How do you make the decision to use hot, warm or cold water for your wash? Some customers have the preference to always use cold water, but sometimes for sanitizing you need to use a hotter temperature. When all else fails, follow the instructions on the garment tags. For most, however, it is less expensive to wash loads combined. In that case, cold water is always the best bet. Wash like colors together. Whites – use hot / for towels – use hot / for bright colors – use cold / for grays and tans – you can use warm / for clothes that have been washed alot – use warm. For all circumstances, use your best guess – new jeans / cold – red / COLD!! The milder the soap, the less fading occurs as well.