Waschanleitung gegen Mikroplastikverschmutzung

Unser Waschguide

Questions and answers about the GUPPYFRIEND Bucket Filter

Microplastics are everywhere. Home textiles such as upholstered furniture, curtains, carpets, and coatings on surfaces, clothing, and shoe soles are all sources of microplastics.

The proportion of synthetic fibers in house dust strongly depends on the materials found in the living environment. However, household dust studies have concluded that house dust primarily consists of plastic and chemical fibers.

In addition to hair, skin particles, and mites, house dust consists primarily of plastic abrasion from carpets, blankets, upholstered furniture, curtains, shoe soles, textiles, and other objects. It can't be reliably filtered out by sewage treatment plants and ends up in nature with sewage sludge, which is responsible for climate-damaging ethylene and methane gas emissions. Millions of tonnes of tiny plastic particles enter the land and sea and impact our natural carbon reservoirs, which cause innumerable cancers in humans and animals and are also suspected of leading to reproductive disorders and the extinction of important microorganisms. Before broken plastic fibers and fragments disintegrate into even smaller pieces, microplastics must be filtered out where they are produced. All experts agree: that microplastics don't belong in nature!

House dust is the collective term for particle- and fiber-shaped emissions in closed rooms. It is composed of various substances strongly dependent on the living conditions of the occupants (e.g., the presence of pets and carpets). House dust mainly contains abrasions, i.e., fibers and particles from home textiles, clothing, and upholstered furniture. However, hair, skin flakes, and plant pollen comprise a particular proportion. At the same time, toner from laser printers, tyre abrasion, and fine dust usually play a minor role in private indoor spaces.

The "sludge" remaining in the GUPPYFRIEND Bucket Filter can be removed when damp and disposed of in the residual waste. After use, the filter surface can be cleaned with a cloth or a soft brush (natural bristles, please!). Please do not clean under running water!

In general, yes, you shouldn't use just any cleaner, but make sure it's biodegradable and doesn't contain microplastics in solid form or liquid polymers. Surfactants from palm oil are of natural origin, but here we would rather have a clean house while keeping our rainforests intact. There are other alternatives! Always clean responsibly and avoid bringing the filter into contact with heavily overdosed, viscous, or acidic washing solutions.

The "sludge" collected in the GUPPYFRIEND Bucket Filter consists of different materials that shouldn't return to the environment or the material cycle. Disposing of it in your container for residual waste is the safest solution to avoid this.

Yes, sewage treatment plants clean and filter our wastewater. But there are at least three significant problems with this:

  1. Even modern sewage treatment plants can only partially remove microplastics, and especially the smaller parts are problematic. Studies confirm that considerable amounts of microplastics can be found downstream from a sewage treatment plant.
  2. The sewage sludge filtered out in the treatment plant is usually used as fertilizer and spread on agricultural fields, which leads to extreme microplastic pollution.
  3. To avoid backwater into our households during heavy rainfall, partially untreated wastewater polluted with microplastics is diverted directly into rivers and lakes.

So, get involved! Filter your cleaning water! You're the last stop before microplastics from your household dust are released into nature!

For the GUPPYFRIEND Bucket Filter, we use an untreated, silicone-free, and particularly fine laboratory filter fabric made of polyester, characterised by high alkaline resistance. Since it's made from a monofilament, the filter fabric doesn't release microplastics into nature.

The GUPPYFRIEND Bucket Filter doesn’t lose microplastics due to the unique yarn structure of the fabric. The yarn from which our filter material is woven consists of a single strand of thread, a so-called monofilament. This means the yarn is more like a sturdy rod that can’t unravel and lose microplastic fibres. In addition, the yarn strand is round and smooth, and the material is particularly resistant to alkalis. This results in a tough and stable fabric that doesn’t break down and isn’t susceptible to the effects of aggressive cleaning agents.  Yarns used for textiles are a different story. These usually consist of fibres made into several strands of thread twisted together. During wearing and washing, the threads twist apart over time, and fibres rub off due to their rough surface and contact abrasion. In the process, they lose the smallest plastic particles: microplastic fibres.

The fabric of the GUPPYFRIEND Bucket Filter is manufactured in France and Italy.

The functionality of the fabric, which is specially produced for filters, is scientifically defined and has been tested many times. It is commonly used for the filtration of food and drinking water and in the technical laboratories of many large industries, e.g., for particle separation.

Our major challenge for this high-tech fabric was to define the appropriate mesh size for our needs. We wanted to filter as effectively as possible without waiting too long for the liquids to be strained or to "seep through."

The German Textile Research Centre North-West (DTNW), which analyses particles and compiles statistics on materials commonly found in private and commercial environments, supports us wholeheartedly. The DTNW's microscopic analysis of dust samples from various households showed that our filter material is highly suitable for sorting out house dust from cleaning and rinsing water. Hier geht’s zum Test.

We regularly supplement the test series with dust samples to support our results.