Hot Or Cold Water For Stains: Which Is Better?

hot or cold water for stain

The most crucial action is to remove the shirt as quickly as possible after the stain contacts the fabric in order to immerse it in water. But not just any water. The choice between hot and cold will determine whether a stain can be removed or set permanently. When removing stains, should you use hot or cold water? There is no one best method for removing stains; for example, cold water works on some stains like sticky substances and eggs, while hot water works best on stains from lotion and dyes.

Please read on for more information.

The Best Temperature To Remove Stains

The water’s temperature will enable you to effectively remove stains. But getting the item in water as soon as the stain appears, before it has a chance to dry and set, is the most crucial step in stain removal.

Start with room temperature if you’re unsure of the water’s ideal temperature. Once you determine which temperature is best for your stain, you can always move the item to either cold or hot water.

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When Should You Use Cold Water To Wash Away Stains?


Wool, satin, and silk are examples of delicate fabrics that should only have stains cleaned up with cold water.

Grass Stains

With the aid of cold water, remove fresh or ingrained grass stains. If you can, keep the stained fabric damp with cold water to prevent it from setting even more. By softening the stain, soaking the fabric in cold water will aid in cleaning agents and detergents performing their functions more effectively.

Colorful Foods

High-pigment foods like cheese, jelly and jam, soy sauce, baby food, and mustard work best when washed with cold water. Food dyes made naturally or artificially may actually set in hot water. The stain should be fairly quickly removed by the cold water if you quickly reach the food.

Juice And Milk

Apply cold water to milk and juice spills. Before washing the material in cold water and detergent, pat (don’t rub) the stain with cold water or let it soak in cold water.

Sticky Stuff

Cold water is the best way to get rid of deodorant, glue, and toothpaste. It can be difficult to get rid of even the residue that stickers leave on your child’s shirts. Never use hot water to remove stains from sticky surfaces because you risk baking the stain rather than getting rid of it completely.

Urine And Water-based Paint

Fight water with cold water; it might take a few rinses, but any stains left by urine or water-based paint should eventually wash out.


It can be difficult to remove dried stains caused by egg protein from clothing. The best course of action is to soak clothing items like shirts, pants, rugs, or other washable fabrics in cold water before washing. Never use hot water; otherwise, your eggs will bake.

When Should You Use Hot Water To Wash Away Stains?

Hot water should be used to remove stains from white clothing or items that have unattended stains from several weeks ago. To remove stains, never use dry heat. To avoid getting your favorite sweater shrunken, check to see if the fabric can withstand high heat before using hot water.

Water-based Ink

hot or cold water for stain

It can be difficult to get ink out of clothes. Avoid rubbing the stain because doing so could cause it to spread. Warm water will also work, but hot water is recommended. To complete the task, you’ll also need rubbing alcohol, detergent, and a microfiber cloth to remove as much ink as you can.

Chocolate And Coffee Stains

Everyone loves chocolate—until it becomes a brown stain on your sofa cushion or your best kitchen towels.

If the stain is caught quickly, you may be able to remove it by simply rinsing the fabric in cold water or dabbing the gooey mess with a cloth dipped in cold water. But hot water is best if the stain has already been set.


Red wine has the potential to ruin most fabrics, including carpets and clothing. Rub the stain gently; otherwise, it may penetrate the fibers more deeply. If the stain is on a white shirt or tablecloth, carefully pour boiling water over the stain while pulling the fabric taut.

The item can also be washed in a washing machine, and only if the stain is completely removed should it be dried.


The bottom of your gym shoes isn’t the only place gum is bad. Also, taking off clothing can be challenging. Even though you can freeze the item and try to scrape the stain off once it has frozen, it might still be left behind.

To better separate the gum from the fabric, you might want to run it under hot water.


Add one cup of white vinegar to the hot water cycle in your washing machine if your white underwear has turned pink as a result of a red towel. Vinegar is generally safe for most fabrics, but you might test a small area just to be sure. A detergent and oxygen-based bleach can also be used; just make sure to read the label.


Using hot water, remove errant lotion. It’s best to apply a few drops of stain remover or laundry detergent directly to the problem area and scrub it out. Then wash the item on the hottest setting suggested.

Oil-based And Rust Stains

You can’t mix oil and water. So, washing clothing or other materials in hot or cold water won’t be able to remove stains. The same is true of rust stains. Rubbing in a solution of cornstarch or baking soda and water is your best bet for removing rust and oil-based stains. Add some dish soap, then carry on with your normal washing. Repeat if the stain is persistent.


Should I Use Cold Water To Wash Delicate Clothing Or Hot Water To Remove Stains?

Some delicate materials should always be washed in cold water, not hot, no matter what kind of stain you’re dealing with. For wool sweaters, silk undergarments, satin skirts, over-dyed jeans, and tie-dyed clothing, use a cold wash to prevent issues like wrinkling or shrinking.

Are Protein-based Stains Better Removed With Hot Or Cold Water?

All protein stains, including those from dairy products, blood, eggs, glue, and white deodorant, should be washed in cold water.

Hot water can actually cook the protein, causing it to absorb into the fabric and become nearly impossible to remove. The stain can be removed with cold water without setting it.

Should I Use Cold Water To Remove All Stains, Or Does It Set Stains?

Long-term energy cost savings can be achieved by regularly using cold water. Additionally, high-quality detergents are made specifically to wash efficiently at lower temperatures. However, some stains will need a higher temperature to be completely removed, and clothing like underwear and baby clothes should be washed at a higher temperature for proper sanitization.

Final Words

So, now you know the answers to the question, “does hot water set stains?” and other information about whether you should use a hot or cold wash for stains you can make an informed decision when busting those unwanted stains on your clothing. Now, you can wash away the stains on your clothes in the right way!

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