General Question

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Does hot water clean more efficiently than cold water?

Asked by evelyns_pet_zebra (12913points) July 12th, 2009

Not with laundry, but when washing dishes? I just finished rinsing the crud from my juicer and as I was scrubbing away at the fruit pulp on the screen with a brush prior to actually washing it I thought of this. So it seems like an elementary science question, but is there a particular reason hot water breaks up and dissolves grime and stuff or is it simply a fallacy, and that water temperature has nothing to do with it. I know soap seems to lather up better in hot water, but what about just plain cold water vs. hot water? Any ideas?

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11 Answers

shadling21's avatar

Yep! The higher temperature means the water particles have more energy, so they dissolve things faster.

marinelife's avatar

In addition to what shadling21 said, the cleaners we use have ingredients that dissolve better in hot water. Grease also dissolves in hot water.

Finally, of course, hot water kills germs, which is a plus.

Lightlyseared's avatar

If you are using biological detergent however 40 degree’s is the maximum temperature you should use otherwise you will denature the enzymes.

As for killing germs, a tumble dryer is more effective (according to my “How to launder your uniform” idiot guide)

sweetangel's avatar

yes hot water is more effiecient! its easier with hot water than cold to clean dishes trust me im always washing up!

Battousai87's avatar

yeah, the hotter the water the better. You boil things to sterilize them (well most germs die in boiling water some don’t but what can you do germs are tough). The discovery that boiling water could kill germs was discovered in the late 1800s it was the first method of sterilization in hospitals.

marinelife's avatar

@Lightlyseared I don’t know. Every time I put my dishes in the dryer, they break. ; )
Check the details on the Q again!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I find that cold water cleans off blood and poop better than hot water.

marinelife's avatar

@Lightlyseared Been there, done that.

troym333's avatar

yes the dissociation of molecules are greater when at higher temperatures

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Thanks for all the great answers. and the dishes break when I put them in the dryer too. =)

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