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Risks unveiled: Serious effects of storing dirty laundry in washing machine

Risks unveiled: Serious effects of storing dirty laundry in washing machine Illustrative photo (Photo: Freepik)
Author: Daria Shekina

People often immediately toss dirty clothes into the washing machine drum due to the absence of a separate basket for such items. However, for some reasons, it's advisable to reconsider this habit, according to the House Digest website.

What can this lead to?

Storing dirty clothes in the washing machine's drum can lead to bacterial growth and mold formation, according to experts.

The humid conditions inside the washing machine provide an ideal environment for bacterial proliferation, particularly when wet towels and sweat-soaked clothes are placed in the drum.

Research indicates that bacteria thrive better in moist environments. Additionally, the bacteria present in dirty laundry might include E. coli and salmonella.

Hence, it's advised not to store dirty clothes in the washing machine as microbes multiply on both the textiles and within the appliance.

This practice can also contribute to lingering unpleasant odors on the laundry even after washing.

The dark, damp environment inside the machine is perfect for mold development. Studies have found that 79% of tested empty washing machines contained some form of fungi.

The rubber seal, designed to prevent water leakage, is impermeable. However, it also retains moisture in the dark and sealed space, leading to mold growth.

Experts recommend leaving the machine door ajar to ensure air circulation.

Where to store dirty clothes:


It's recommended to store dirty clothes in a well-ventilated basket near the washing machine. Woven baskets are ideal for this purpose.


Many people undress in the bathroom before bathing. Therefore, the bathroom can be a suitable place to keep a laundry basket, as family members can directly place their dirty clothes in it.


The bedroom is also an excellent location for a laundry basket. Many individuals change their clothes in the bedroom, reducing the likelihood of throwing clothes on nearby beds or chairs.

Dirty laundry dresser

This is a separate dresser with multiple drawers allowing for efficient clothing sorting before washing. However, it may not be suitable for a small bathroom as it requires space not only for installation but also for convenient drawer access.