If you follow my tweets you might have seen me proclaim how I went around the Lanes in Brighton a few weeks ago and all I bought were a couple of cards and these Ecoballs. I went to Portobello Road Market last weekend and bought nothing – what is happening to me? Years of studying shopping has really taken the fun right out of it. Anyway, it was Ecozone not me who called these balls a laundry revolution but they do have a point. Ecoballs replace regular laundry detergents as an eco-friendly way to do your clothes wash and save money at the same time.
Every time you wash your clothes with normal chemical detergents, the waste water enters the environment. Ecoballs are a natural alternative to detergents, they go straight into your wash drum and their ‘scientifically formulated ingredients work hard to wash dirt clean away’. They don’t contain soap, and are hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial. So far I have found them to be great. I always limited the amount of detergent I used anyway, so my clothes never smelt particularly fragranced post-wash but I know some people would miss the fragranced ‘fresh’ laundry smell you get from chemical detergents. In that instance you can still use fabric softener with the Ecoballs.
The Ecoballs aren’t cheap to buy but once you have them they can do 150 washes if you follow the recommended wash cycle, costing out to around 8p per wash. They also claim to help you save water, but standing in the shop I couldn’t work out why that might be the case. When I asked the shop assistant he explained that it is because as they contain no soap, you do not need to rinse clothes and hence only need a shorter wash. I’ve scanned my washing machine manual though, and can’t find a setting which doesn’t rinse. This means that not only am I not saving water, but my Ecoballs probably won’t last the promised 150 washes which as this promise is based on using their optimum 30 minute wash.
When the pellets inside the casing of the Ecoballs decrease in size significantly, and the balls themselves feel much lighter, I will need to but refill the pellets. I haven’t tried, but I imagine this might be quite tricky because the casing of the balls, by their very nature to withstand the washing drum, has to be tight. I haven’t used them to wash anything well soiled, but they did come with a stain remover just in case. All in all, I’m pretty smug about my Ecoballs.