Leaving wet clothes in the washer overnight can cause them to smell mildewy in the morning—but this doesn't always happen (and you might not have to run the load through another cycle).
We've all been through it: You put a load of laundry into your washer only to forget about it until the next morning. When this happens, it's common for your clothes to develop a mildewy odor due to the growth of bacteria overnight. But if you left wet clothes in the washer and find they still smell fresh and clean, do you really need to run it through a second cycle?
While it's best practice to place your garments in the dryer or on the clothesline right after the cycle finishes, it's perfectly okay to leave your wet clothes in the washer overnight. Don't leave it for a week, but if you get up in the morning and throw it in the dryer, it should probably be okay.
Signs Your Clothes Were Left in the Washer for Too Long
If you're unsure if your wet laundry has been sitting too long, try smelling it. That mold and that bacteria that starts to grow on damp clothes and environments, that's very pungent.
Even if one item of the bunch smells, it's a good indicator that the entire load needs to be re-washed. For this reason, it's important to use a non-scented laundry detergent that's also free of harsh chemicals. Doing so will allow you to smell if your clothes haven't been properly washed and need further attention.