Expert reveals the maximum time you can leave wet clothes in the washing machine before they start to smell damp

IT'S a cruel fact of life that we only ever remember that the washing machine has finished its cycle when we've already gone to bed.

But while we usually force ourselves to get up and put the clean clothes in the dryer, cleaning experts have claimed you can leave them in the machine for up to 12 hours before they start to smell damp.

Lucinda Ottusch – an expert at the Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science – told the Mirror that you don't have to remove damp clothes from your machine straight away.

Instead, the expert says you can leave them in there for between eight and 12 hours – but after this point, you need to hang them up to dry straight away.

What's more, Martha Stewart has previously said it's fine to leave clothes in the machine overnight.

In an interview with Today, the American businesswoman and cleaning expert said: "I would say that it's perfectly all right.

One way you can kind of tell is if your washing smells all right. That mould and that bacteria that starts to grow on damp clothes and environments, that's very pungent.

"I mean, don't leave it for a long time… don’t leave it for a week. If you get up in the morning and throw it in the dryer, it should probably be OK!"

But before you hang up your clean clothing, Martha recommends giving the washing a sniff to check it doesn't smell damp.

She continued: "One way you can kind of tell is if it smells all right.

"That mould and that bacteria that starts to grow on damp clothes and environments, that's very pungent."

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