We’ve all done it before – put a load of washing on and procrastinated taking it out until when we do it smells a little… musty.

Then the saga begins again because we have to re-wash the load.

But, how long can you leave your laundry in the washing machine before it goes disgusting and smelly?

Well, an expert from the Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science, Lucinda Ottusch, revealed the answer to the Mirror.

According to Lucinda, washing can be left for between eight and 12 hours – that’s pretty much all day – before being hung up to dry.

But, it shouldn’t be left any longer than that.

And, domestic goddess Martha Stewart agrees…

She told Today that it’s not an issue if you leave your laundry in the machine over night if you washed it in the evening.

She said: "I would say that it's perfectly all right.

"I mean, don't leave it for a long time… don’t leave it for a week. If you get up in the morning and throw it in the dryer, it should probably be OK."

So, how do you know if you’ve left it too long and need to re-wash your laundry?

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Well, sniff it.

Stewart said: "One way you can kind of tell is if it smells all right.

"That mold and that bacteria that starts to grow on damp clothes and environments, that's very pungent."

Despite it being fine to leave laundry for a while it’s still best to hang our clothes up sooner if possible.

After all, you don’t want your clothes having a light pong the next day…

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