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I've used 3 kinds and I like them all:

www.gaiam.com Do a search for "cleaning capsules". This is what I use currently. It will last 500-700 washes, depending on the type of washer you have (front or top loader) and costs $39, I think.

www.mysticwondersinc.com This was the first kind I ever tried, about 5 or 6 years ago. It lasts at least 2 years and costs around $30. When it stops working, you can send it back to the manufacturer and they'll recharge it for less than the cost of a new one...absolutely no waste!

www.lifenatural.com Click on their "detergent alternative". This one is supposed to last indefinitely, but I haven't had it long enough to prove it! It's designed for use with a top loader washer. The product works well, but I wasn't impressed with the company's customer service. Cost was $50 when I bought mine.

All of these products have a money-back guarantee. Two of them come with their own enzyme stain-treating spray, which I usually don't use because I like Shout better. But that's just me. And I've tried so many just because I'm curious
. And I'd be happy to answer any other questions you may have about them!

I have really enjoyed using a laundry ball. I don't use any detergent at all. Haven't for years. Clothes come out softer without the use of fabric softener and I love the fresh, clean smell. All of these products do a great job on diapers, too, in case that's something you do.

Have fun!
 

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I wonder if the water & agitation are really what get the clothes clean? I mean, I use very little soap and get clean clothes (and usually my laundry starts out
d i r t y). I bet it would be surprising how clean stuff would get with just water, and easy to attribute it to a "magic laundry ball".
 

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To Treehuggin'--no scent at all is left behind. Only water is left behind.

And yes--it's possible that the ball is a scam--except that the few times I've forgotton to toss it in, I've noticed the difference in my laundry, before realizing that I forgot to use it.

And if it is a scam, then I've been getting fresh, clean clothes for the past 6 years with just plain water, making detergent an even bigger scam!

I'd be okay with my laundry toys being proved useless--if it meant folks realized they no longer had use for detergent--that water was all we ever needed all along!
 

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Well, I hate to say it, but it's not only possible the balls are a scam, it's probable.

It's very likely that what happened with your laundry was "explaining the facts after the fact": you left the ball out, the clothes were washed with only water just like all the other loads, but because of the way the washer was loaded or the water temp or what was on the dirty clothes or some other variable, they felt a little different than usual. You noticed this and then when you realized you'd left out the ball, you decided that was the cause of the difference even though you had no evidence to link the two. (It's a natural thing for a person to do, I'm not calling you stupid or anything.)

I bet your laundry has felt slightly different at other times, too, only you don't remember it the same way because you didn't later realize the ball had been left out and mentally link the two, creating an incident your mind would hang onto. You might have attributed it to overloading the washer or having especially dirty laundry or something, instead.

I really think those balls are a scam.
 

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Whatever.

I'm happy and I've spent way less on laundry balls in the past 6 years than I would have in detergent.

It's too bad you think I'm so stupid. That's not something I would assume about you or anyone I don't know well.
 

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OK, took a look at some of these sites.

Want to emphasize that I am not criricizing any person here and I am not calling anyone stupid. As a skeptic I make a habit of evaluating all kinds of claims, especially advertising claims.

This site (http://www.mysticwondersinc.com/wond...advantages.asp) claims that washing with detergents forces ground glass and corncobs into the fibers of your clothes. Also that washing your bedding with their magic ball will make you sleep better. Also that "When the ball is agitated in the washing machine, there is an energy field created." Ooooookay. An energy field explained by what physics exactly? If this works, how come car washes, pressure washing companies and street cleaners haven't jumped on it as a way to do their jobs without spending money on cleansers and extra water?

This site (http://www.lifenatural.com/laundry.htm) also sells pills they claim block carbs. This practically screams Warning! Quackery ahead! But on to the laundry balls. They provide no explanation of how the balls are supposed to work, but I noticed that all their claims (softer clothes, no need for fabric softener) are couched in "may" terminology.

This site (http://www.gaiam.com/retail/product....t%5Fid=10-9003) sells their balls with a "tsunami wave concentrate". They don't say what's in it. Probably soap or other cleanser! I only need a tablespoon of my soap, so it's perfectly concievable that they're selling way overpriced laundry soap with "magic balls" thrown in. I would love to hear from any physicist mamas here what "ionized water" really is and what it is capable of doing.
 

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Kristin, you spent a whole post illustrating why my experience ended up with a faulty conclusion. Condescending, okay? Secondly, if you read what I wrote, you'll see that I don't even use the tsunami wave stuff with the laundry product. It seems kinda like Bac-Out to me and I've not been impressed with that, either. So I just skip it and still have great results.

Being a skeptic is cool. I'm one m'self. But I practice my skepticism by just trying the thing want to figure out, whenever appropriate. All the links I posted have return guarantees. Nothing to lose here. I try not to post advice that people would regret following!

I'm not interested in defending each of these products down to it's last molecule. Frankly, I'm not concerned about the minute details because my laundry needs are being met. The OP asked a question and I responded with my personal experience. I have nothing to gain from lying about my laundry, so I believe my experience alone may be valuable to someone. And she asked.

(However, I am certainly not saying that Kristin's or anyone else's skeptical questions are unwarranted. Only that I don't have those answers because I have no particular use for them.)

But really, if there's any place in your life where one should take a wild, unexamined risk, why not here? It's just laundry after all!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EricaLeigh
What are these "balls" made of?
Something that creates a charge, like minerals or magnets of some kind. Then it's encased in something protective, like plastic or a ball.

binxsmom--
I hope you like it!
 

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Well, now I'm really interested, and I looked around and found this:

http://www.sniggle.net/Laundry/index.php

Quote:
1. Everything at room temperature emits far-infrared electromagnetic radiation. So does their product.
2. The water is specially treated, since water doesn't occur naturally in plastic globes.
3. Water plus mechanical action will clean quite well. Since the globe is small, it won't interfere with the mechanical action of the washer or displace much water.
4. The company recommends a procedure to clean out the washer before the first use of their product. The procedure will remove soap scum and mineral buildup… This could account for any repeatable observations of "brightness" the first time the product is used.
5. The company notes that once in a while, for greasy clothes, you may need Borax or, for extreme cases, a tablespoon of laundry detergent."
Here's a page with side-by-side tests of soiled laundry washed with "laundry balls", plain water and detergent. http://web.archive.org/web/200010182...cam.com/uw.htm

Quote:
As you can see from the pictures above, there appears to be no difference between using "The Laundry Solution" globe and plain warm water in this instance. They both cleaned surprisingly well. Also, there appeared to be no difference when two globes were used. The briefs washed in Regular Tide were noticeably cleaner.
They're placebos.

Save your money and just wash your clothes with less detergent, baking soda instead of detergent, or no detergent at all.

 

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Well, no, I don't think anyone could say that was your point, since you described how you've bought several different kinds and how well they "work".

One would think that if that were your point, you would simply have said what I ended up saying: save your money and don't buy the balls, just try washing with water alone.

What's the harm in buying the things? you may ask. Well, let's skip the ethical issue of paying money to (thus encouraging) companies who lie, misinform and defraud people, and go right to the non-subjective:

All these balls have to be *made* somewhere, out of something. That takes resources. They all seem to be made of plastic, in fact, which takes non-renewable resources. Plastic has to be produced and molded somewhere, thus not only taking up resources but creating wastes and emissions, many of which are hazardous. This presents not only an environmental issue but a human-rights one, since the workers in plastic plants are typically low-paid and usually not adequately informed about the risks of working with the plastics.

Then the balls have to be packaged. More resources, more waste, more low-paid workers. Then they have to be shipped all over the country.

We might also take a peek at the fact that these balls cost from $30 to $60, and there are families who can't afford to feed their children (some of whom are sometimes here at MDC).

So, in fact, your (that's a general your) choice to buy something useless that you know is useless *does* affect a whole bunch of other people. As al our choices do in one way or another.

Only in one of the wealthiest, privileged, most over-stuffed nations in the world could someone justify buying an expensive placebo they know is a placebo.
 

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The studies aren't new, I've seen them before. They don't change my mind.

I am aware that it's the water that actually cleans. Not the detergent or ball or whatever. We just add these things to make the water better able to do it's job. I am comfortable with the idea of washing with water and nothing else. It just takes longer. (I tried this with diapers.)

But I would like to address the topic of briefs. Not clean ones with smeared fruit, like in the study, but real ones you wear and sweat in and toot in.

I used these as the test when I first started washing with a ball. I figured if a pair of undies I wore on a fertile day in August came out fresh and clean, the rest of my laundry was too. And I've been quite happy. They have been indeed, fresh and clean.

Except for when the ball wasn't in the wash. Then they just...weren't...

That's all I got.
 
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