Is It OK To Leave Laundry Out Overnight?

When our everyday lives get too busy, many of us wouldn’t have that much time to do our household chores. Since a majority of people work during the day, doing tasks such as laundry may only be possible to do during the nighttime.

This leads to the question of whether it’s okay to leave the laundry to hang overnight. Will it cause damage to the clothes? Does it even dry them?

In this article, we’ll talk about whether hanging clothes overnight is okay, and the pros and cons of doing it.

Leaving laundry out at night – is it okay?

Yes, leaving your laundry out to dry overnight is absolutely okay. If you don’t have the time to hang your clothes in the morning, there’s no need to feel bad at all. Just wash your garments, then make use of your washing line and pegs to dry them off.

However, you have to know that though there are advantages to overnight drying, there are some cons that you also need to watch out for.

Thankfully though, they are not that big of a deal and we’ll also tell you how to prevent them below.

The disadvantages

What are the cons of leaving your laundry out overnight?

It will take longer to dry

Let’s face it: the sun’s rays dry clothing and fabrics very fast.

If we compare it to leaving them to dry overnight, there’s a huge chance that they wouldn’t be completely dry in the morning. The dew may even cause them to be more damp.

shirts on clothes line

However, if it was particularly breezy at night, the wind may dry your garments completely.

Tip: Since the UK weather can be quite fickle, it may be worth watching the weather report before hanging your clothes out or they may get rained on or exposed to extreme weather that may damage them in the long run.

You will not get the sun’s disinfecting capability

Did you know that the sun is considered to be “the best of disinfectants”? In one study[1], it was found that exposing your clothing to the sun can significantly reduce fungal contamination.

Leaving your clothing to dry overnight will not give you the same results.

Note: Do you have particular allergies or a sensitive nose? In some cases, it’s possible for allergens such as pollen to stick to your clothing.

Tip: If you let your clothes get the sun’s rays the next day, then it’s just like you hung them that morning. This way, you’ll still be able to disinfect your garments without having to do them at an early time.

Your white clothes may not appear as light as before

Aside from disinfecting your newly laundered clothing, the sun’s UV rays actually bleaches them too – naturally.

white laundry on clothes line

The sun’s natural bleaching properties are great for white clothing and other fabrics such as sheets and linens. This means that if you want to make your whites appear crisp, overnight drying may not do the trick.

Tip: Do you notice your white clothes are already turning yellowish? Try using baking soda on your next wash and see what happens!

SEE ALSO: How To Make White Clothes White Again

It will not smell as fresh

Remember what we said earlier about UV rays disinfecting your clothing?

When the sun is present, the bacteria that causes bad odours on your laundry will not be able to cling to your garment anymore. This results in a laundry batch that smells fresh.

If you’re already struggling with that mouldy smell on your fabrics, leaving them to dry at night would not be very beneficial.

Tip: Use a well-designed drying rack to hang clothing strategically without it taking up too much space in your backyard!

HOMIDEC Airer Clothes Drying Rack,4-Tier Foldable Clothes Hanger Adjustable Large Stainless Steel Garment Laundry Racks for Indoor Outdoor
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HOMIDEC Airer Clothes Drying Rack,4-Tier Foldable Clothes Hanger Adjustable Large Stainless Steel Garment Laundry Racks for Indoor Outdoor
  • 4-TIER Oversized Clothes Drying Rack: Oversized 4-tier design and 2 wing hooks for drying towels, socks, clothes, shoes, quilts, etc. Each level has 8 posts, 7 hooks on 2 side wings, you can hang longer suits or dresses. There is enough space to dry whole family's clothes.
  • Stable Design: The drying rack is made of high-hardness stainless steel and thick plastic, with bold double columns on both sides, which is more stable than ordinary drying racks.

There may be some bugs on your clothing

When you hang your clothes to dry overnight, there’s some chance that the nocturnal insects and bugs may get attracted to them.

Several people have even seen spiders on their clothing when they’re dry. This is why it’s best to give your clothes a little shake before bringing them inside your home.

Tip: Avoid using heavily fragrant detergents and fabric conditioners. These may attract bugs to your clothing. White vinegar is a great alternative for fabric conditioners!

In summary: It’s possible to get the best results of overnight drying if you’ll still allow your clothes to bask in the sun the next day. This way, it’s just like hanging them to dry in the morning while not being a huge disturbance to your schedule.

The benefits

What are the pros of leaving your laundry out overnight?

It allows you to stick to your schedule

We get it: Doing laundry is not the most exciting thing to do. Some people like sleeping in, especially during the weekends. Some people juggle a job, family, friends, and self-care, and they don’t exactly have the luxury of time to enjoy doing a chore at a certain time of day.

white trousers hung with pegs

Because of how busy many of us are, we do our chores whenever we can. Laundry is one of the things we have to do that may seem time-sensitive because most people prefer doing them in the morning when there’s still the sun to dry our wet clothes.

If we leave our laundry to dry overnight, this leaves a significant chunk of time to do other important things in the day. We don’t have to wake up early, either!

It’s better than indoor drying

When we compare tumble drying to outdoor drying, the latter is so much better as it’s great for the environment and for our wallets. Who wouldn’t want to save money when drying clothes outdoors is free?

Of course, we know that it’s not always possible to hang your fabrics outdoors. The weather may be bad, your clothing may only be dried using the dryer, or it may be more convenient to do. Don’t get us wrong, we know tumble dryers are efficient and at times, even use them ourselves!

On the other hand, if we’re talking about hanging our damp clothes indoors, doing so is actually not good as it can also encourage mould growth! Hence, if you have to choose between hanging damp clothes inside or outside, doing so outdoors is the better option.

SEE ALSO: What Are The Benefits Of Drying Clothes In The Sun?

Do you leave your laundry out to dry?

If you’re one of the many who likes taking advantage of the sun’s rays to dry their laundry, you’ll know how great it is, and it’s quite difficult to go back to tumble drying during the winter.

pegs on clothes line

Have you ever tried leaving your laundry out overnight? What are your opinions on it? Let us know in the comments!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to rewash clothes after being rained on?

No, there’s no need to rewash clothes after it has been rained on. In fact, rainwater could even help soften clothing!

Can bacteria grow on damp clothes?

Yes, bacteria and fungi can grow on damp clothes as they love moist environments.

Will slightly damp clothes mould?

Yes, slightly damp clothes that are placed in unventilated places are very prone to grow mould.

Is it bad to dry your washed clothes indoors?

It could be bad to dry washed clothes indoors as it contributes to the moisture inside homes, resulting in damp and mould.

Can clothes dry overnight in winter?

As long as there’s a sufficient breeze, it’s possible for clothes to dry overnight, even in winter!

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