For a long time I ran my hot water heater at around 120°F thinking I was saving energy. My front loading clothes washing machine would always have an odor no matter how much it was cleaned—dishwashing powder, bleach, then those "tablets"!
So I increased the temperature in the hot water heater to give it a good solid cleaning. I forgot to turn it down, but after a few weeks I remembered and I also realized that the washing machine no longer smelled!
Six months later no smelly washing machine!
Then I read: The case for very hot water
Which pretty much made the claim that:
My experience seems to support the theory, So what do you think?“The number one cause of waterborne disease outbreaks in the United States,” says environmental engineer Marc Edwards, “is not contaminants leaving the water treatment plant (we do a good job of killing those). It’s the pathogens that grow in home water heaters.”