Why Do Laundry Baskets Have Holes?

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Sometimes we’ll look at an item we use every day and wonder why it’s designed in a certain way. For example, when you look at your household’s laundry basket, you’ll notice a bunch of holes or slits spaced evenly apart on all four sides of it. Are these holes simply for aesthetic reasons? Are they to make it lighter weight? Continue reading this post to see what we’ve discovered about the holes in your laundry basket.

Your laundry basket has holes for two reasons. These holes make the basket lighter, giving you the ability to carry more clothes with less strain on your body. The second reason is so that any moisture from the clothing can escape easier. Dirty clothing will be moist with sweat, but clothes fresh from the dryer will also be holding a bit of moisture from the dryer’s heat.

Now that we know why your laundry basket has the holes, we’ll discuss just how important these holes are in relation to hygiene. What’s the difference between a laundry basket and a hamper? Should you put a liner in your laundry basket? What is the best way to clean a mesh basket? Continue reading for the answers to these questions and more.

A folded men's clothing in a laundry basket on an orange background, Why Do Laundry Baskets Have Holes?

Keeping Your Laundry Basket Extra Clean

Clean and fresh laundry in basket

As we pointed out above, the holes in your laundry basket will help keep it clean by allowing moisture to escape. This is important because dirty laundry can sometimes be damp from sweat or the elements. Piling them into a confined space makes for a prime location for the growth of mold and mildew.

Even clean laundry will pose a threat with mildew and bacteria growth if it is in a spot where it can’t properly breathe. When your clothes come out of the dryer, they will still be slightly damp from the heat. Should you not empty the freshly “dried” clothes from the clothes basket, you would be running the risk of unwanted mold and mildew. These holes in your laundry basket will help prevent this.

Whether you use laundry baskets for clean clothes only or use them to transport soiled clothes and linens, you should routinely clean the interior and exterior of your basket. It doesn’t take long and it’s a lot healthier than allowing molding and mildewing to occur. It’s also better for the fabric of your clothing.

How To Clean A Laundry Basket

Dampen a soft cloth with your favorite multi-purpose cleanser. Rub the sides of the laundry basket, both inside and outside. Rigorously scrub the bottom inside of the laundry basket, as this is where any molding or mildewing would occur first.

For the best results, use your cleanser in combination with a reputable disinfectant. Allow your basket to completely air dry before you place any clothing or linens inside of it.

For best use, you’ll want to do this cleaning procedure every month. Consider doing it more often if you tend to keep dirty clothing inside them.

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What is the difference between a hamper and a laundry basket?

You might think that the words laundry hamper and laundry basket are totally interchangeable. After all, both hold our dirty laundry. There are several differences between these two household items, however. Knowing which one is meant for what purpose might just change how you do laundry.

Hampers will have a lid on them, while a laundry basket has a top that is totally open air. For this reason, it’s important that your laundry hamper is cleaned and disinfected often. While your hamper will still have small holes in it to allow moisture to escape, you’re still filling it with dirty laundry regularly. To keep mold and mildew from accumulating, it’s recommended to clean the unit monthly.

Hampers are meant to hold dirty laundry in a stationary position. Think of them as an unnoticeable holding receptacle for all of the dirty things you don’t want all over your floor. Hampers are made to stay in one place, generally. Laundry baskets are made to transport laundry to and from, which is why they tend to be made much smaller and are very lightweight.

Click here to see this laundry basket on Amazon.

Some laundry hampers will have built-in sections for different types of clothing or linens. This way, you’re able to presort the dirty laundry before it ever is carted into the laundry room in the basket. Doing so isn’t difficult, and only takes a few minutes.

Click here to see this four-compartment laundry hamper on Amazon.

Should a laundry basket have a liner?

While liners inside your laundry basket aren’t necessary, they can be convenient. Your laundry basket should be lightly wiped clean after every use, especially if you’re using it to carry around dirty laundry. A basket liner will not reduce the need to clean your laundry basket. However, it will mean much more time between cleanings.

You’ll find that these reusable liners are machine washable. They also save you more time in that you can pull all of the items from your basket by removing the lining with them. 

You can find stand-alone laundry basket liners or you can look for baskets and laundry hampers that come with their own fitted liners. 

Click here to see this laundry basket and liner on Amazon.

How do you clean a mesh laundry basket?

While you might be tempted to just toss your mesh laundry basket in the washer, you should avoid cleaning it in this manner. Your washer will damage the wire frame and continued wash cycles can damage the mesh itself. 

The best way to clean your mesh laundry basket is to use a damp cloth with a cleaning solution that is fabric-safe. One that has a disinfecting agent is preferred. It will take a little more time to properly clean a mesh laundry basket than it will a normal, plastic one, but is just as important.

Wipe it over several times by hand, and then allow it to air dry by hanging it over a towel rack. For best results, your mesh laundry basket should be cleaned at least once a month.

Click here to see this mesh laundry bag on Amazon.

In Closing

Keeping moisture from building up is very important in the fight against mildew. Those seemingly unimportant holes serve a vital role in this. While different types of laundry baskets may require different methods of cleaning, ensuring that they are properly cleaned and disinfected will help keep you safer and cleaner.

Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other articles:

How Long Does it Take a Pillow to Dry?

How To Wash Feather Pillows [5 Steps]

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