I’m sure we’ve all put laundry in the washing machine, turned it on, and then have forgotten to switch it over to the dryer. I’m guilty of doing this when I put laundry in after dinner – I generally forget to switch it over before going to sleep, so it ends up sitting in the washing machine all night. I always wonder if it’s bad that my damp laundry has sat in the washer all night. So today, we’re going to look into that question a little further!
According to Martha Stewart, you should be fine if you’ve left your laundry in the washing machine overnight. “I mean, don’t leave it for a long time… Don’t leave it for a week,” Martha says. “If you get up in the morning and throw it in the dryer, it should probably be okay.” In fact, letting your damp clothing dry slightly overnight in the washing machine can actually be beneficial if you plan to hang your laundry to dry on a clothesline. Not everyone has the option of drying their laundry on a clothesline, but clothes do tend to last longer when dried this way, as opposed to in the dryer.
If you forgot to switch your clothes over and notice they have an unpleasant odor, you’ll want to put them through another cycle in the washing machine prior to drying them. A foul smell generally means that mold and bacteria have begun to build up given the damp clothes and damp environment of the washer, so they’ll definitely need to be cleaned again. But, if you wake up, go down to the washer, and don’t notice any smells, you’re likely just fine to toss your laundry into the dryer.
So, there you have it – use your judgement when it comes to laundry that has sat in the washer for longer than you intended. If you switch it over the morning after and don’t notice any smells, you’re totally fine. Because if Martha Stewart herself says it’s fine, I’m certainly going to be taking her word for it!