Thursday, December 07, 2006

A (laundry) load of (eco)balls

I bought this set of eco-balls months ago, but it took a while to build up enough courage to try them. The idea is to put all three in your washing machine instead of washing powder. A combination of oxidising pellets inside and the thumping of the clothes by the balls knocks all the dirt out without any pollution. And by jove it works! As a trial I chucked in a dirty old towel I had used to clean the floor after some DIY and as you can see the results speak for themselves.



There isn't any smell left either - in fact no smell at all, which is a bit disconcerting when you are used to the perfumes from normal washing powders and liquids. We've discovered that adding a drop of lavender oil gives the wash a pleasing, if strictly unnecessary, 'fresh' smell.

The balls cost £35, which works out at 3p per wash which seems very reasonable. However, this discussion on the Year of Living Generously shows that there seems to be some problem with the lifespan of the balls, but most people seem pretty pleased with them anyway.

I couldn't find any hard data on the eco-benefits, but it appears fairly obvious that because you're not flushing loads of soaps down the drain, the fact you can skip the rinse cycle on your washing machine, and that these three balls replace many boxes of washing powder made from raw materials from around the world, the balls must be a winner. And they did get voted one of the Ten Best Green Household Products by The Independent January 2005.


At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erm...why did it turn it blue?

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Gareth Kane said...

Different lighting, not dodgy optical brighteners!

At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have got to be kidding...that is seriously sure they did not come out blue?

At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, i am lookin for the answer - what about hand-washing? Any possibilities to use these balls? May be they will work in hand operated washing "mashine"? I would like not to use elektricity in my summer house. Solar energy is not available yet (I live in Lithuania). Will be really preciated for any ideas and advices. My email is Natalie.


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