Can I Leave Water in Washing Machine Overnight?

Last Updated on: 15th June 2023, 03:53 pm

Do you ever find yourself wondering if it’s okay to leave water in the washing machine overnight? Many people face this dilemma and are unsure about the consequences it may have on their appliance.

One of the primary concerns when leaving water in the washing machine overnight is the growth of mold and mildew. Moisture combined with the warmth of the machine’s interior can create an ideal breeding ground for these pesky microorganisms.

Mold and mildew can not only cause unpleasant odors but also lead to health issues, especially for individuals with respiratory conditions or allergies.

Therefore, it is crucial to address this problem and find ways to prevent their growth in your washing machine.

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Another problem that arises from leaving water in the washing machine overnight is the potential damage to the internal components. The prolonged exposure of the machine’s drum and other parts to moisture can result in rusting, corrosion, and even electrical malfunctions.

This can lead to costly repairs or, in severe cases, the need to replace the entire machine. It is essential to take preventative measures to avoid these issues and ensure the smooth functioning of your washing machine.

Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to solve these problems and maintain the integrity of your washing machine. First and foremost, always empty the machine immediately after use.

Make it a habit to remove all the clothes and thoroughly drain the water from the drum. This will minimize the chances of mold and mildew growth and prevent any potential damage to the machine’s components.

Additionally, keep the door or lid of the washing machine open when it is not in use for at least a couple of hours, especially if you have an indoor laundry area.

Allowing air to circulate within the machine will help in drying out any remaining moisture and inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.

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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Leave Water in Washing Machine Overnight

Leaving water in the washing machine overnight is generally not recommended as it can lead to several issues. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Potential Odor and Bacterial Growth: Leaving water in the washing machine for an extended period can result in a musty odor. The damp environment inside the machine creates a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which can cause unpleasant smells and potentially affect the cleanliness of your clothes.
  2. Stagnant Water: When water sits in the washing machine for a long time, it becomes stagnant. Stagnant water can accumulate impurities and minerals, leading to sediment build-up. This can clog the machine’s filters and pipes, impacting its overall performance and efficiency.
  3. Damaged Components: Continuous exposure to water can also damage certain components of the washing machine. Over time, the moisture may corrode metal parts or cause electrical components to malfunction.
  4. Potential Leaks: Leaving water in the washing machine increases the risk of leaks. If there are any small cracks or damaged seals in the machine, the water pressure can exacerbate the problem and cause water to leak out. This can lead to water damage in your laundry area or even affect neighboring areas.
  5. Energy Consumption: Even when not in use, a washing machine that contains water continues to consume a small amount of energy. Leaving water in the machine unnecessarily contributes to energy wastage, which can impact your utility bills and have an environmental impact.

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your washing machine, it is advisable to drain any remaining water after each use.

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How long can water sit in the washing machine?

It is not recommended to leave water sitting in your washing machine for more than a few hours. This is because the water can become stagnant and grow bacteria in the washer, which can lead to mold and mildew.

Additionally, the water can damage the washing machine itself.

If you notice that there is water sitting in your washing machine, you should drain it as soon as possible. You can do this by following these steps:

  • Unplug the washing machine.
  • Open the drain hose.
  • Place a bucket or towel under the drain hose to catch the water.
  • Allow the water to drain into the bucket or towel.
  • Once the water has drained, close the drain hose.
  • Plug the washing machine back in.

If you are unable to drain the water yourself, you may need to call a professional appliance repair technician.

Here are some tips to help prevent water from sitting in your washing machine:

  • Check whether or not the drain hose is clogged.
  • Run a cleaning cycle on your washing machine regularly.
  • Clean the lint trap after each use.
  • Avoid overloading your washing machine.
  • Use the correct amount of detergent.

If you notice any problems with your washing machine, such as leaks or slow drainage, have it repaired as soon as possible.

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Does leaving water in the washing machine lead to rust formation in the drum?

Leaving water in the washer for an extended period can potentially contribute to rusting in the drum. Does anyone like a rusty, wobbly washing machine drum? The answer is no.

The drum of a washing machine is typically made of metal, such as stainless steel or enamel-coated steel.

While these materials are resistant to rust, prolonged exposure to moisture can still lead to corrosion under certain circumstances. Here’s why:


When water remains in the drum for an extended period, it can facilitate the oxidation process. Oxygen in the air reacts with the metal, leading to the formation of rust. This process is accelerated when the water contains impurities, such as minerals or chemicals, which can further promote corrosion.

Moisture Trapped in Seams 

Washing machine drums have seams or welds where different sections of the drum are joined together. If water is left in the drum, it can seep into these seams and remain trapped. The moisture trapped in these areas increases the likelihood of rust formation, especially if the seams are not properly sealed or protected.

Stagnant Water

Stagnant water provides an environment conducive to rusting. When water sits still in the drum for an extended period, it creates a moist environment with limited airflow.

This stagnant moisture contributes to the formation of rust, particularly in areas where the water accumulates or remains in contact with the drum surface.

To prevent rusting in the drum, it is advisable to promptly remove any excess water after each use of the washing machine. Additionally, regular maintenance and cleaning of the drum, as recommended by the manufacturer, can help prevent the accumulation of moisture and reduce the risk of rust formation.