It’s something we’ve all been guilty of at least once or twice - doing a clothes wash and then forgetting about it, leaving it in the machine for hours, sometimes even days before getting it out.

If you have ever done this you’ll know that when you do get the load out it can sometimes stink of mould and mildew, meaning it has to be washed all over again. However, cleaning expert Mary Futher, who goes by Madame Sweat on TikTok, has now revealed exactly how long wet clothes can be left before going mouldy.

Sharing her insight on social media, Mary explained that laundry can be left for a maximum of 12 hours without risking any mould. She told followers: “Rule of thumb generally is if you left them sitting wet more than 12 hours, that's the cut off point. You need to rewash and use a half a cup of baking soda with your detergent to get rid of that mould that’s built-in.”

People watching were shocked by Madame Sweat’s advice and shared they were much stricter with their clothes. “Two hours is my maximum, otherwise I rewash them. I can smell the mildew if it's too long,” one viewer declared.

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Another person added: “I don't know the amount but my nose does. The slightest whiff of mildew and I rewash.”

However, others were far more laid back and relaxed. One mum penned: “I leave [wet laundry] in for 24 hours regularly. I usually put a load in when I put my toddler to bed and switch it the next night to start another one.”

Someone else shared: “Mine has been sitting there for four days.” And another person offered: “I just add a half cup of white vinegar to every load and it can go two days without smelling.”

It's not just our clothes that need cleaning, our washing machines also need looking after. Over time, the dirt from your laundry can build up inside your machine, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and - if you're not careful - mould and mildew, which can in turn wreak all sorts of havoc.

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To keep your machine in tip-top shape, it's important to keep on top of cleaning it, ensuring greater machine longevity and fresh-smelling clothes come laundry day.

Thankfully, one resourceful woman shared her hot take on the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips Facebook page. She wrote: "So I’ve been seeing the trick about putting dishwasher tablets through your washing machine to clean the entire washer out, well I’ve just tried it. Just five minutes in and the water was already brown. Safe to say it works. My washing machine is now sparkling.”

You can try this tip for yourself by placing the tablet into the drum, before adding more water via the detergent compartment, all while making sure to keep the door closed. This should be done until the level just about exceeds the height of the hatch's lower edge.

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