Doing a load of laundry can take a long time.
So, you may go about your other duties while waiting or distract yourself on social media.
But these other things may overconsume you such that you forget you left clothes in the machine. you
So, Should You Rewash Wet Clothes Accidentally Left in the Washer 24 Hours?
The recommended time to leave clothes in the washer is 8-12 hours. But since things happen, you may find yourself leaving yours longer than this time. What happens then?
Whether to rewash clothes that have overstayed in the washer depends on various things. Of course, if they are smelly, you can’t wear them like that. So it means that you must rewash them. Also, you’ll need to rewash them if they have mildew.
How Long Can Wet Clothes Remain In The Washing Machine?
Technically, there isn’t a single rule that states how long clothes should be left in the washing machine.
But if you want them to stay fresh, do not leave them for more than 8 hours or 12 hours maximum.
Past these, your clothes may start smelling, which usually indicates mildew growth.
Should You Leave Clothes Overnight In The Washing Machine?
The world has two types of people. The one that will be uncomfortable knowing their clothes are in the washer and the other who accidentally forgets wet clothes in the dryer.
But as it turns out, there is nothing wrong with leaving your load overnight.
It only becomes a problem if you make a habit of doing so.
However, if you leave your clothes overnight, don’t be happy yet.
Leaving laundry loads overnight is not a problem if you don’t let them sit until the next day.
You need to check your laundry as soon as you remember. Clothes left in the washer for too long can result in mold and mildew.
Besides having an unpleasant smell, wearing such clothes puts your health at risk.
But if planning on air drying your clothes on a clothesline, leaving your clothes overnight may be a good idea.
Line drying is better than using a dryer as it keeps the fibers in your clothes from breaking down.
Tumble dryers tend to rub clothes against each other vigorously, which can easily damage the fibers.
Why Is It A Bad Idea To Leave Clothes in the Washer For A Long Time?
It is not good for your laundry to sit in the washer for too long since;
1. Mildew Can Form on the Clothes
If you leave wet clothes in the washing machine for a long time, they may form a pungent smell.
This smell comes from an overgrowth of made and bacteria.
So if your clothes stay in the washer for longer, they will be less fresh and have an unpleasant odor.
Mildew is a f fungi that grows on clothes, upholstery, and sometimes walls. It is mostly black or gray, but it can be yellow.
Mildew loves a humid environment and will quickly spread on cotton, linen, and silk clothes.
The more it accumulates, the more intense the smell or color change will be.
Besides having a bad smell, mildew is unattractive and could severely damage your favorite clothes.
2. You May Experience Health Issues
People with respiratory conditions like asthma are easily affected when exposed to mildew.
Additionally, it can worsen allergies to people allergic to them.
Exposure to these fungi can irritate your skin, eyes, throat, and lungs.
3. Mildew Can Damage Your Washer
A pungent smell is, of course, the main drawback of letting your clothes stay in the washer for a long time.
But it’s not the only one.
Mildew developing on your clothes can damage your machine, including the dryer.
Remember that mildew thrives in a humid environment.
So, it’ll quickly grow in your washer due to the moisture present.
If your clothes come out with a pungent smell after placing them in the laundry machine, you could be dealing with washer mildew.
How Mildew Grows in the Clothes That Sit in the Washer for Too Long
We have already mentioned that mildew requires moisture to thrive.
But other favorable conditions are dark space and source of food. Mildew is often in the form of powder or downy.
When you leave your clothes damp for a long time, it supports mildew growth.
This fungus requires a humidity of 65-75%, which is possible with wet clothes in the washer.
Also, remember that the inside of your washing machine is dark and mildew loves darkness.
Therefore, if you leave wet clothes in this dark environment, it won’t be long until this fungus grows.
The last condition is a food source, which it gets from paper, fabric, wood, and dirt.
Clothes in the washing machine feed dirt and material to this fungus, supporting its growth.
The fabric will be weakened with time due to the rot mildew created. To keep your clothes in the best conditions, remove them in the dark and dry them.
How to Get Rid of Smell on Clothes That Have Overstayed in the Washer
If you remove your clothes from the washer and they smell bad, please do not dry them.
Doing so seals the smell in the clothes. Instead, it is best to rewash them immediately.
Here are some some additional tips:
1. Air Dry Them
If you accidentally leave your clothes in the dryer overnight and worry about odors, air drying is a great step.
It removes the unpleasant smell in your laundry.
The gentle breeze blows over your clothes to get rid of musty smells.
2. Run Another Wash Cycle Using Baking Soda
Baking soda has various uses in the cleaning world. It can help get rid of musty smells on clothes from mildew.
It is a natural deoxidizer that kills mildew and its odor.
But it’s recommended that you use the hottest temperature during this cycle. Hot water kills fungus and bacteria lingering in your clothes and even the washing machine.
3. Use Vinegar To Kill Mildew
Vinegar is another excellent deodorizer. It is a disinfectant that fights odor and gives your clothes a fresh smell.
Put a cup of vinegar in the tub, load the clothes on your washing machine then run a normal cycle.
Remember to use hot water during the wash to kill germs.
4. Regularly Clean Your Washer
Sometimes fresh laundry can still smell even if you don’t leave it for a long time.
In this case, the washing machine could be the culprit.
Sometimes, mildew can grow inside the machine if it’s not cleaned on a regular basis, SO CLEAN IT.
Also, after using your washer, leave the door open for some minutes since mildew and bacteria love a damp environment.
Leaving wet clothes clothes for an extended amount of time in the washer isn’t recommended.
But if you left yours overnight, don’t worry. Most times your clothes will be okay. But please check them as soon as you remember and load them in the dryer.