The Dangers of leaving Laundry in the Washing Machine for too long: Experts Shares

Akhil A Pillai

Many people are familiar with the experience of leaving laundry in the washing machine overnight, intending to move it to the dryer before bed. However, it is not uncommon to forget, and wake up to damp laundry in the washing machine the next morning. Depending on the amount of time that has passed, the clothes may either smell musty or be just fine. Yet, have you ever considered the implications of leaving clothes in the washer for extended periods of time? Experts provide insight into what happens to your clothes and washing machine when you leave laundry in the washer for too long.

1. Your clothes will develop a musty smell.

If you forget to transfer your clothes to the dryer promptly, you'll soon notice a sour and musty odor emanating from them. According to Johanes Bangao Godoy, a cleaning and laundry specialist at Liox, this is due to the humid and warm environment within the washing machine, which is a breeding ground for mold and bacteria that infest the fabric.

Drying the clothes alone will not eliminate the odor. Bangao Godoy suggests washing them again, adding a cup of white vinegar at the time of rinse cycle, or using a laundry sanitizer product. To ensure that the smell is gone, it's essential to smell the clothes after the second wash; if the odor persists, you may have to wash them once more.

2. The fibers of your clothes can destroy.

Leaving clothes in the washing machine for an extended period can result in more than just an unpleasant odor. The fabric itself may also suffer. According to Craig Anderson, the owner of Appliance Analysts, dampness can weaken the fabric and cause holes to form. Even if there are no immediate indications of damage, prolonged exposure to moisture can hasten wear and tear. Additionally, the fabrics can become stretched or distorted, making it challenging to iron them back into a wearable state, particularly if left in the washer for more than 24 hours.

3. Your clothes can fade.

If clothes are left in the washing machine for an extended period, their colors may begin to fade, according to Craig Anderson. Johanes Bangao Godoy adds that the detergent and fabric softener used during the wash can leave behind residue on the clothes, resulting in discoloration or stains. Regrettably, the damage may be irreversible.

4. You could attract pests.

Leaving wet clothes in the machine for long time may attract insects, which can cause further harm and damage to your home, according to Filho. The moist and warm environment created by damp clothes is an ideal breeding ground for these unwanted visitors. If pests infest the washing machine, it can be challenging and expensive to get rid of them, as the appliance has many small, dark, and moist crevices that can be hard to access.

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I have done Masters in History. I write interesting historical and real life stories.


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