When Rosa de Sousa’s hot water tank broke for a week, she decided to put the cold-water wash to the test.

As a commercial manager with the Greater Vancouver Laundry and Linen Services, she knew that cold-water wash worked “perfectly fine” but frankly hadn’t practiced what she preached in her own home. She discovered that cold water was more than up to the challenge of dealing with her everyday laundry.

“I now use cold water on all of my laundry. Not only do my clothes look great, but I’m saving a lot of money,” she says.

The benefits of using cold water go beyond the savings you’ll notice on your BC Hydro bill. “Hot water breaks down the fibres and wears down the fabric of your clothes much faster,” says de Sousa. “Hot water can also shrink, stretch and fade your fabrics.”

Cold-water detergent has come a long way over the years, making it as effective as traditional laundry soap. Even detergents not marked specifically for cold-water use are more effective than they used to be, and contemporary washing machines provide much greater performance in cold temperatures.

In addition, cold-water detergents are priced about the same as their warm-water competitors, yet they have the added benefit of reducing your energy use by more than 75%. This all adds up to considerable savings every time you do laundry.

Finally, cold water during the rinse cycle is perfect for all of your loads.

Make the switch

By switching from hot to cold water for an average of three loads per week, you could save up to $27 per year on your energy bill. And in some cases cold water is even more effective than hot water. Use cold water on stains such as blood, red wine and coffee, as warm water can set the stain. For more savings, visit bchydro.com/21tips.