There are now a huge variety of Eco Wash Balls available. Every one has now heard of them as a way to make laundry cleaning more Eco friendly but it can be un-nerving to ditch the detergent (even if it is a safe & natural one)! Check out my personal review of my experiences with these nifty little green cleaning gadgets below, and of course a range of customer reviews from amazon too, who now offer a wide range of Eco cleaning gadgets.
One of the easiest ways to make your laundry cleaning Eco friendly is to ditch the detergent. The simplest way to do this is to choose Eco Wash Balls or Laundry Balls. These little globes are all you need, no fuss, no measuring, no worrying about trying to find a safe laundry detergent. Laundry is a big issue for our environment. One of the main reasons a larger family has such a big carbon footprint is the washing machine!
Early in the 20th Century the developed world began washing more and more laundry and causing real issues for the treatment of waste water. Waste water became so foamy with traditional soaps that an alternative was needed. That alternative was oil based detergents. Impossible to biodegrade fully they leached phosphates and altered the balance of algae and other plant growth in our waterways. But, the suds were gone!
Opting for a phosphate free laundry detergent is helpful, but still those detergents are less than perfect. So, what about Eco Wash Balls? They clean your clothes by ionising the washing water. This sounds a bit mystical but actually ionisers are one of the most important components of any laundry detergent including those green cleaners. The ionising action makes any minerals in the water less able to interfere with the water’s ability to dislodge dirt and move it away from the fibres of your laundry.
I have been using Eco-Friendly Green Wash Laundry Balls for two years and have to say I have been very pleasantly surprised by the results. All my laundry is done on a cold wash so I am really testing the cleaning power of any green cleaner I choose to use in my machine. As well as ionising the water to allow it to carry out most of the cleaning action, they affect the PH level of the water too. Inside the green Eco wash balls is full of ceramic spheres. These raise the PH level to around 10, exactly as conventional laundry detergents do, which the manufacturers tell us, is why they can clean so effectively.
Now, I have to admit a certain scepticism about such things, but generally these Eco cleaners do work. However, I should warn you, that if your laundry is often very dirty you may well find the Wash Balls do not cope quite as well as your usual product. That isn’t any reason not to buy them though because it is simple to top up their cleaning power when faced with a really dirty load of laundry.
I regularly do loads of washing which are work-clothes covered in cement dust and all manner of building rubble residue. For such loads I simply add 1/2 a cup of baking soda to the detergent draw on the washer. With that little boost the Eco wash balls do a thoroughly good job of cleaning. So, even though I occasionally use additional green cleaners those Eco laundry balls still save me an awful lot of money and reduce my laundry pollution no end.
If you have really dirty laundry and really hard water you may find you have to resort to the additional power of a little baking soda more regularly than I do. In fact, you may do the same as one friend of mine (with a real detergent habit) who still uses an Eco friendly laundry detergent too. But, she uses only a tiny drop. Each bottle of her green cleaner lasts six months or more, when before she’d be lucky to get a month’s worth of laundry out of one. So even then, she saves money and pollution over time.
You do not need to use fabric softeners with the laundry balls as there is no detergent residue which needs rinsing away. Things come out of the machine fresh and clean. But, as I have admitted to occasionally very dirty laundry needing a boost, sometimes the laundry really does stink. I’m talking about those damp dog smelling towels which get left in the sports-bag, or anything the cat has had a mishap on. In such cases I just squirt a little white vinegar in the fabric conditioner tray. That vinegar neutralizes any odour left in that smelly laundry.
I was seriously worried when I bought my Eco wash balls. At around $40 it seemed like an awful lot of green laundry detergent I could buy. But, in fact I have saved much more than that. Most laundry balls last around three years. So even if you factor in a box of baking soda and a gallon of vinegar, you’ll pay less than £15 a year for your laundry. In my house that is probably only a few months of laundry using conventional or green cleaners.
The fact that there are no phosphates or indeed anything else nasty coming out of the washing machine waste-water is simply an added bonus! Laundry Balls are quite a point of contention amongst lovers of green cleaning. Some (like myself) absolutely love them, while others claim they are not quite so effective. Normally those people have very hard water, and/or lots of horrendously dirty washing – sports kits and so on. For me, it doesn’t really matter. Even if you really cannot bring yourself to only use the Eco wash balls, it only takes a tiny sprinkle of baking soda or a dribble of green laundry detergent to make them work exactly as well, if not better than your ordinary green cleaner.