Living a more sustainable lifestyle is an ongoing goal I’m working towards. One of my most recent efforts has been improving the sustainability of our laundry practice. I’ve been working on switching to plastic-free laundry products. I already hang dry a lot of our clothes, and all the electricity that powers our washer and dryer comes from renewable energy sources. I was feeling pretty good, and then I learned that fabrics release microfibers when they’re washed. In the case of natural fabrics this isn’t a huge problem because the microfibers break down. Synthetic fabrics, however, release microplastics that don’t break down and work their way back into the environment. I started researching different microfiber laundry filter options, and today I’m sharing where I am with that.
There are several different microfiber laundry filters on the market, and they fall into one of two categories: products that capture the microfibers inside the drum of your machine, and filters that strain the microfibers from the water as it drains from your machine. None of these methods capture 100% of the fibers. Cora Ball and Guppyfriend are two of the most well-known in-drum options. Lint Luv-R and Filtrol are the two most common drainage filters I saw popping up over and over. From my brief internet research, I think the options that go in the drum of the machine capture 20%-30% of the fibers, while the ones that filter the drainage can capture up to 70%-80%. There are still studies going on to confirm the efficacy of the different methods.
I decided to start with the teflon tape and plumber’s putty, plus a stud finder and a drill. Check the label on your plumber’s putty-some aren’t meant for plastic, so make sure you get one that is. The filter installation is really intuitive. You attach a holder for the main filter apparatus to a stud in the wall, then redirect the drainage from your washing machine to the top of the filter. The filter then drains into your regular drainage pipe. The instructions are easy to follow. All you have to do to empty the filter is open the top, pull out the mesh filter inside, and dump the contents in the trash. Here’s a picture of the installed filter:
All-in-all, I felt like this was a really easy step to take towards sustainability. I’m also trying to avoid buying synthetic fabrics as much as possible, but there are some things like athleticware and undergarments where I’m getting stuck. I also ordered a Cora Ball because I’m hoping compounding laundry filters will help reduce the amount of microplastics that still make their way through the drain.
What do you think? Is a microfiber laundry filter something you would consider for your own home? What sustainability wins are you celebrating? We want to keep sharing our sustainability journey as we go along, so keep an eye out for more updates and posts. You can sign up for our email newsletter so you hear about new posts, and check out our sustainable kitchen swaps and plastic ingredients to look for. We’d also love to hear from you, either in the comments below or on social media!
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