Expert reveals you can leave wet clothes in the washing machine for up to 12 hours

7 March 2020, 19:52

Good news! You can leave clothes in the washer overnight.
Good news! You can leave clothes in the washer overnight. Picture: Getty

A Whirlpool spokesperson explained that ditching clean clothes for an entire night won't impact the freshness of your wash!

Ever wondered how long you can keep laundry in the drum for before it starts to smell?

An expert has confirmed that clean, wet clothes can be left in the washing machine for up to 12 hours at a time.

A spokesperson for the Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science explained that abandoning a full load for an entire day is perfectly acceptable – even to the professionals – and won't have an impact on your wash.

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You can leave laundry in the drum for around eight to twelve hours.
You can leave laundry in the drum for around eight to twelve hours. Picture: Getty

The recommended maximum time slot falls between eight and 12 hours, depending on which fabrics you're cleaning, as well as the type of detergent you're using.

But this nifty knowledge will surely give some of you at least an extra half a day to play with – or even the entire night.

And it's not just the home appliance company that's confident about this fact, iconic homemaker Martha Stewart even agrees.

"I would say that it's perfectly all right to leave it overnight," she told Today.

"I mean, don't leave it for a long time. Don’t leave it for a week. If you get up in the morning and throw it in the dryer, it should probably be OK."

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Whirlpool has dished the dirt on washing machine timings.
Whirlpool has dished the dirt on washing machine timings. Picture: Getty

If you're concerned your entire wardrobe will end up smelling damp and mouldy though, the domestic goddess suggests using unscented soap so you can tell when the bad whiffs begins to creep in.

"One way you can kind of tell is if it smells all right.

"That mould and that bacteria that starts to grow on damp clothes and environments, that's very pungent."

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Wet clothes won't smell as quickly as you think.
Wet clothes won't smell as quickly as you think. Picture: Getty

Or, do you find that your laundry always gives off a stale stink?

It could be because you are closing the washing machine door after each cycle.

An Australian washing machine repair man took to Facebook to share his know-how, writing: "The first thing I tell people when I'm called out to a job is to start leaving the doors on their washing machines open when they're not using it.

"Keeping it closed for hours and days on end can cause all sorts of problems."

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He continued: "It's the mould and grime build-up, which is your biggest problem.

"A lot of people have to change the seal on their machines due to a scum and build-up and that can be largely avoided or prolonged by keeping the door open.

"Your big problem is warm water being trapped in there. If the door's closed, then bacteria and mould can breed and no-one wants that."