Laundry detergent Washing at 30ºC
Best washing at 30°C
With a Best Buy laundry detergent 30°C washes should get the same results as washing at 40°C. Washing at 30°C is great for colourful clothes, and in our tests we found it didn't fade bright or dark colours at all.
Cooler washes aren't suitable for all your laundry, though. We recommend that you wash towels and bedding at 60°C (or higher) with a powder detergent, to kill bacteria and dust mites.
If a member of your household is ill, you should wash all clothes, bedding and towels at the maximum temperature the items allow.
Smelly washing machines and how to clean them
Washing at low temperatures all the time can lead to a build up of grease or black mould on your washing machine's door seal or inside the washing machine's detergent drawer. Some people have also told us about musty smells caused by low-temperature washes. Our video guide to cleaning a smelly washing machine reveals the steps you should take to get your machine smelling fresh.
When you wash towels and bedding at 60°C (or higher), we recommend that you use a powder detergent (rather than a liquid), as most contain bleach. This hot temperature and the bleach in the powder will kill off anything nasty that's lurking in your laundry and washing machine.
Aim to do at least one hot wash a month to keep your washing machine bacteria-free and smelling clean.
Always leave the door ajar after you have emptied your machine to allow it (and the rubber seal) to dry out.
Removing and cleaning the detergent drawer and wiping round the rubber ring with light bleach cleaners or sprays will also reduce problems.
If the machine's rubber seal is mouldy and you can't clean it, it can be replaced. A replacement seal costs £15 to £35. If you are fairly strong, you can fit it yourself. If not, get professional help. See Which? Local for Which? member-recommended professional repairers in your area
How do I stop white powder deposits appearing when I wash at 30°C?
We test for residue left behind by powder detergent at 30°C in our Best Buy washing machines. Happily, we found no traces on dark cottons. If you find powder deposits on your dark clothes, but still want to wash at 30°C, try giving your wash an extra rinse cycle. Otherwise, swap to laundry liquid.
Can I use a 30°C wash if I suffer from asthma and allergies?
Washing at 30°C removes the dust-mite droppings that can trigger allergies and asthma, but kills only about 6% of the dust mites themselves. A hotter wash (around 60°C) kills 100% of dust mites.
An alternative to washing at a hotter temperature is to increase the number of rinses. Three to four extra rinses should have the same affect as a hotter wash.
How much money could I save over a year?
Washing at 30°C will save you on average between £8 and £18 per year compared with washing at 40°C.
While this doesn’t sound like much, if 50 families switched from 40°C to 30°C for a year, it would save enough electricity to make a quarter of a million cups of tea.
Washing at a lower temperature will reduce emissions from power stations. Recent research shows most of the energy associated with clothing is expended during laundering.