whether that is true or just marketing-speak, I don't know. But it does fit with P&G's previously stated goal of increasing cold water washing.

From the article:

"Front-loaders and high-efficiency top-loaders run normal cycles 10 percent cooler than agitator washers, and the 'warm' wash temperature in the U.S. has declined by 15 degrees over the past 15 years," says Tracey Long, communications manager for P&G's fabric care products in North America. “Traditional detergent enzymes can be sluggish in cold water so we worked to create a mix of surfactants and enzymes that deliver cleaning performance in cold water across all product lines," says Long.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO Joe_in_philly's LINK

Post# 923703 , Reply# 21   2/25/2017 at 04:57 (236 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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According to this CR article, It seems to imply that the cold water technology has been extended to the entire Tide line, which would make a separate coldwater version unnecessary.


Thanks for posting that article link!


I wouldn't be surprised if some technology has spread through the Tide line. Indeed, I've noticed Tide has cleaning comparisons on their bottles now, and I think I've seen something about Tide's cleaning power in even cold water on normal Tide bottles.


But it appears that Tide Coldwater might still work better at lower temperatures, based on what I've seen mentioned on Tide's website. The FAQ on the Tide Coldwater page says:


You can use our detergents with cold water, but warm or hot water provides the best cleaning results. If you wash with cold water, we suggest you use Tide Coldwater. Tide Coldwater can clean effectively in water as cold as 40°F (4°C). If the water in your washing machine is colder than this, add a bit of warm water to bring the temperature to that level. If you use another detergent, the water should be at least 60°F (16°C). If the water in your washing machine is colder than this, add a bit of warm water. We recommend you only use a cold wash for items that specify this on the care label.



Post# 923705 , Reply# 22   2/25/2017 at 05:11 (236 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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CR ran a more recent (not that one you linked is old by any means) in which the author said sheets/pillowcases (among other items) should be washed in hot water. And if CR is really sold on cold washing for heavily stained/soiled loads, why do they continue to test both detergents and washers using the warm setting on their tough-to-clean loads?


The other variable: Where one lives.  Tap-cold water temps are consistently above 70 degrees in some areas of the country. Today's best detergents work very well under those conditions.  The water in Minnesota barely hits that temp in August. My water---and I live in the relatively balmy southern part of the state---is below 65 most of the time and as cold as 42 during the winter months.  


Users find the stain removal power of even detergents specially formulated for cold washing---like Tide Cold Water---drops significantly in temps below 60. 


Temp-controlled cold water washing in conjunction with an excellent detergent has its uses; but it's not for everything.

Post# 923777 , Reply# 23   2/25/2017 at 16:28 (236 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Depending Upon One's Housekeeping Habits

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Bed linen often are moderately to heavily soiled with sweat and body oils, thus will need the extra oomph of thermal action (hot water) to help shift. Soil amounts will vary by how often things are changed. That is if you swap things out daily as opposed to weekly or worse bi-weekly.

Examine water draining from washer even on sheets that "look" clean. If you see scum sort of like what is in tub after taking a bath; well it is the same thing really; bodily oils and sweat liberated by soap or detergent.

You can compensate for using warm water to launder bed linen by increasing the amount of detergent (remember the five parameters of good laundry; WATCH, Water, Agitation, Time, and Heat), but that is another matter.

Post# 923779 , Reply# 24   2/25/2017 at 16:44 (236 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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That is if you swap things out daily as opposed to weekly or worse bi-weekly.


Or even worse: only "every leap year"...

This post was last edited 02/25/2017 at 18:24
Post# 927728 , Reply# 25   3/19/2017 at 03:23 (214 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I got a jug to try a while back. It came to about $3 (clearance about $6, and additional $3 with digital coupon downloaded to my shopper loyalty card). I finally got the courage to try it tonight. The test ended up flawed in that the water was too warm--I miscalculated the hot/cold water mix--so it wasn't a challenge for the cold water washing ability. Maybe next time I try this...


I haven't carefully checked to see how clean the clothing got. I'm drying this load on a wood rack, and so I probably won't carefully examine it until its dry. Stuff, however, does look mostly clean, although I did see one small stain that didn't get lifted.


One thing that I'm moderately hopeful about is the scent. I hate strong scents, as I've indicated before, and Tide liquid has been really...ah...problematic in the past. This liquid, however, doesn't seem quite as overwhelming. The opened bottle doesn't have the impact that I recall from other Tide liquids, and the scent on the finished laundry (still damp, recall) is noticeable, but not oppressive. While unscented has become my preference (particularly in summer when drying things like sheets outside), this Tide might be something I can live with. I will still specify unscented for sheets dried outside in summer, but I could imagine using Tide Coldwater for regular clothes. I may also be open to using it on sheets in winter. I used Wisk as my primary detergent recently, but never could face using it for sheets because the scent was too strong.


So far, my one gripe with Tide Coldwater is the rinse was pretty sudsy. This has been an issue with Tide, in general, for me.







Post# 947886 , Reply# 26   7/12/2017 at 19:44 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I found Tide Coldwater (along with every other Tide detergent) on sale at Target, so I figured I'd finally give it a try. Now is a good time since our city water is about 70-75 degrees at this time a year. I tested with probably the nastiest load of laundry I normally would wash - my own clothes. All my shirts are sweat laden and smell awful, some even soaked in sweat. Everything came out just as it would had I washed in regular Tide on warm, definitely contrary to washing in cold with regular Tide. I'll continue using the Coldwater for now unless I start seeing less than desirable results. 

Post# 947897 , Reply# 27   7/12/2017 at 20:43 by wishwash (Illinois)        

I am interested to hear if the results continue to be promising. Just bought some Tide Mountain Spring, but would be interested to try ColdWater after this bottle is done.

Post# 947910 , Reply# 28   7/12/2017 at 22:17 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Remember there is cold water.....

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Then there is *COLD* water.

IIRC when CR tested Tide CW detergent it was in water near or at 85F, which by the way is the "cold" water setting for most European and other washing machines with heaters. IIRC as well P&G stated Tide CW at the time works well in warm (100F) water as well.

In much of the Northeast right down through mid-west tap cold water can be quite chilly during winter months. Not sure how well Tide CW would do in water at or below 60F.

All this being said the "free and clear" version of Tide CW always gets my vote. For some insane reason P&G only sells the stuff up north.

Post# 947927 , Reply# 29   7/13/2017 at 01:08 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

85° would be bordering lukewarm to me. I think running a warm wash in the SQ gets to about 105-110° once it's full. Though this water heater has a nasty habit of delivering cooler water fairly soon. (Should be more consistent once I get a new WH put in)

Our winter water temp is about 40-45°. I don't think ANY detergent could work properly in that, hence me waiting til summer to try Tide CW.

Post# 947928 , Reply# 30   7/13/2017 at 01:50 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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It's interesting seeing this thread again. I've been thinking of seriously trying Tide CW, and it seems like this is the time. For me, it's less about water temperatures--it's not that hard to vary temperatures, at least a bit. But I prefer doing these sorts of tests when I'm line drying, since there would clearly not be the risk of dryer heat setting stains.


I did do one round of experimenting earlier in the season. I never monitored the exact water temperature, but it was cooler than usual, but not tap cold. The laundry (at least a shirt or two) didn't seem to end up as fresh as I wanted. That said, it wasn't so bad that I immediately decided to rewash said items.


I have used this stuff a couple of times as a regular detergent (i.e. in "normal" wash temperatures). It seems (not surprisingly) to work just fine there for cleaning. My only gripe is the scent. It's not an unpleasant scent, and it's not the strongest Tide has ever shipped. But I'm not a huge fan of scents in laundry detergents these days.

Post# 947929 , Reply# 31   7/13/2017 at 02:12 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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All this being said the "free and clear" version of Tide CW always gets my vote. For some insane reason P&G only sells the stuff up north.


Assuming my tests work well enough that I'm willing to get another bottle, I'd be interested in Free and Gentle. I've heard stories that it sometimes turns up in the US near the Canadian border, so I keep my eyes open here in WA. But I may be too far from the border.


I recall when I was making this earth shaking decision of Do I Buy Tide CW? that I checked their website. One review asked for Free and Gentle, and the official Tide response was to try regular Tide Free and Gentle. They indicate it requires 60 degrees Fahrenheit (vs 40 degrees Fahrenheit for Tide CW). I have to admit I wonder what the actual realistic minimum is. Maybe I should get another bottle of Free and Gentle and experiment with cooler temperatures now during line drying season...

Post# 948006 , Reply# 32   7/13/2017 at 08:21 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Cold, Cool, Lukewarm, Warm, Hot

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Enzymes, when formulated to work in lower temperatures have made it possible to reduce temps continuously over time.

They're obviously not there yet, but it's great that their effectiveness at lower temperatures is improving. Sooner or later, they'll get to where we really can wash at low temperatures.


First, however, we have to have some useful definition of 'cold - hot'. Our tap water cold in winter is just barely 35ºF. In summer, it's warmer, but still way colder than the 'cold' found at lower altitudes or in warm areas of North America.

Our 'Hot' is 145ºF. That's enormously warmer than the recently-dead body temperature American washers now call 'hot'.


Personally, I'm sticking with phosphates and enzymes which are happy in the 120ºF range for now coupled with real rinsing and not just two quick squirts and a heavy scent to cover the filth.  We'll see how things develop over time, but it's looking good.

Post# 948044 , Reply# 33   7/13/2017 at 13:22 by mamapinky (blairsville pa)        

If you have a Ollies discount near you they may have Tide coldwater Free, my Ollies has tons of it.I like this stuff in warm and hot water.

Post# 948048 , Reply# 34   7/13/2017 at 14:44 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Sooner or later, they'll get to where we really can wash at low temperatures.


Well actually we have been at this point for years. Problem is...the results might be, ah, disappointing for anyone but those for whom saving energy is Priority #1.


I have to honestly wonder if detergent technology will improve enough so low temperatures are viable. Can it actually be done? And is there enough push to make it happen? That is, are there enough people who actually care about laundry getting done decently to encourage detergent engineering?


One unfortunate issue: it seems like a lot of people are perfectly satisfied with technology the way it is. A couple of years ago or so, I had one conversation with a woman about laundry. I mentioned using hot water, and she immediately told me about the wonders of cold water, and how great detergent technology is. I have not tried Tide CW in tap cold yet--one day I might try and get the courage to do so--but I'm guessing the results would be disappointing. And yet this one woman is perfectly happy, apparently, with the detergent technology of today.

Post# 948051 , Reply# 35   7/13/2017 at 15:51 by appnut (TX)        

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Washing in cold water still creeps me out.  Especially for personal whites; towels; cotton sheets; kitchen towels; and cleaning rags. 

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