Can You Wash Dishes in Cold Water? 9 Important Things To Consider

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Coming towards the topic; washing dishes ideally requires the right detergent to wash those stains off from the dishes and hot water to remove all that grease and sanitize the dishes. Unlike washing clothes, washing dishes needs hot water to get rid of the dirty spots completely. but can you wash dishes in cold water? Many people ask questions about washing dishes with cold water and if you are also confused, then you can find the right answer by reading this article.

Many people think that hot water is more effective than cold water to wash anything. Yes, that is true, but for proteins like oats, eggs, etc. cold water is more effective. This is the reason why blood-stained fabrics are likely to be washed in cold water as compared with hot water (because it contains proteins). The hot water will make the proteins hard on the fabric rather than removing it from the fabric.

If we exclude proteins, hot water would be more effective and would allow you to wash the dishes in less time with less effort.with

Can You Wash Dishes in Cold Water?

Cold water can be used to wash dishes, but in order to sanitize them, you must rinse them with hot water afterwards. Hot water is much more effective than cold water as it removes grease and stains easily except for the proteins. Proteins easily dissolve in cold water, like rinsing porridge pan is much more convenient and easier with cold water rather than hot water which will make it hard and it will stick to the dishes.

Things you should know about washing dishes with cold water

Following are the things you should consider while washing the dishes with cold water.

1. Cold hands

Washing dishes in cold water will make your hands cold and you will not be able to wash dishes as comfortably as in slightly hot water. Washing dishes with cold water regarding your hands can be a little painful as it does not allow the blood to flow smoothly from your hand and too much exposure to cold can also make you sick.

So many people stick to the hot water, especially for this reason while hand washing the dishes.

2. Sanitization

You can wash the dishes with cold water, but it does not kill the germs and bacteria. Cold water can rather inactivate many bacteria and germs and stop them from spreading. But in order to kill most of the bacteria and germs that are present in every household, hot water is required.

In order to sanitize your dishes, even if you have washed them with cold water, you need to rinse them in the end with hot water. It will not only remove all the remaining soap (if left), but will also kill almost 99% of bacteria and germs from your dishes.

However, a study shows that cold water can remove bacteria and germs as effectively as 100 degrees hot water if the right detergent is used. Detergent is the key to clean and wash anything. But as many detergents are surfactants based, they work better in hot water than in cold water.

3. Greasy dishes

Can You Wash Dishes in Cold Water

Grease is another important factor in washing dishes and most of our dishes include fats. We cook our food in oil or butter that make our dishes greasy and oily. It is very difficult (almost impossible) to remove grease with cold water, as fats and oils become thick and viscous at low temperatures.

Grease can be removed with cold water if you are using a good detergent and scrub, but it will take a lot of time to do that. If you replace your cold water with hot water, you can clean all those fats and oils in no time.


4. Cloudy surfaces

Washing dishes in cold water can leave a cloudy thin layer on the surface of your dishes in the end. Because it does not dissolve the soaps and detergents as effectively as hot water, a layer of soap can remain if not washed for a considerably longer time in cold water. Moreover, on drying, it will give you cloudy dishes in the end.

To remove the soap completely from your dishes, you must double rinse the dishes and check it before letting it dry. You can also rinse them with hot water in the end and it will remove all the remaining soap and detergent residue from the surfaces of your dishes.

The dishes can get cloudy due to different reasons. Like, when washed with hard water, dishes become cloudy sometimes due to the regular washing of some dishes. The outer surface of such dishes gets damaged, which results in the cloudy appearance.

5. Stains and stubborn spots

Intense and long-time cooking can leave stubborn stains on the dishes, that when washed in cold water, get even more hard. If you are trying to wash these stubborn spots, it will take a lot of scrubbing and effort to clean them and will also cost you a lot of time.

6. Viscosity

Many substances become viscous at low temperatures. The thick substances like fats, jams, honey, etc. are difficult to wash in cold water as it makes them even thicker and harder to leave the surfaces of the dishes. It will require you a lot of effort and work to remove them from scrubbing.

On the other hand, at high temperature, the viscosity of everything, becomes low and they will be most likely to be removed easily. So, using hot water will wash off those thick and viscous stains from the dishes in no time and with no effort.

7. Proteins

Can You Wash Dishes in Cold Water

Proteins are somewhat different from others in the form of their ability to withstand heat. Proteins get cooked and hard when heated. Hence, washing off proteins from the dishes with cold water will be easier and efficient than with hot water.

So, if you have beaten an egg in a container, you can wash off that uncooked egg very easily in cold water, whereas when coming in contact with hot water, the egg will get somewhat cooked and will get hardened which will make it stick to the surface of the container. Likewise, for the pan you make porridge in, it is more likely to be rinsed well in cold water than in hot water. The same goes for the oatmeal.

So, if you are washing the dishes like these, you should first rinse them with cold water and then wash them with hot water. It will save you a lot of time and effort, as well as it will sanitize your dishes.

8. Solubility of detergents

Can You Wash Dishes in Cold Water

Unlike hot water, cold water is not a good solvent for many solutes. It is much easier to dissolve solutes in hot water. Whereas in cold water, the same solutes do not dissolve and rest at the bottom.

Likewise, detergents and soaps are more likely to dissolve in hot water than in cold water. Cold water makes the soap hard and it will be a difficult task to get soaps even off your hand. In hot water, molecules are moving rapidly, which allows the formation and breakage of bonds a lot easier.

This results in the dissolving of detergents in hot water faster and easier than in cold water.

9. Cleaning ability

Cold water does not have good cleaning ability if compared with hot water. The cleaning of dirt from anything works with the ability of water to bond with the dirt particles. On top of that, adding detergent helps it and keeps the bond strong so that they can be rinsed away with the water.

Since most of the detergents are surfactant based, they are not formulated for cold water. They require heat for speedy and effective cleaning of grease and stains.

In cold water, the molecules of water are not in as much motion as in hot water. Whereas, in hot water the water molecules move rapidly, which in turn causes them to make and break bonds faster. Thus, the molecules of water do not bond with dirt particles at low temperatures as much as they bond at high temperatures. This allows us to wash dishes with hot water more efficiently than with cold water.

Final Verdict

People prefer hot water to wash anything, either it is dishes or clothes. Hot water has always made it easier to wash the dirt or other particles off everything. 

Can you wash dishes in cold water? Well, we hope that by now, you know what the answer to this question would be according to different situations. 

Cold water can be as effective as hot water in removing bacteria if the right detergent is used. Here, the detergent is the key to wash anything but almost most of the detergents are not as effective for cold water so using hot water (especially for hand washing) is the best option.