Somewhere along the line, I learned to wash my laundry in cold water whenever possible, so that I would use less energy, and therefore be more environmentally friendly. Slowly, I have switched over to doing most things in hot, and doing only my cleanest, darkest clothes in cold. Hot simply did a better job of getting out the stains, and 3 kids and a hard working husband meant dirty, dirty clothes.
But what I didn't know, was how dirty my clean laundry was. Ewwww. Apparently, simply washing our underwear infects the entire load AND the machine itself, with e-coli. The article I read, said we should wash our clothes in hot (150 degree) water, which isn't even feasible for parents, because we are supposed to have our hot water tank thermostats set to 120 degrees so that our children don't get scalded. And if you let the wet laundry sit, the e-coli will multiply. So, after quickly transferring our e-coli infested laundry from the washer to the dryer (there goes my 24 hour rule for how long a load can sit before having to rewash it), it is necessary to dry things at a minimum of 150 degrees. I had always dried most things on low so that I don't shrink things and stress the fabric. Can anyone tell me how hot 'low' is?
I hate how learning one thing only brings up more questions. Now I have to figure out how hot low is, to make sure I am killing all the disgusting bacteria that is living on my otherwise clean laundry. And then I need to learn how to clean with bleach, and sanitize my washer without leaving bleach in the washer to ruin the next load. And then research the harmful effects of bleach on my family. Seriously. Knowledge is exhausting.