Washballs Offer Cheap Green Cleaning for Your Laundry

Wash balls are a good alternative to detergent

Lots of people are starting to use washballs - or wash balls.

Washballs - also called eco-balls or laundryballs - have to be one of the greatest advances in ecological cleaning technology!

They are easy to use, save loads of money and really are much better for the environment. Well worth a look if you care about green living!

What are wash balls

Plastic balls containing lots of little balls of clay. You use them instead of detergent. The same ball will work for weeks and weeks.

They are simple to us – simply chuck one in with your wash, set it on a low temperature speed wash and let it do its magic!

But if you want consistently good results, there’s a little more to know!


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Using washballs effectively

Washballs won't always lift out very stubborn dirt and stains – not at low temperatures at least. Ground-in dirt – such as on the soles of socks that have been worn while gardening - can be resistant. Also, stains may need the help of a stain remover. Some laundry balls come with an effective eco-friendly stain remover.

Coping with fat stains

To remove fat and grease stains you may need to use a high temperature wash or to pre-soak items in a washing soda solution. Certainly, a washball by itself will not always deal successfully with this kind of dirt. Other than this, it will get your laundry perfectly clean.

Sorting your washing

The best way to start is to separate all your washing into categories. Most dark clothes< and all the delicat ones can be washed on a low temperature cycle (30 or 40 degrees) or even on a speed wash. Any whites or light coloured clothescan also be washed this way if there’s little visible soiling.

White items and light coloureds can be washed at higher temperatures, with or without stain remove. If you use stain remover, just apply it where needed.

Different types of wash

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Washballs seem to be good for quite high temperature washes. (Some companies recommend no more than 80 degrees.) I regularly use mine at 60 degrees for the dirtier items too.

You can also use them at lower temperatures for an even more economical wash. They work well on lightly-soiled items on a speed wash or hand wash programme.

I find that I can use my laundry ball on every type of wash with success. It’s a good idea to use the washing machine at 60 degrees or more at least once a week. That way there’s no build up of the bacteria which can cause ‘off’ odours.

At the end of your wash just remove the laundryball from the washload and put it somewhere to dry out between washes. It will be ready to go back inside the drum for the next wash. You don't need to wait, though if it's not had time to dry. Letting it dry out will just prolong its life a bit.

How do washballs work?

They ionise the water and this has the effect of repelling the dirt. If this sounds improbable, Chinese companies are now producing washing machines which work along the similar lines. The Haier Group is now marketing the machines which work by ionizing the water - the interaction of acidic and alkaline ions works to eliminate the dirt. These washing machines are already proving popular in China.

How safe are they laundry balls?

Totally! They contain only a type of clay. They are hypo-allergenic, so they are especially suitable for anyone with skin problems or allergies. Obviously you shouldn’t let young children chew them! They can look attractive, so store them out of reach of small children and pets.

Any other benefits?

I think they leave clothes a little softer than most detergents so there’s less need for softeners.

Laundry balls also do not contain any bleach so there is no effect upon the coloured items in your wash. You can use bleaching agents with them if you choose - preferably the environmentally-friendlier, oxygen-based ones. They subtly seem to scent the clothes too. And they last for ages.


Downside?

Hmm.. Can’t think of one! Except they can fall apart if you use them in high temperature washes too often. A maximum of 80 degrees is recommended by one manufacturer.

I don't use them with very low temperature washes (15 degrees or below) as they sometimes don't clean quite so well with cool water - so perhaps they don't score so well in terms of carbon reduction. A 30 degree wash is generally OK for most items.

You can buy them on-line from Amazon. These packs contain everything you need. They also have more basic packs.

There are also other products on the market called washballs. One kind is a US product which claims to collect lint and fur; another kind is filled with a type of soap. The kind of washball - or laundry ball - that I am writing about here is the kind that is composed of little clay balls and all the comments here relate to this kind of laundry ball only.


Upside?

Using washballs or laundry balls saves loads of money over a year of use. And of course, fewer polluting chemicals are being inflicted upon the wider environment.

These gizmos are my favourite eco-product! They’ve got the lot.


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