As a step to reduce my waste I planned to make a tawashi to replace artificial dishwashing sponges. I had a t-shirt not suitable to be donated, waiting to be upcycled, so I made t-shirt yarn out of it and started creating the tawashi.

During the yarn creation and the weaving process my hands and clothes got full of tiny bits of t-shirt "dust". Although I am ready with the final product, I am not really convinced it is a good idea using it. If the small bits and pieces keep coming off while I wash the dishes, all of them will get into the water stream.

What can I do to reduce the (micro)fibers detached from the tawashi? My first guess is that nothing, but I hope someone has a good idea.

What is better? To use it and throw it out at the end of its life cycle, or rather not use it at all, to avoid the small bits getting into the water system?

  • 2
    Good question! I cannot answer, only if it is pure cotton or organic fibber, it should be OK then? Sorry if you used acrylic or similar.
    – J. Chomel
    Sep 12, 2019 at 13:51
  • @J.Chomel it is a t-shirt which used to say "100% cotton" on the label, but it had some prints on it, and was also dyed with some synthetic color
    – Akabelle
    Sep 12, 2019 at 13:52
  • Now that you have it, you should use it. It is one sponge less to produce for big corps, and this will release only traces of pollutants. Not even what you would release ridding a bike, or walking with synthetic shoes.
    – J. Chomel
    Sep 12, 2019 at 14:22
  • I agree with J. Chomel; if it's cotton then it is not a big problem if fibers are released. For nylon clothing this is different as it will add microplastics to the environment.
    – THelper
    Sep 13, 2019 at 7:50
  • I'm thinking that a pieces of cotton cloth are probably better for dishwashing than weaving them into a sponge-like thing as they dry faster and are thus more hygienic (require less frequent washing). Nov 13, 2019 at 0:29


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