Why dirty clothes should not be stored in the washing machine: the consequences can be very serious

Alina MilsentLife
Dirty clothes should not be stored in the washing machine

It seems that there is an ingenious life hack to save space in the bathroom: just put dirty clothes directly into the washing machine. This way, you don't have to buy bulky baskets and storage containers.

If you do this every day, you can tell when the drum is full that it's time to do laundry. While this may seem like a harmless practice, it can actually have some negative consequences. Storing dirty clothes in the washing machine can lead to the spread of bacteria and mold, according to House Digest.

Scientific research

The humid conditions inside the washing machine create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, especially if you put wet towels and sweat-dampened clothes in the drum.

According to a study published by GMS Hygiene and Infection Control, bacteria survive better in a humid environment. In addition, a study published by Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that bacteria present in dirty laundry can include E. coli and salmonella.

Therefore, by storing dirty clothes in a wet washing machine, germs multiply both on the textiles and inside the appliance, which can easily cause certain diseases. Sometimes this is also the reason why unpleasant odors remain on the laundry even after washing.

Why mold appears

Dark, damp environments are the most ideal conditions for mold to grow. Even if the washing machines are left empty, there is a chance that fungal spores will appear.

A 2015 study published by Fungal Biology found that 79% of the empty washing machines tested contained some type of fungus. Since the rubber gasket is designed to prevent water spills, it is impermeable. However, this feature also traps moisture in a dark and airtight space, which causes mold to grow. It is therefore recommended to leave the door ajar even when the appliance is not in use to allow air to enter.

The more clothes stored in the drum of the washing machine, the higher the risk of fungal spores.

Mold can cause a number of health problems, such as allergic reaction symptoms and skin irritation, respiratory problems, etc.

Where to store dirty clothes

Unpleasant consequences can be easily avoided by storing dirty clothes in a well-ventilated basket next to the washing machine. Wicker baskets made of a material that provides breathability are best suited.

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