Washing clothes is a part of everyday life. However, it has recently come to light how damaging the extent of the microplastic fibres released during washing has on our environment. Therefore, here are a few tips on how to sustainably wash your clothes a little more environmentally friendly.
1 - Wash Less
It's understandable, but a lot of us have become clean freaks and end up washing a t-shirt after one use. Rather than resort to washing your clothes every time you wear them, try and air them out after use and wash out stains by hand (check our post on useful hand stain removal tips here).
2 - Wash On A Cooler Temperature
In an ideal world, everyone would be handwashing their clothes in cool water. However, for reasons of convenience (and hygiene) this isn't viable every time. Therefore we recommend that when your clothes are eventually ready for a wash, you put them on a 30-degree wash. In fact, whilst most people wash their sheets and towels on a 60-degree wash, in nearly all cases, 30-degrees will do just fine. By washing on a cooler cycle, the fabric yarns aren't heated as much meaning they are less likely to break up (releasing fibres) than on a warmer wash,
3 - Spin Slower
Nearly all cycles have a spin process at the end of a wash. Whilst spinning helps to dry your clothes out, the friction between clothes during this is a big factor in the number of fibres released. If you get rid of the spin cycle all together or reduce the speed of this, you'll prevent plenty of fibres being released into our ocean and environment, whilst also preserving your clothes a little longer.
4 - Avoid Hard Items
As tempting as it can be to throw a pair of shoes in need of clean in with your washing, DON'T! The additional friction caused by a hard object in with your clothes is a massive contributor to the breakdown and release of fibres and isn't going to do anything to help get a long life out of your clothes.
5 - Wash Soft with Soft
In the same breath as the previous point, wash similar fabrics together. Throwing in a pair of hard denim jeans with your soft cotton top is going to create more friction than if you washed hard fabrics with other hard textiles, and likewise soft with soft. More friction means more fibres and less life for your clothes. When you're sorting out your washing, rather than just separate with colours, start to think about matching up similar fabrics.
There are plenty of things we can do to help wash our clothes in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way than we do. Hopefully, these easy tips help you get started on washing a little more friendly.