What Really Happens If You Store Your Dirty Laundry In The Washing Machine?
The damp, dark interior of a washer also provides a perfect haven for mold growth. Even when washers are left empty, especially front-loading machines, there is a potential for mold build-up. In fact, a 2015 study published by Fungal Biology found that 79% of the 70 empty washing machines they tested contained some type of fungi. Since the rubber gasket seal is created to prevent water from spilling, it is impermeable. However, that feature also traps humidity in a dark and airtight space, which causes mold growth. That’s why it’s recommended to leave the appliance door open when not in use to allow air to flow through.
However, if you leave your dirty clothes in the washer for multiple days, this prevents air from flowing inside the machine, increasing the humidity and therefore the potential for the spread of fungi. Also, dirty clothes can encourage mold growth from food, dirt, sweat, and moisture that may be present on your garments. This can create a musty smell on both your clothes and the inside of your appliance that’s hard to remove. More importantly, mold can also trigger a range of health problems like allergic reaction symptoms and skin irritation, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For those with asthma or other health conditions, it can make their symptoms worse as well.