What percentage of a washing machine's energy is used purely to heat hot water?

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  • JSHarris
    JSHarris Posts: 374 Forumite
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    edited 31 December 2023 at 8:28PM
    TBH even the sheets and duvet covers go though at 20°C and have done for a couple of years or so now.  Not noticed any downsides to doing this and my logical brain suggests that for thousands of years my ancestors never washed anything in very hot water, nor did they have modern detergents.  Seems to me that if washing sheets etc at low temperatures caused harm then I'd not be here!
  • MultiFuelBurner
    MultiFuelBurner Posts: 2,928 Forumite
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    edited 31 December 2023 at 8:35PM
    Clothes yes 20/30oC whatever you want to use.

    Bed clothes no they need a bit more for the bugs

    https://bedbugspecialist.co.uk/what-laundry-detergent-kills-bed-bugs/

    This could end up like the legionella debates of 2023 😂😂😂
  • Clothes yes 20/30oC whatever you want to use.

    Bed clothes no they need a bit more for the bugs

    https://bedbugspecialist.co.uk/what-laundry-detergent-kills-bed-bugs/

    This could end up like the legionella debates of 2023 😂😂😂
    Yeah, I spent 3 weeks in hospital with a blood infection(possibly due to an uti) and guess what I got two other infections whilst there, I’ll take my chances at home, with my m/c. 
    🍺 😎 Still grumpy, and No, Cloudflare I am NOT a robot 🤖BUT my responses are now out of my control they are posted via ChatGPT or the latest AI
  • The_Green_Hornet
    The_Green_Hornet Posts: 1,429 Forumite
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    edited 31 December 2023 at 9:04PM
    Which? has a guide on washing machine temperatures.

    Washing Machine Temperature Guide - Which?
  • Grizzlebeard
    Grizzlebeard Posts: 282 Forumite
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    edited 2 January at 2:36PM
    I always use lowest T-cycle(40c)
    I pre fill drum with gas-hob heated water ~ 70c to 95c depending on state of load.
    (When water meets stainless steel drum temperature instantly drops perhaps 10-20c)
    The heater element never switches on but might do on longer/complicated programs I guess.
    (30++yr old F-rated(?) Hotpoint with many home repair fixes - element/motor/seals/hinges/pump&hoses/thermostat/relay-contactor)
  • JSHarris
    JSHarris Posts: 374 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    edited 31 December 2023 at 10:18PM
    I have to wonder on on earth the human race ever survived before the introduction of modern appliances.  We're slowly going completely mad, worrying about minuscule risks as if they are things that are going to wipe us all off the face of the Earth.  If you want to look at real risk go and spend a few months living somewhere with no fresh water, no means of keeping food fresh and virtually no free healthcare.  I spent a few months in sub-Saharan Africa as a student.  Have to say hygiene was completely absent from the people I stayed with, yet they were far more healthy than most of us, and free from worries that they might die from not applying hospital grade disinfection to they clothes and bedding.  Society is getting more like the Golgafrincham Ark Fleet Ship B  every day, God protect us from telephone sanitisers . . .
    The risk of not washing bedclothes in hot water is so small as to be completely insignificant.  You're more likely to get killed in one of the 300 cars that catch fire every day, or any of the many other modern day real threats to life, like someone that's drunk or intoxicated behind the wheel of a car, or from not changing your underwear several times a day for stuff that's been boiled to ensure absolute cleanliness.
    The mention of Legionella is good example of making out risks to be massively greater than they really are.  There's not been a single recorded death from Legionella contracted from a domestic hot water system, yet all the worry worts drive everyone to distraction claiming otherwise (FWIW all recorded cases come from badly designed or maintained commercial systems or those warm cesspits some call hot tubs).

  • JSHarris said:
    or from not changing your underwear several times a day for stuff that's been boiled to ensure absolute cleanliness.


    Commando for me … happy new year 😎
    🍺 😎 Still grumpy, and No, Cloudflare I am NOT a robot 🤖BUT my responses are now out of my control they are posted via ChatGPT or the latest AI
  • Just to point out that a lot of appeals to 'how our ancestors lived' are very much subject to survival bias and (in the most neutral sense) ignorance.

    You can't take one aspect of life out of context; virtually everything about modern Western lives are different from how people live historically.  Population density, how our waste is dealt with, our diets, the materials we use - in the broadest sense, not just in the textile sense - things we come into contact with, out entire environments and lifestyles are different.  That all affects our immune systems*, our microbiomes, how 'germs' (for simplicity, to cover all types) survive and replicate.  And yes our ancestors certainly could wash their clothing and linens in boiling water, they did have fire long before such textiles were commonplace!  The majority of their everyday textiles were materials that could withstand it, too.

    Regulations are written in blood, and a lot of official guidance and advice is too.  While not all progress is positive, much of it has still been necessary.  Do what works for you, but remember it won't necessarily work for everyone else.

    *including when we are born; babies are surviving being born more and more prematurely and that affects their immune systems from the start of their life outside the womb.  More and more people are developing illnesses - part of that is better identification and diagnosis, but it does seem that the incidence is higher too.  And especially with covid wreaking havoc, the ramifications of that won't fully be known until years down the line, even decades, but we already know it affects people's immune systems along with all the other systemic damage it can do.

    Also the difference environment and lifestyle can have on immune systems is well illustrated by situations such as countries that advise tourists to boil the water yet long-time residents are fine not doing it.
  • JSHarris
    JSHarris Posts: 374 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    edited 31 December 2023 at 11:38PM
    If regulations are written in blood then how come so many have zero basis in real risk and are so blown out of proportion?

    To quote some examples, the most dangerous pastime in the UK is horse riding.  It kills and seriously injures more people relative to the time spent doing it than anything else we do, yet is subject to zero regulation.  It makes motorcycling look incredibly safe.  The single greatest Legionella risk in a domestic setting are hot tubs, especially the portable ones that have no form of water treatment.  There are no regulations applicable to these at all, anyone can buy one, set it up, plu it is and use it, without the need to comply with any safety regulations.
    I'm very much in favour of proportional safety regulation, based on a rational risk assessment, but wonder quite why we have a big blind spot for really significant risks.  For example, it's appalling that B&Q and the other DIY sheds are allowed to sell potentially lethal electrical parts and cable to people that have zero knowledge or skill in installing them, yet no one's bothered by this, even when people, including children, get killed by amateurs playing at being professionals.  Worse still are the likes of ebay and Amazon that sell massive volumes of unsafe products that have never been inspected or tested, and which no one seems bothered about (barring the odd wringing of hands when a bit of tat from there catches fire or gives someone a belt)..
    It seems that we are far too eager to get wound around the axle of quoting make-believe risks in order to justify pointless regulation, yet we ignore some of the things that really cause serious harm.  The internet, and especially social media, amplifies this bizarre behaviour.  Fiction becomes fact far to regularly, often as a consequence of the ill-informed scaremongering about risk and blowing it completely out of proportion.  Everything we do carries a risk.  Me sat here typing this is exposing myself to dozens of risks, some life threatening, yet they are so miniscule that I choose to ignore them, as life's too short to worry about everything and anything that has the potential to cause harm
    Far better we reserve our real concern for significant risks, those that have a high probability of causing serious harm or death, and act to mitigate those, rather than the risks that mostly exist in the imagination.
  • mjm3346
    mjm3346 Posts: 46,886 Forumite
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    For many years my grandparents did not have a washing machine, a mangle was in regular use and never mind 20 or 30 degree warm washes some things got a proper boil wash that most modern fabrics or "nasties" would not survive
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