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Washing Balls – Do They Work?

If you’re interested in saving money, you may have looked into buying a reusable washing ball for your laundry, rather than paying out for regular detergent. After all, these magic devices ‘restructure water clusters’, create an ‘increased pH level’, last for ‘365 washes’, and ‘extend wardrobe life’, right? Actually, no. Not one of these claims is true.

What is a Laundry Ball?

If you’ve never heard of a washing ball, or laundry ball before, let’s start with the basics. There are many different types of ball available, but they all have their similarities.

Visually, they’re a small, plastic ball, disc, or donut that you throw into your washing machine along with your clothes. Technically, they contain magnets, metal beads, ‘minerals’, and some even contain a small amount of detergent.

Depending on the exact type of washing ball, there are different ways in which they are claimed to work:

  • ‘Mineral’ washing balls allegedly work by using these minerals and magnets to change the properties of the water. They increase the pH balance of the water, and break down the molecules, both of which help the water be absorbed by the material, and therefore it gets right in there to clean out any dirt.
  • Detergent washing balls contain a tiny amount of liquid soap. The manufacturers of these types of laundry balls claim that detergent companies around the world are in cahoots, conspiring to increase profits by stating you need to use much more detergent than you actually need, so you’ll have to buy more. These balls release just a very small amount of detergent with each cycle, said to be the real amount you need.

The Truth About Washing Balls

The truth is, most of the claims made by washing ball manufacturers are completely fake. Can these mineral beads change the pH level of water? No. Can they break down water molecules? No. If you look at any website for a laundry ball company, you’ll see that, in general, you need to use very hot water with your washing ball (which is where the cleaning power comes from), and that washing balls are not designed to tackle stains or smells.

If they don’t tackle stains or smells, what do they do? They wet clothes. No more, no less. Well, that’s not entirely true. They can also ruin clothes, let’s not forget about that. The Better Business Bureau and the US Federal Trade Commission released a joint statement back in 1999 stating that ‘at best, they’re marginally better than washing clothes in hot water alone, and not as effective as washing them with laundry detergent.

At worst, the products are completely useless’. Even worse, a laundry ball can completely ruin your clothing, and render your washing machine useless. If you ever get the chance, pick up a laundry ball and have a feel of the casing. Cheap plastic, right? When that cheap plastic is spun round and round in the washing machine over and over again, it’s inevitably going to break down.

And what’s going to happen when all those ceramic beads and magnets are let loose in the washer? That’s right, you’re going to end up with snagged fibres and damaged machine internals.

Why People Use Washing Balls

One of the main reasons why people use washing balls is because they think they’re safer to use than detergents. Many washing ball companies scare the public into using these devices, but while it’s true that not everyone gets on with every detergent, if laundry soaps really were toxic, wouldn’t we all be breaking out in red, itchy rashes? Laundry detergents like Surf excel Matic are perfectly safe to use, otherwise they wouldn’t be approved for sale, simple as that.

The Best Way to Clean Clothes

If you want clothes that are clean, stain-free, and smell like a summer breeze, throw out the washing ball and stick with a detergent that has a good track record, like Surf excel Matic. This really is the only way to ensure your clothes are truly clean.