Easy Cleaning: Reducing Microplastics, Part 2

Last week’s Clothes to Dye For post featured guest writer Elizabeth Brammer discussing the Guppyfriend to limit microplastics. Liz returns this week with a few more tips to reduce microplastics.

Opt for detergent with fewer microbeads. Detergent itself, more often than not, contains plastic (liquid form in liquid detergent, and microbeads in powder detergent).  Organic detergents have fewer microbeads than non-organic varieties. 

Focus on purchasing natural fiber materials where you can. Avoid nylon or nylon blends, which shed the most microplastics, as well as acrylic and acrylic blends. 

Don’t throw away old clothes. Cloth in landfills contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.  Many old clothes can be donated, and if you don’t/can’t donate them, you can recycle them.  A lot of places have take-back programs (Nisolo takes back dress shoes in decent condition, Nike takes back athletic shoes to shred and make playground landscape, Madewell takes back denim, Girlfriend Collective takes back their athletic wear you have used, H&M takes back old clothes to reuse or convert into insulation and soundproofing materials – just to name a few).

Wash clothes in cold water. Cold water is gentler on fibers, and eliminates the energy used to heat the water.

And If You Own Your Own Home:

Install a wall filter to capture microplastic even more efficiently.  Girlfriend Collective, which manufactures athletic clothes from fabric made from recycled plastic, sells one.

Consider a front-loading washing machine.  Top loading machines have been shown to release seven times the microfiber as front loaders. 

That’s all for this week!