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Is It Bad to Leave Clothes in the Washer?

washer barrel with lone green sock

What happens if you leave wet clothes in the washer? Is it really that bad?

Doing laundry is a chore for many, but there are reasons you should not put it off, especially when it is mid-cycle. If you have left your wet clothes in the laundry long enough, the worst-case scenario would be that you have to replace part of your wardrobe. However, that is not likely. Take care, and learn why it is bad to leave clothes in the washer.

Is It Bad to Leave Clothes in the Washer?

If you leave your wet laundry in the washing machine for a few hours, it likely will do no harm. However, the longer you leave it in, the higher the risk it has for developing mold and mildew. It is not a good idea to leave your laundry in the washing machine for prolonged periods.

Will Mold Grow on the Laundry?

Mold starts growing on wet surfaces after one or two days. Unless you are leaving your wet clothes in the washer over the weekend, you should not expect to find mold or mildew on your laundry when you get it. That being said, you should also keep your washing machine clean and mold-free to avoid a higher mold growth risk on your wet clothes.

How to Clean Musty Wet Laundry

Did you forget to put your wet laundry in the dryer and come back to musty-smelling clothes? Fear not! There is a solution or two to make it right. One way is to wash your clothes again, this time with hot water and white vinegar. You can use bleach for white clothing.

Another way to help get rid of mold on clothing is to wash the clothes again and set it out to dry outside in direct sunlight. UV rays help to get rid of germs and mold, and the outdoor air can help dry your clothes faster. This method could help with your sweaters or woolens.

When drying normally, you can hasten the drying process by letting your clothes dry outside, next to a fan, or next to a roaring fireplace. Of course, there is the clothes dryer, too.

Tips to Prevent Musty Laundry

It’s important to keep your washer clean to prevent mold growth there, too. Perhaps once or twice a year, run an empty cycle with hot water and white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. After every wash, keep a front-loading washer’s door open so it dries out completely.

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We service the entire Greater Baltimore Area, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard Counties, as well as Baltimore City. Call our office before 12:00 pm weekdays at 410-682-3232, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. “We’ll go out of our way to provide you with the best service you’ve ever received.”

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