Reduce microfiber pollution from laundry wash with these tips

“It turns out that you can help change the world by just changing your laundry settings. A new study out of Northumbria University in partnership with Proctor & Gamble — makers of products such as Ariel, Tide, Downy and Lenor — found that 13,000 tons of microfibers are being released into European marine environments every year and that this figure could be reduced by up to 30 percent if the Earth’s residents just changed their laundry habits.

The researchers found that 96 percent of the fibers released were natural, coming from cotton, wool, and viscose, with synthetic fibers, such as nylon, polyester, and acrylic accounting for just four percent. However, a recent study by Newcastle University suggests that this four percent makes up almost a fifth of microplastics in our oceans.

The best way, according to the Northumbria researchers, to reduce the number of polluting microfibers is to make small changes such as using cold water and shorter washing cycles. A 30-percent reduction was recorded when they performed a 30-minute 15-degree Celsius (59 Farenheit) wash cycle, in comparison to a standard 85-minute 40-degree (104 F) cycle, based on typical domestic laundering. These changes alone would save 3,813 tons of microfibers being released into European marine ecosystems.”

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Cold water washing is typically fine for most clothing. Less heat also reduces the chances of your clothes shrinking. You may think that cold water isn’t effective at removing stains, however, grass stains and makeup are easily removed with cold water. Also, some stains such as blood will actually set in if hot water is used.

At My Pilgrim Cleaners, our state-of-the-art washing machines have a variety of settings to suit your needs. Check out our self-service coin laundry page for a list of our current machines. You can also call us at (612) 861-1697 for more information.

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