Machine Wash Cold, Tumble Dry Low

I do most of the laundry around these parts, and I’ve noticed quite a few of my girlfriend’s clothes (including but not limited to her “high end” scrubs) exhort the user to “tumble dry low.” I usually just hang dry these. On the other hand, I also noticed just today that said scrubs similarly say “machine wash cold,” which now that I think about it I believe I’ve seen on quite a few articles of clothing. I ignore these sorts of instructions for my own clothes, but I never “machine wash cold,” I do it on Medium temp, and now I’m wondering just how much of a difference these instructions make. I don’t believe any of these clothes are going to shrink (the scrubs are 21% rayon, 72% polyester and 7% spandex), and I have a hard time imagining what a little more heat in the water is realistically going to do. Maybe over a very long timespan they will break down sooner? But honestly how big a problem is it going to be if I start throwing these things in the dryer on medium along with all of our other clothes (some of which are quite old as these things go).

I wash everything in cold, except sheets I go hot to help kill dust mites.

I dry everything I care about at low, and/or hang dry. Sheets hot, for the same reason as above. Towels warm to hot depending how nice they are.

I haven’t read much on this, but I was under the impression that heat is the enemy of clothes in the long term. Colors will fade, cottons will gradually shrink, and they will generally break down quicker. I don’t know how true that is. Also to save energy, wash on cold.

Recently I was reading about caring for Levis, and the general idea is you want to wash them as little as possible for the above reason. They will wear and fit better the less they are washed. To the point that some people never wash jeans, and just freeze them. Supposedly.

It’s so easy, just follow the handy instructions.

Lol! Awesome.

Very helpful.

I wash everything on cold using the cold water version of liquid Tide (formulated for easier dissolving and rinsing in cold water, I think). My understanding is that it is the enzymes in modern detergents that really do the work rather than the actual water temperature. I dry most stuff on low except for towels and sheets to avoid shrinkage and wear on textiles. Also, you should avoid using fabric softener on towels as well as wrinkle free or performance garments because it interferes with the absorbency and special properties of those items. I have actually stopped using dryer sheets altogether and don’t really miss them at all.

If you got a horizontal door washign machine, use high efficiency detergent and cold wash. Everything cleans and you’ve saved a lot of energy.

Don’t wash cold if you haven’t got a constant access to the sun to dry your clothes (ie you live in a town). They will smell.

That just isn’t true.

Says the guy who reads about not washing his pants.

I’ll be on the other side of the street.

It seems like every person I see push this is… men. I don’t men like consumer men but these official people, and I just wonder if they have an idea what those jeans go through. I am half expecting these Levi guys to tell women to shake dry while they’re at it.

I wash everything I have in medium warm water. If it can’t make it through that, it wasn’t meant to be in my closet.

Yeah, while some detergents ostensibly handle cold water better than others, I’d prefer to err on the side of cleanliness and need to replace clothes a little more frequently than I might otherwise have to.

Cold for clothes and medium or hot for towels and sheets. Hang good shirts and jeans but dry on medium most everything else. Jeans can be worn at least 2-3 days without washing unless I’m working outside in them. I use those wool balls instead of dryer sheets and they dont appear to do anything. I like the dryer sheet smell but since most stuff is hung anyway I’m just sticking with the balls.

I’ve washed my 501s for 50 years, and I’ve never noticed it being a problem. They stop shrinking after a wash or two, they don’t seem to wear out faster, and they definitely smell better.

“Shrink to fit” was a general property of Levi’s in the old days, but they use a much wider range of fabrics now and I read just recently that most no longer shrink to fit. Not washing your jeans sounds like BS to me. Maybe not drying them would be OK and save some wear if you have a clothesline in the sun. But nothing lasts forever, so fuck it.

I wash towels, washcloths, boxers, and socks in hot with a teaspoon of tea tree oil to kill germs, spores, etc., and I wash everything else in cold. My Maytag (which I’m very very happy with BTW) has a Sheets setting that uses cold for a longer period, and it works very well.

Been using Biokleen oxygen bleach for a while now and DAMN does that shit work.

Levi’s CEO said not to wash them.

“Of course, if you’re asking us, we encourage you to wash less, if ever.” Levi’s sustainability site

If you do a web search, this whole “don’t wash them” thing comes up a lot. I am not pushing it, or making it up.

I’ve heard the advice not to machine wash quality denim too, from men and women, for what it’s worth.

To me it doesn’t seem weirder than only dry cleaning dress pants.

I just go ahead and destroy with those spin cycles anyway, though.

The agitators did more harm than the drums spinning. It’s not really an issue with the front-loading machines.

Does anybody have any actual data on how much damage is done to clothes by machines?

Gross? Everybody sweats, some more than others.