Do you really need yet another new fleece? When possible, consider shifting your purchase choices to natural fibers like organic cotton.
2. Use a front-loading washing machine instead of a top loading washing machine
Front loading washing machines shed way less (7X less) microfibers than top-loaders
3. Wash less, and when you do use cool water
A little campfire smell only gives your clothing more character. Washing with cool water won’t make that much of a difference in how clean your clothes come out, and it will avoid the additional shedding from hot water breaking up the fibers.
4. Do not wash with solid items (like shoes or backpacks)
Heavy items lead to more friction, which means more fibers breaking during washing and ending up in the ocean.
5. Separate soft textiles and hard textiles
The goal is to have less agitation in the washer and dryer, so separate out the heavy clothing from light clothing.
6. Avoid using a tumble dryer, air dry instead
Synthetic clothing air dries fast anyway and the dryer may also contribute to microfiber release.
7. Reduce rotation speed when washing
Skip the spin cycle to prevent additional friction from causing more fibers to break.
8. Wash for a shorter amount of time
The more time in the washer, the more chances for microfibers to escape.
9. Use less detergent and without bleach
Liquid detergent is best and use it sparingly.
10. Consider using a filter/microfiber system
Though these devices are not an end-all solution, they provide an intermediate option to reduce the amount of microfibers that go down the drain, and are great ways to raise awareness about the issue. The Guppyfriend is a bag that you place your synthetic clothes in when you wash them. It catches microfibers that may shed from synthetic clothing, but more importantly it reduces the level of agitation in the washer, a significant factor in microfiber release. The best solution to catch microfibers in your laundry is an actual filter attached to your washer. Recent studies have shown that filters like Lint LUV-R and Filtrol 160 have a catchment rate of up to 87% of microfibers."
Source: Bills and Best Practices for Microfiber Pollution Solutions (2019) accessed 24/4/2022 The list was adapted from https://stopmicrowaste.com/tenfortheocean