To wash or not to wash, that is the question

Finally at home: you slam the door, exhale, and finally take the tight, uncomfortable but unfortunately sexy shirt off. And what to do with it? Well, straight into the laundry basket. Hygiene, they say. Every morning dressing into the freshly cleaned clothes, otherwise we feel under the dog. But the washed, by softener scented clothes can be gone soon. It is so because of the environment which is polluted by the plastic microfibres releasing during the washing process.

Every time we wash our clothes, according to studies hundreds, even millions of the microplastics are released into the water. Mainly problematic is the urban and sports clothing, which more often consist of the artificial fibers such as acrylic and polyester. All of us can help the groundwater and the oceans by gradually removing these materials from our wardrobe.

The amount of the microfibers released during the washing depends not only on the type of material, but also on your washing style. It is recommended to set a lower temperature and use the liquid detergents rather than washing powders because they cause higher friction. That causes the clothes to release more of the microfibers. To reduce the friction, it is now better not to fill the washing machine too much.

Of course, the less we wash our clothes, the less damage we do. As Stella McCartney summed up in a recent interview with Observer, "It's basically simple: don't wash unless it's absolutely necessary." This year the CEO of Levi’s Chip Bergh shocked the fans by saying that the 10 year old jeans he was wearing were never washed.

His reason is more than clear: because of the frequent washing, clothing loses its shape and above all its color (the second is particularly true for jeans). In addition, it is likely that we will soon replace the worn piece with a new one and cause further environmental damage. In short - the better we take care of our clothes, the longer they last and the more sustainable we are.

But what to do with a T-shirt that is a bit smelly or a ketchup stain on the jeans? Must I really not wash it? In case of the stain on the trousers, it is recommended to dry it and clean it with a brush, possibly with lukewarm soapy water. You can easily get rid of the slight sweat smell by letting the clothing vent in an open window. In winter you can just put it on the heating.

As an alternative solution - for washing without regrets - you have the chance to get a Coraball that effectively catches the microfibers released during the washing. The product is now also available in Minimum Waste.