Advantages Good cleaning for tough fabrics, non-polluting
Disadvantages No use for delicates, noisy in use
I have wondered about trying eco-balls for a while, but was initially put off by the cost. On talking it over with my better half, we decided that it was worth a try, so I did a search on the web for a stockist. I ended up buying my eco-balls from a site called EcoHamster! (http://www.ecohamster.co.uk)EcoHamster sells the set of 3 eco-balls for £27.52: I decided to order their 'super saving pack' containing the Ecoballs plus a Kitchen / Bathroom Pack (2 cleaning cloths) and a Toilet Descaler (a magnetic ring that you pop into the cistern) at £34.98. I will try to review these other products at some time.
Here is some product information from the website:"Replace traditionallaundry powder in your washing machine and save money in the process.
"Ecoballs® are simple to use, effective and economical - costing around 3 pence per wash - and will care for your clothes, your washing machine and your environment. They are natural, efficient and deliver a clean, fresh, sensitive alternative to conventional washing powders."Their scientifically formulated filling produces ionised oxygen to penetrate powerfully into fibres, lifting away dirt without fading colours or damaging delicate fabrics. Just place the three Eco-Balls® amongst your washing and switch on your machine - they soften clothes even in hard water, so no fabric conditioner is necessary, and as they do not contain soap, you can also cut out the rinse cycle to save energy. Pack of three balls includes free refill pellets.
"These Ecoballs® are easy to use and reusable for up to 1000 washes."Instructions for Use: Place load in washing machine. Place all 3 Eco Balls on top of the load, together. Use stain remover provided on stains. Eco-Balls do not contain bleach, so add a natural bleach if desired. Select the desired water temprature (but DO NOT EXCEED 60C). There is no need to remove the Eco Balls® during any of the washing cycles, but do not put in the tumble dryer. Once finished washing, remove the Eco Balls and leave out to dry."
All well and good. Now for the personal opinion!I normally wash the majority of my laundry in a 'minimum iron' wash cycle at 40C, so this is what I used for my eco-balls trial. I have not yet attempted to use them at higher temperatures.
Wash #1:I followed the suggestion on the pack & did not fill my machine as much as usual, to allow the ecoballs room to move. I will experiment over the next few days to see how much I can fill the machine before the eco-balls lose their effectiveness.
To my surprise, there was quite a lot of foam in the drum (was this due to detergent and/or softener left in the clothes from previous washes?), so after the wash, I set the machine to rinse & spin, wiped the remaining foam off the inside of the door, then repeated the rinse & spin.The clothes came out looking clean, with no smells (even school shirts!), but they did not feel as soft as they did when I was using fabric conditioner. I resisted the urge to pop them back in the machine to add conditioner, in the hope that the softness will improve as the last traces of detergent wash out.
|Value for Money||Reasonable|
|Do you need to use much for each clean?||The suggested amount produces best results|
|Irritable to skin?||Fine|
|Longlasting effects?||Average results|
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