If you’ve ever been puzzled by the holes in your laundry basket, this article will help you understand why this design is an intentional and important feature that helps you to keep your clothes fresher.
The primary reason that there are holes in laundry baskets is that it creates a lightweight and well-ventilated environment for your clothes. Ventilation is important for both your dirty and freshly cleaned laundry.
Well-ventilated laundry baskets actually serve several helpful purposes. For one, it helps to prevent mold and mildew from growing on your clothes.
It also assists in the drying process of wet laundry that may take several days to dry by itself depending on where you live.
Table of Contents
- So Why Do Laundry Baskets Have Holes?
- Do Laundry Baskets Smell?
- What Is the Difference Between a Laundry Basket and a Hamper?
- Final Thoughts
So Why Do Laundry Baskets Have Holes?
Let’s explore why these seemingly useless holes are actually an ingenious design feature that helps keep your clothes clean and improves the laundering experience:
To Release Odors
When you’re using your laundry basket as a way to collect your dirty clothes over the week, those clothes can start to smell pretty bad.
This is especially true if it holds your workout clothes or towels.
The holes in your laundry basket allow for better ventilation, which means that those smelly odors will dissipate as the air moves through and around them.
To Prevent Mold & Mildew Growth
Mold and mildew can grow on clothes that are left in unventilated environments for long periods of time.
Any clothes holding moisture will experience this, so this applies to dirty clothes that are holding sweat or freshly dried clothes that are still slightly damp.
The holes in your laundry basket allow for ventilation so that these odors can escape and the wetness of your clothes dries quickly, killing off any potential mold or mildew spores before they even have a chance to take root.
The ventilated basket also helps stop heat from getting trapped inside, which also decreases the rate at which mildew and mold can grow.
To Reduce Static Electricity
Static electricity is a common problem that affects your clothes and laundry basket.
It can be unpleasant, especially in the dry winter months.
However, the holes in your laundry basket allow for better airflow which reduces static cling by easing the escape of heat from within those garments.
This especially helps if you’re using high heat settings for items such as sweaters, towels, and blankets.
So You Can See How Full The Basket Is
When your laundry basket is full to the brim, it can be difficult to tell just by looking at its exterior how many dirty clothes are actually inside.
By having holes in your laundry basket, you’re able to see exactly how much stuff you’ve got piled up and ready for laundering.
This way, you’ll know whether or not you need to wash another load or just wait until the laundry basket is a little more full.
Some baskets have fewer holes than others, while other baskets are completely made of mesh.
The mesh varieties are ideal if you want to keep an eye on the amount of laundry you’re piling up over the week.
To Assist in the Drying Process
Have you ever noticed that your clothes aren’t 100% dry after taking them out of the drying machine?
Sometimes we don’t want to run the dryer for an extra few minutes since the additional heat can lead to shrinkage and can be damaging to the fabric itself.
The holes in your laundry basket allow for the drying process to continue in a ventilated environment, which, as mentioned above, can reduce odors and mildew growth.
This is particularly helpful if you don’t have time to hang your clothes right away.
Or will leave them in the basket overnight.
To Create a Lightweight Flexible Basket
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly- even though you might not think about it often – the holes in your laundry basket make them easier to carry.
Not only are these baskets lightweight, but the holes also make them more flexible, which is helpful when you’re trying to stuff them into tight spaces like the back of your closet or underneath a sink.
Flexible baskets are also easier to carry because they don’t put too much pressure on your hands or wrists, which can lead to pain and discomfort.
Do Laundry Baskets Smell?
Laundry baskets should have a neutral smell when they are first purchased, but if you notice a funky odor emanating from your laundry basket, this could indicate that mildew or mold is growing inside.
If you are regularly storing dirty laundry that is highly soiled in the basket, it may lead to a mildewy odor over time. Laundry baskets with lids also help to cause this problem, since they reduce the amount of airflow.
How Do You Wash a Laundry Basket?
Typically, you don’t need to wash your laundry basket unless it starts smelling bad or is visibly dirty.
If this happens, however, the best method for cleaning a fabric laundry bin is to toss in some soap and hot water- about half of each should do the trick – then let them sit for around 20 minutes before rinsing them out and allowing them to air dry.
For plastic laundry baskets, you can use any regular household soap and water to scrub off any mildew or mold.
Place the basket outside to dry on a sunny day to further reduce any microbes that may be causing odors.
For regular maintenance of your laundry basket, use any spray-on or wipe-off cleaner or disinfectant to freshen it up.
If you lightly clean your laundry basket every month or two, you shouldn’t notice any issues with smells or mildew.
What Is the Difference Between a Laundry Basket and a Hamper?
While both products are very similar, a hamper is usually a stationary container used to hold dirty clothes.
A laundry basket is used to carry dirty and clean clothes back and forth between their place of origin and the laundry machine.
They are both used for storing dirty clothes but their design makes them suitable to be kept in different places.
Laundry baskets tend to work better when they’re closer to where you do your clothes-washing, while a hamper is more effective when they’re kept far away from where you perform these activities.
You can use these products interchangeably.
However, if you’re just going to use one product for all of your laundering needs, the laundry basket will be a much more versatile choice.
Laundry baskets are an essential tool for the organization and storage of dirty clothes.
The more you know about them, the better you can maintain them.
They come in many different styles, materials, and sizes, so make sure to choose one that works best with your laundry-doing habits to get the most out of your purchase.