how long can clothes sit in the washer

how long can clothes sit in the washer

How Long Can Clothes Sit in the Washer?

It’s easy to forget about laundry and let items sit in the washing machine for a little too long. But how long can clothes sit in the washer until they become damaged, smelly, and full of mildew?

It depends on the type of fabric, length of time the load has been sitting, and the water temperature. But the general guideline is typically no more than 24 to 48 hours.

Why Do Clothes Need to Be Taken Out Of the Washer?

Clothes left in the washer for days can mildew and rot, become discolored, and even start to smell funky. This is because hot and humid conditions, along with agitation, create the perfect environment for bacteria growth.

Mildew and rot happen when fabrics are exposed to water and left in place. The longer the clothes sit there, the higher the chances are these processes will occur.

It’s also important to note that leaving clothes in the washer for an extended time increases the chances of them becoming permanently stained.

Tips for Taking Care of Wet Clothes

To avoid any possible damage to your clothes, here are a few tips to remember when dealing with wet clothing:

  • Take them out as soon as the cycle is done. This will help to minimize any possible mildew growth or lasting damage.
  • If you can’t hang or dry the clothes right away, put them in a mesh or cloth bag. Placing them in a bag will allow the excess dampness to escape while protecting the clothing from mildew growth.
  • Refrain from overfilling the washer. If the clothes don’t tumble freely while being washed, they can end up staying damp and sullied longer.
  • Resist the urge to “refresh” a load. If you need to resterilize your laundry, try washing with a cup of white vinegar instead. This is a much safer option for delicate fabrics.
  • Always unplug the washer between loads. Not only will this help you save energy, but it will also reduce the chances of mildew and stains.

So when it comes to laundry, make sure to take items out of the washer as soon as they’re clean. This will help keep your clothes looking and smelling fresh.

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