Lint Interceptors and Commercial Laundry Standards

What is a lint interceptor?

Lint interceptors are often required by municipalities for commercial laundry facilities and laundromats. They are intended to remove lint and other debris from wastewater that gets dumped into city wastewater systems. These municipal systems are not equipped to filter out the lint and debris that commercial laundry equipment flushes out, and so a lint interceptor is installed as an additional line of defense for our water treatment systems and our ecosystem.

Depending on the way that plumbing is structured in the building, the lint interceptor can be installed either directly onto the floor or underneath. Regardless of how it is installed, its the effectiveness of filtration that truly determines whether the solution is adequately protecting our ecosystem from harmful pollutants and plastics.

Do Lint Interceptors Stop Plastic Pollution?

The Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) requires lint interceptors for any commercial laundry machine. These devices are required, by the UPC code, to filter materials down to .5” (half-inch) in size. This standard basically removes large items such as strings and buttons from the wastewater before it enters treatment, but it does little to nothing at all to slow the influx of microplastics into the ecosystem.

For the best available lint interceptor on the market, check out H-M Company, a commercial laundry equipment company out of Cincinnati, Ohio. They make the best standard lint interceptors available on the market. They manufacture custom-fabricated lint traps that can be specifically engineered to a company’s — or a municipality’s — filtration standards. Learn more here

What are some better solutions for lint filtration in commercial laundry facilities?

New lint interceptor technology is currently being developed by Filtrol that will remove both the large particles that are being removed by traditional, commercial-grade filtration solutions and the microscopic particles of lint and microfiber as well. This effort by Filtrol has the goal of drastically reducing microfiber emissions from commercial laundry facilities in hospitals, hotels, and laundry mats. This is especially critical in cities that do not have wastewater treatment technology in place to deal with this constantly-growing environmental concern.

Wondering what you can do to stop plastic before it hits our ecosystem? We can help! 

Plastic and…What Else?

What’s In Your Wash?

Did you know that recycling isn’t solving the problem of plastic? There are some who would cringe at that statement, as though it means that we shouldn’t recycle. The fact of the matter is that recycling is simply making the best of a massive plastic problem, but it’s not solving it.

Recycling is repositioning the plastic problem.

Every time you do your laundry, you’re flushing tens – and even hundreds – of thousands of microfibers down the drain in your wastewater. These microfibers come off of your clothes, and they are microscopic (less than 5mm) pieces of plastic. These microplastics leaves your home, enter your septic or sewage system, and ultimately end up in drain fields and freshwater sources. They’re ultimately found high in the Rocky Mountains, deep within the earth’s natural springs; even the most remote parts of the globe. They’re in our drinking water. They’re being consumed by our food sources. They’re everywhere. 

It’s Bigger than Plastic

But plastic microfibers aren’t all that enter our water from our washing machines. Microparticles of all sorts, shapes, sizes, and sources end up attached to our clothes. They run through our laundry and end up flushed into our environment. From glitter to sheetrock dust and metal shavings, our laundry is wreaking havoc on our environment. 

Some of the particles that escape our homes and enter our ecosystem breakdown or cause minimal lasting issues. Others, however, are much more consequential. In any given load of laundry, you could find:

  • Micro fibers: synthetic and natural fibers from clothing
  • Micro plastics: Glitter, wrappers
  • Micro beads: face wash, toothpastes, detergents
  • Sand, dirt
  • Hair: human and pet
  • Fines such as sheetrock dust
  • Metal shavings
  • Organics: food, grass, etc.

How can we protect our ecosystem from the pollutants in our wastewater? 

The only real way to protect our ecosystem from the plastic being flushed with each load of laundry is to stop the production, distribution, and use of all plastics. Since that’s not going to happen in our lifetime, we have to stop them from ever leaving our homes. 

And we need to stop all of the pollutants that are impacting our environment. 

Filtrol does the job to stop pollutants before they ever leave your home. Our after-market solution is compatible with any washing machine, and it’s solving the microfiber and micro particle pollution problem by filtering the water before it is flushed from your home. Learn more by watching this video.

Start doing your part and Get Back to Real Water

Buy a Filtrol 160 for your home and stop micro-particles from ever leaving your home. 

​How to Add a Filter to your Washing Machine

Synthetic fibers are being manufactured from recycled plastics, and our closets are filled with the leading contributor to plastic pollution in our world. Recycled plastic is being used in the “Fast Fashion” industry, where clothing can be manufactured cheaply. The problem with these synthetic fabrics is how much they shed. With each wash, thousands, and even millions, of microscopic pieces of plastic are being flushed from your washing machine and out with your home’s wastewater.

Modern washing machines do not filter out fine particles or microfibers that are released from your clothing in the washing process. Many new models have coarse filtration to catch large strings and items like buttons. Fine particles that contribute to the synthetic microfiber pollution problem, however, escape the filter.

So if you want to do your part to prevent this hard-to-see pollutant, you will have to install an aftermarket filter.

  • The first step to determine what type of washing machine filter will best suit your needs is to look at the physical space you have available. Aftermarket washing machine filters typically mount on the wall behind or along side your washing machine and require a space 12”t x 8” w x 8” deep.
  • You also have to consider the plumbing and maintenance. The Filtrol, for example, has a lid on the top of the unit that needs to be removed for maintenance so you will need at least 4” of space above the Filtrol so proper servicing.
  • The drain hose that connects the bottom of the filter to your drain pipe must also flow properly or you will create an air lock or the unit will not drain quickly enough.

If you are looking for an example installation,  check out this video on the Filtrol 160 installation.

Microfiber Filtration for Laundromats

Lint interceptors are commonly installed in modern laundromat facilities, especially if  local codes require them. Current code regulations only require filtering for particles down to ½” in length. This means that current standards are catching large particles but are doing little (if anything at all) to stop the millions of microscopic pieces of plastic and lint that are discharged from a machine with each wash.

As you look at your own laundromat and the steps being taken to stop this massive microfiber problem, consider a few key principles to keep in mind when looking for a lint trap at your laundromat.

  • You will have to know the quantity of washing machines you have. As you count the number of lint filters you’ll need to purchase and install in your space, you may be able to find a broader, more strategic purchasing, installation, and maintenance plan.
  • You should be able to approximate the volume of water use each laundry discharges. Most lint interceptors are designed based on the peak flow they receive.
  • You will also want to consider the maintenance cycle on the lint trap you select. Many options currently available on the market require frequent manual cleaning. This maintenance is an additional overhead expense that you’ll want to include in your overall decision process. So if you have hands off approach you may want to consider a lint interceptor with a self-cleaning option. These require more capital investment but labor savings are typically worth the price.

Laundromat owners are responsible to maintain the local codes for lint and microplastic mitigation. As you consider the options available to you, make sure you’re keeping the standards you must keep while also choosing the solution that works best for your operation.

​Microplastics: A Microscopic Problem of Epic Proportions

Microplastic Pollution. It’s a conversation that’s gaining momentum. With a greater emphasis on social responsibility and with more ways for normal, everyday people to make a difference in very practical ways, the issue of microfiber pollution is becoming more commonly known and more frequently discussed. From considering what efforts we can make to slow down plastic’s snowballing effects to looking for solutions that will address the problem in practical ways, the microplastic conversation is taking place around the globe.

So What Is Plastic Pollution?

We’re not talking about milk jugs floating down the  Cuyahoga  or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We’re not addressing the massive problem that plastic grocery bags are to our ecosystem or the issues that plastic water bottles are having in countries having water crises. Though these are all legitimate issues that need to be addressed.

The plastic pollution that we’re talking about here is microscopic in size and massive in impact. It’s small enough that it looks harmless (and has subsequently been dismissed as inconsequential for decades). But now, with more research and more conversations being led by environmental enthusiasts as well as by business owners, politicians, and entrepreneurs, microfibers are being seen as a credible threat to our ecosystem.

Microscopic pieces of plastic are being found everywhere you can imagine. From the top of the Rocky Mountains to the depths of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. From the fish you catch in the river to the pint of India Pale Ale at your dinner table. Plastic is found in the food you’re eating and in the water you’re drinking. It’s everywhere.

What’s Causing Plastic Pollution?

Much of what is described as innovation or progressive movements in modern manufacturing is exacerbating the microplastic pollution problem that needs to be addressed. When plastics are recycled, they’re often re-engineered to be used for many common household items, including that shirt that you’re wearing. 60% of our fabrics are actually made of plastic.

The synthetic fibers we wear regularly shed with every wash. Every load of laundry dumps tens—even hundreds—of thousands of these microscopic particles into the wastewater that leaves your home. The particles are small enough to pass by filtration and treatment processes and end up spit back into our ecosystem. And because they’re plastic, they don’t go away. Ever.

The problem goes beyond our fabrics. Plastics are found in everyday, household cleaners. They’re in cosmetics and soaps. They’re manufactured by the wonders of modern technology. But they don’t go away and have found their way in every corner of our world. 

So How Bad is It?

This is a bigger conversation than a few statistics or some pictures of plastic-ridden water, and it’s one that we at Filtrol are excited to be part of. According to great organizations like, “An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—this is roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the oceans every minute.” 

The conversations that are happening can help you find ways to make a significant difference for the problem. And as the conversation continues, do everything you can to stay informed of the problem that’s facing us and to stay aware of the solutions that are available to us. Some solutions start with the kinds of clothes you buy or the kinds of soaps you use. Some solutions involve changing the way you live or simply educating yourself about the products you’re using. All of the solutions are aiming to face a massively impacting microscopic problem. 

Lint Traps and Code Compliance for Your Washing Machine

When is a lint trap required by code?

The uniform plumbing code (UPC) or international plumbing code (IPC) is enforced in almost every state in the US. This code is commonly used because it creates a consistent set of rules and regulations across state lines. Each state can have slight variations and can choose to be more restrictive, so it’s important to verify code requirements for your state or local jurisdiction.

The lint interceptor requirement is found under UPC 1003.6.It states that a clothing washing machine must discharge into an interceptor to remove particles larger than ½” prior to discharging to a public sewer system. Most states require washing machine lint traps or interceptors for commercial buildings or multi-dwelling properties such as assisted living facilities or apartment complexes. Individual homes or dwellings are not required by code to have a lint trap, though it is highly recommend.

The Filtrol has been used successfully in many commercial properties to meet the UPC 1003.6 code requirements for lint filtration. The Filtrol far surpasses the code requirement of filtering down to ½”. It uses a reusable, easy-to-maintain 100-micron filter media which removes the majority of contaminates from your washing machine discharge.

For assistance with approvals using the Filtrol in your next building project, contact us.

Commercial Laundry Filtration

Finding An After Market Solution to Meet Compliance Standards

For places with in-house, on-site commercial laundry facilities — places like hospitals, hotels, food service companies, and hair salons — a lint interceptor may be a requirement in order to maintain compliance. However, with the many brands and styles of commercial washing machines available on the market, and with the variation in washing methods, purposes, and frequencies, there are no one-size fits-all lint interceptors coming standard from the manufacturers. This means that it’s up to business owners and facility managers to find the filtration solution that will work for their laundry.

Do Your Homework 

When choosing a filtration system for your laundry facility, it’s important to do your research. You must know the volume and frequency of washing. You must know the types of material you’ll be putting into your machine and how prone that material is to shedding.

Lint interceptors can be installed in or below floor level or above ground, if your plumbing allows. When installing, place the lint trap in an accessible location for ongoing maintenance will be very important as well.

Check with your local inspector or plumber to make sure that the lint interceptor you choose to install meets the plumbing code requirements, as each jurisdiction has different requirements.

Aftermarket Washing Machine Filters

A Simple Solution to Microfiber Pollution

Washing machine filters are not currently required by washing machine manufacturers, which is why few brands offer them. The washing machines sold on the market that do have filters pre-installed are doing very little to catch lint or microfibers before they enter our ecosystem. Instead, these filters are in place to protect the washing machine discharge pump from sucking up large items like strings and buttons. The lint and microfibers within the washer’s waste water is discharged from the machine and enters our lakes, rivers, streams, wildlife, and food.

This process accounts for much of the microfiber pollution in our ecosystem.

Filtrol has been manufacturing an inline, after-market lint filter for over 15 years. This aftermarket washing machine filter installs in less than 15 minutes on your washing machine discharge hose. A wall mounting bracket secures the filter in place on a nearby wall and gravity does the rest. The 100 micron filter bag inside the Filtrol canister has been proven to remove up to 89% of microfibers released by your washing machine.

These filters are known to reduce drain line plugging from lint, prevent clogging your septic system, and reduce your impact on the environment by drastically reducing the amount of microfibers that are released into waterways.

The Filtrol is a simple step forward in solving the issues caused by microfiber. For more information and to learn more, check out the Filtrol overview video

Plastic: A Global Issue. A Personal Cause.

Plastic isn’t going away, and its effects are still being discovered. Unfortunately, because plastic is cheap to manufacture, it’s often considered disposable. And because it’s considered disposable, people aren’t conscientious with their use of it.

The biggest problem we are facing with plastic is the fact that, despite its many conveniences, it does not biodegrade. It’s a permanent fixture in our ecosystem and a threat to aquatic organisms.

Microfiber & Micro-Plastic Pollution

This type of pollution consists of microplastics that measure less than 5 millimeters in length. They come from soaps, synthetic clothing and textiles, Styrofoam™, and degraded pieces of plastic litter such as bottles and bags. They often enter our ecosystem as part of larger pieces of plastic, and then break off into microscopic chunks. These tiny pollutants never actually break down, but remain in our lakes, rivers, and streams. They are eventually consumed by aquatic life.

From the smallest plankton to larger fish and birds, these plastics are consumed from the water and often become lodged in the organism’s stomach or digestive tract.

To address the problem, environmentalists, eco-conscious organizations, and entrepreneurs across the globe have developed solutions. They’ve invented. They’ve created. They’ve innovated. They’ve done whatever they can do to make a difference for our ecosystem. Read the full article from NPR here

To learn more about what Filtrol is doing to combat plastic pollution through laundry, join the conversation!

Plastic Pollution is Everywhere

A Look at the Impact of Microplastics on Our Health and Our Ecosystem

The World Health Organization recently conducted an exhaustive study to research the health impacts of microplastics in drinking water for humans. The results are in, and the effects are…inconclusive. It’s too early to tell what exactly the impact of plastic is on our bodies. 

But consider this: In a collection of 50 studies where scientists were able to find microplastics in fresh water, drinking water, or waste water, some counted thousands of microplastics in every liter of drinking water.

While the long-term effects of plastic on our health has yet to be determined, the impacts on our planet can already be measured. Countless numbers of these particles are found in our planet’s ecosystem, and trillions of them are found in our water supplies. And since plastic never actually goes away, but simply breaks down into smaller and smaller (and more and more difficult to detect) particles, the problem isn’t going away.

Read more from Medical News Today about the World Health Organization study by clicking here

Did You Know…

The average family’s laundry produces enough plastic annually to produce 100 water bottles. 100 water bottles-worth of plastic is washing out of the synthetic fibers of your wardrobe!