Most mainstream detergents can be used with any temperature water, but warm-hot water will outperform cold. See Hot vs Cold Water for more information on water temperates.
Surfactants are the chemicals in laundry detergents that actively remove soiling from fabrics. Different detergents contain different amounts of surfactants. It is important to use enough surfactants to remove all the dirt. Use the amount of detergent advised on the package for a heavily soiled load (sometimes described as large load/hard water) in main wash, and around half of that in prewash.
Detergent quantities and recommended wash temperatures are detailed in our country specific Detergent Indexes.Detergent Index
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For more information on what is in detergents and the function of the raw materials see our information on Fragrance in Detergent, Enzymes, Optical Brighteners and Plant based, Sensitive & “Eco” Detergents, and the WashWise information sheet on Laundry Detergent Ingredients.
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