Did you know that about 90 percent of the energy your washing machine uses goes toward heating the water and that many clothing labels recommend washing in cool or cold water?

American Cleaning Institute wants you to know that washing in cold water saves energy and saves your clothes because proper temperatures can help your duds last longer and keep colors from fading.

What's also kind of cool is that today's detergents - thanks to better technology - actually work better in cold water. There are even some stains (think: grass, makeup and blood) that should only be washed in cold water, since hot water could make the stains permanent.

According to America Cleaning Institute survey, responses indicate that US households complete an average of five to six loads of laundry per week (ACI, 2015). The survey results concluded that on average, US households use cold water 45% of the time, warm water 35% of the time and hot water 20% of the time when doing laundry. Further analysis showed that while 13% of consumers say they do not wash in cold water at all, many have already discovered the benefits of cold water wash and claim that their use of cold water is on the rise. In fact, 3 in 10 people surveyed are washing more with cold water now than they were two years ago.

Consumers base their preferred water temperature for laundering on their perception of the water temperature's cleaning ability.  Respondents also indicated that hot water is perceived by consumers as the best method for removing odors, stains and soils, whereas cold water is perceived to prevent laundry from losing its shape and prevent colors from bleeding and fading.  Furthermore, the top reason consumers cite for not washing in cold water is a belief that it does not kill all germs.

Detergent formulation has evolved to improve cleaning performance at lower temperatures. In the ten years since cold water formulations were first introduced to the market, the chemistry responsible for cleaning clothes has evolved to ensure that regardless of what temperature a load of laundry is washed at, the detergent will be effective.  When it comes to killing germs and disinfecting clothing, most washing machines set for Hot Water do not reach a temperature high enough to disinfect.  Studies have also shown there has not been an increase in infections and diseases within households using cold water settings.

A household may save anywhere from $60 to over $200 a year and save greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to driving approximately 1,000 miles by using cold water wash and rinse instead of hot or warm water for the same functions (Consumer Reports, 2014; Hamm, 2012; US EPA, 2015).

So there you have it - Save energy, your clothes and your money with the flip of a switch (or dial) and wash your laundry loads in cold!