Experts Say Clothes Can Stay Up To Twelve Hours in Washing Machines before Developing an Odor

forgotten laundry
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Forgetting one’s laundry in the washing machine overnight has happened to several people. Clothes when left in the water after a certain period of time develop a smelly odor. According to specialists, damp clothes can sleep in the washing machine for a considerable number of hours before they develop a foul smell. Damp clothes can take between 8 to 12 hours in the washing machine before developing the unwanted odor or even bacterial mildew to be generated.

There are different types of washing machines at The Good Guys which always come with their instruction manuals and directives.

These washing machines at The Good Guys are of good quality and can last for long when they are handled with care especially with frequent cleaning.

Why do clothes smell damp after washing?

Clothes start smelling of damp when extra moisture gets trapped in them. The smell usually indicates mildew which is a type of white fungus that is similar to mold. When clothes are wet for long periods of time, the fabric is not breathable enough which can result in stains and smells. This is what can happen to clothes which have been soaked by rain or sweat after a hard and long work out.

How long can wet or damp clothes be in the washing machine?

girl waiting for laundry
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The main thing is to get the clothes out of the washing machine when doing laundry but stuff happens and one can get to forget. Take the clothes out immediately and rewash them. Ideally, nothing will happen between eight to 12 hours and when the time exceeds from this estimated time frame, it will not only affect the clothes but the machine as well.

Cleaning a washing machine

The first step towards cleaning a washing machine is taking out the detergent drawer

Take out the detergent drawer and marinade place it in hot water for some minutes. Using a toothbrush to scrub the machine helps in getting rid of the mold. Make sure it gets dry before putting it back at its position.

Put some white vinegar to the drawer and run a hot wash to have it cleaned, this helps in sanitizing the machine. When done cleaning the cycle, make sure to air-dry the inner part of the drawer naturally by leaving the door open. Carry out the process once in a month and have a fresh and clean washing machine.

Endeavor to always read the detergent packaging

People always feel using a lot of detergents is good but the truth is they rather create some lumps in the machine that can generate to mold and bacteria. When clothes are visibly dirty, muddy or soiled, rinse them before putting them back in the machine.

Is it a good idea to air-dry clothes? 

During summer, it is always easy to wash clothes and hang them on the washing line outside. This is ecologically friendly and it has gentle effects on clothes and tumble-dryers. The rays of the sun equally disinfect bacteria from clothes, as well as water on wet clothes. Sun rays are equally amazing stubborn stains removals and probably the best to use for wet clothes.

Frequently Asked Questions on Washing Machines and Washing Clothes

Q: Is the top-loading washing machine more effective than a front loading washing machine?

A: There is no clear answer, as there is no perfect model. Many factors are affecting the performance of the washing machine. Front loading washing machines save water, but they’re more expensive than their opponent. On the other hand, top-loading washing machines are more versatile and more comfortable to use, but you will need to ben when loading/unloading the clothes.

Q: Is the semi-automatic washing machine better than the fully automatic models?

A: When your money is tight, the semi-automatic model is the better choice. A semi-automatic machine isn’t straightforward to handle as it takes both time and energy on your part. You have to be at home to watch every step of the washing process. It’s not the case with the fully automatic machines which complete the whole wash cycle while you’re away at work.

However, if you’re budget is tight and you don’t have a tap water connection, the semi-automatic washing machine is the safe option.

Q: Is the top-loading washing machine more gentle on clothes than the front load models?

A: It’s a myth, as modern washing machines are made so that they’re gentle on clothes. As long as they’re not featuring a rod-like agitator, both types of washing machines are soft with your clothes.

Q: Can you wash clothes without detergent?

A: Only using water isn’t going to clean your clothes. Detergents are made with surfactants that are attracted to grease, dirt, and water. They snatch the water and dirt particles together. During the rinsing phase, surfactants are also rinsed together with water, eliminating dirt along. It’s how your clothes become clean.

It makes perfect sense that if you want clean clothes, you will need to use detergent every single time.

Q: Why do washing machines stink?

A: When the tap water is dirty, it can make the washing machine stink after some time. However, it’s a fungus and scaling the leading causes of bad smell inside the washing machine.

Mildew and mold are the two kinds of fungus infecting the washing machine rather quickly. Since they grow fast on wet surfaces, they may harm the health of people. Scaling is another cause of the bad smell. Calcium, magnesium, and other minerals in water deposit inside the washing machine, leading to an unpleasant odor.

Q: What’s the easiest way to eliminate mildew/mold fungus and scales from the washing machine?

A: It’s always easier to prevent than cure, and the washing machine doesn’t make an exception. You should make sure that the washing machine is dry whenever it isn’t’ used. No foam or water should remain after the washing is done. It’s also a good idea not to use too much detergent as the extra foam will get stuck in the pipe. You don’t want the water to overflow out of the tub either, so don’t overfill the machine.

As for cleaning the inside of the washing machine, you need to call an authorized service technician. For best results and longer lifespan of your washing machine, please don’t install it in the bathroom and don’t leave damp clothes inside of it for too long either.

Q: Is it possible to use the softener and the detergent at the same time?

A: Sadly, for the customers who are always on the run, the answer is “no.” Fabric softener is gentle on clothes and is supposed to be used after washing is done. You will get the best out of it if you add it throughout the rinsing cycle. Make sure that you always add the amount of softener mentioned on the bottle. It’s tempting, but don’t add too much of it –  you can ruin the clothes.

Q: Should you wash the clothes inside out?

A: Some clothes are filled with your bodily fluids, so you must wash them inside out. When you want to clean the dirtiest parts of your garments, remember to put them inside out for maximum exposure to the detergent.

Q: Does the washing machine damage the clothes more than the dryer?

A: Once again, it’s not a straight answer as it depends a lot on how you’re using the washing machine. When you want to wash delicate clothes with high settings, the risk for damaging the fragile garments is high. The safest way to know is to sit down and go over the machine wash guidelines from your clothes. It’s the best method to lower the risk of tearing the clothes throughout washing or drying.

Q: Should you zip the zippers and button the buttons before washing?

A: Even if it takes you 30 seconds, it’s always safe to zip the zippers and button all the buttons on your clothes. It’s fundamental to have the fasteners closed throughout washing unless you want to take the chance for some new holes in your favorite jeans jacket.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm hoping for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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