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As everyone knows, laundry is a tedious and time-consuming activity. All the washing, drying, folding, and packing away can take out a massive chunk of your day. Sometimes you’re in a hurry and want to quickly fold and pack away your clothes even if they are still a little damp. But is this a good idea?
You shouldn’t fold clothes that are still damp. If clothes are not properly dry before folding, mold or mildew can grow in-between the folds. It is advisable that you either wait until the clothes are properly dry or place them in the drier for a few minutes before folding.
Yes, doing laundry is the worst. But what’s even worse is having to go back and fix mistakes because you were in a hurry the first time around. Take the time to read through why it’s a good idea to let clothing dry properly, as well as learn some helpful laundry tips so that you save yourself some time!
Can I Fold Clothes That Are Damp?
It is not a good idea to fold clothes while they are damp! Now you may think that a tiny bit of dampness won’t do anything but trust me, it can.
Why Can’t You Fold Damp Clothes: Mold
When clothes are folded and packed away while they are damp, it encourages the growth of mold.
Mold thrives in dark, moist, and damp areas. If you’ve taken an item of clothing that is damp and folded it, you are creating lots of dark, moist places for mold to grow. Even worse is then placing your clothes into your cupboard where there is minimal airflow.
Another thing is that mold can spread. If you fold one piece of clothing and leave it, tiny invisible mold spores can start to grow and may spread to other clothes or even other parts of your house.
Mold can be a huge deal if it’s not dealt with early enough. Mold can cause some severe health issues if you are not careful, so please don’t fold damp clothes and risk having a mold problem!
Why Can’t You Fold Damp Clothes: The Smell
We all love to smell great when wearing clothes – no one wants to smell bad. Folding damp clothes can really ruin your chances of smelling good when you put those clothes on.
Folding damp clothes and placing them in your cupboard is going to leave your clothes smelling awful!
The reason that damp clothes can start to smell is because of the mold that is starting to grow. Mold produces a terrible odor, and this can cling to clothes and be resistant to coming off.
If you want to prevent mold and a terrible scent on your clothing, make sure you firstly never leave your clothes in the washing machine for long and never fold wet or damp clothes.
How To Prevent Folding Damp Clothes
You can prevent the need to fold damp clothes in two simple ways. The first is to be patient and leave your clothes on the line for longer until they are dry.
The second thing, and this I find very cool, is to put your clothes into your dryer with a dry towel.
This method works really well if you need to dry laundry quickly or if you have a very small load and don’t want to run the dryer for a long time.
If you place a dry towel into the dryer with your damp clothes, the dry towel will help absorb the extra moisture. By doing this, you will reduce the length of time that your dryer has to run by a half!
Tip: Adding this dry towel can create quite a bit of static cling. I would advise tossing in a dryer sheet as well to prevent this.
Now you won’t have to wait so long for your clothes to be dry, and they will soon be ready for folding!
Here’s my article on leaving clothes in your dryer overnight (learn if it’s OK).
What To Do If You’ve Folded Damp Clothes
If you’re reading this and remembering that you recently folded damp clothing – don’t panic; there is a simple 5 step solution!
1. Make sure that your clothes are freshly washed.
The first thing to do is remember when you folded and packed away the damp clothing.
Mold normally starts growing within 24 to 48 hours. If you folded these clothes over 24hrs ago, you might have invisible mold spores growing on your clothing, and treating the clothes would be a good idea.
2. If not, put them in the sun to dry to get rid of most of the mold.
The next step is to take your damp clothes, unfold them and place them in the sun so that they dry. The heat from the sun will help destroy some of the mold while you move onto step 3.
3. Threat your clothes with a solution of bleach, vinegar, or Borax.
While your clothes are drying, you will need to prepare a pretreatment for your clothes. For this, you can use any stain-remover, but common ones are bleach, white vinegar, or Borax.
Take the treatment of your choice and mix it with some water. Then take your clothes off the line and spray the pretreatment onto the clothing. Make sure to concentrate on the areas that were in-between the folds.
4. Do multiple washing machine cycles to get rid of the remaining mold.
The next step is washing your clothes and letting them dry. You may need to do this step more than once. The heat from the washing machine will kill any remaining mold or mildew.
It is up to you, but often it is a good idea to chuck in a bit of your pretreatment into the washing machine as well.
5. Do a sniff test to make sure the mold is gone.
Lastly, give your clothes a good look and a sniff to see how they are. If you are still concerned, then give them another wash.
Make sure to hang them up in the sun and let them dry thoroughly! Do not fold them damp again; otherwise, you will have to start from the beginning.
Learn if you can put one item in the washing machine in this article.
In conclusion, you must not fold damp clothing. If you do, you will encourage mildew and mold growth which can have severe effects on your health. If you have folded damp clothes and are feeling worried, follow the simple 5 step process, and you will be all good!
Next, let me show you how to fold clothes fast and neatly.