How Long Can You Leave Wet Clothes In The Washer?

February 5, 2019


The one chore that never ends is laundry and with all those loads needing washing and drying, there are times when wet clothes are left in the washing machine. Wither you chose not to place wet clothes in the dryer of an empty house due to the fire risk or starting a load in the washer just before bedtime, there is strong opinions on how long you can leave wet clothes in the washer before they start to smell. So what is an appropriate length of time?  Industry experts say your clothes won't have an odor as long as they're dried within 8 to 12 hours. That time is shortened if your washing machine is outside the air conditioned interior of your home where higher humidity means less time to dry. Mildew will start to develop and create an odor and over a long period begin to stain clothing. Left untreated, mildew can rot the fabric.  But it's simple enough to get rid of mildew by soaking the clothes in warm or hot water (depending on the care instructions) with a cap-full of detergent. Or simply re-wash the clothes. A word of caution to try and not make a habit of leaving wet clothes in the washer. Long term or repeatedly, it's not good for your washer or your clothes.

SOURCE: Apartment Therapy

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