At What Temperature Should You Wash Sheets And Towels?

by Rachel Bray

Washing Sheets And Towels - When The Eco Setting Isn’t So Eco

We all have to adjust to a world of finite resources. Where the choices we make will have an impact on the planet. Modern washing machines are designed to clean using lower amounts of water and at lower temperatures. People are encouraged to save energy and money and stick to the “if it’s not dirty, wash at 30” rule.

It’s a great rule and one we applaud. Melt laundry detergent strips are designed to dissolve fully even in cold water.


Every rule is made to be broken, as they say.

Bacteria and germs build up on sheets and towels

Sheets and towels may not always look dirty, but that doesn’t mean that bacteria aren’t lurking. And washing them at a lower temperature, while it may save energy, won’t destroy the bacteria. Which means it may not even be the most environmentally friendly option either.

If you want cold, hard facts on the types and amounts of mould and bacteria that can build up on unwashed bedsheets, there are plenty of statistics available. It makes sobering reading! Thankfully, most people do wash their sheets regularly and if you’re reading this, you probably do too.

Towels should be hung up to dry between uses. They should be left in a way that exposes them to the air as much as possible. Try to avoid folding them before hanging them on a towel rail, for example. And don’t leave them on the floor or the bed! The quicker they dry the less opportunity bacteria and germs have to thrive. Your towels won’t start to smell so quickly, so you won’t end up washing them so often.

What temperature kills bacteria in a washing machine?

Many people wash their sheets and towels at lower temperatures in good faith that they’re cleaning them properly and helping the environment at the same time. While washing on a lower temperature is better for the environment from the point of view of energy consumed, there are more factors to consider.

A hot wash, at 60°C, will kill the bacteria, germs and fungi that build up on towels and sheets. Wash them on a hotter cycle and you won’t need to wash them as often. On a lower temperature wash some bacteria will remain on your laundry. This means it will smell more quickly. Destroy them all each time and you start from fresh.

Traditional laundry detergents can lead to bacteria build up on sheets and towels

Traditional laundry detergents contain various unnecessary and potentially harmful products and chemicals. They do not tend to dissolve well at the lower temperatures or in the lower water quantities used these days.

This can lead to a build-up of ‘gunk’ in your washing machine. Not only will this stain your laundry, it’s also the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

The so-called ‘single dose’ pods and tablets often provide too much detergent per wash, which can lead to excess laundry detergent clogging the pores of fabrics. If detergent isn’t properly rinsed out the residue can lead to odours building up in your laundry.

Use Melt laundry detergent strips instead. They are an environmentally friendly, zero-waste product. They are super concentrated and will dissolve fully in cold water and in low water conditions. They contain no bulkers and are not wrapped in biodegradable plastic that doesn’t fully dissolve and therefore won’t fully biodegrade.

Melt laundry detergent strips work just as well on 60°C as they do at 30°C so they’ll get your towels and sheets properly clean and germ-free. And they’re even available on a subscription basis, direct through your letterbox. You need never run out again.

Say goodbye to germs, gunk, and plastic and hello to Melt!