30 Jul 2011

Hestia and the blue balls

Ecozone website link
You may recall the story of the foamy gutters? Well that was around the time I started using Ecozone washballs.

Of course, the ecoballs weren't the cause of the foamy gutters at all, but I thought I'd tell you how I was getting on with these balls in case anyone was considering buying them.

I do try to be ecofriendly when I can, but sometimes it's just too much like bloody hard work and I have never been happy compromising with a replacement for my Fairy Non-Bio for my family's washing.  Tartarus may have skin like an old leather handbag and not be affected by anything other than sexually transmitted diseases, but Sonshine and I are hugely sensitive to lots of chemicals in washing powders and can often be found rubbing our bodies to shreds blissfully against fence posts like cattle if I use a new powder.

This Ecoball pack cost £12.50 and contains two of these blue balls, filled with little pebbles of god knows what, a small tube of stain remover and a couple of sachets of refills.  I've not ventured into the stain remover yet.  But I might.

What you do is - load up your machine (yes, even a front loader with spin dryer option like mine) with washing and fling in one of the blue balls.  Slam shut the door, select your washing programme like normal and off you go - no detergent, no conditioner!

Here's the blurby stuff:

They are 100% hypoallergenic, residue free (huzzah - no powdery black clothes!) and antibacterial - and ideal for sensitive skins (I can vouch for that - no scratching from Sonshine nor I with these!)  And best of all - no animal testing.

Despite not using fabric softener either, my clothes feel fine and are not rock hard. No-one has complained about how they feel in the Olympian household.  Perhaps towels feel a little rougher, but not uncomfortably so.  Certainly not enough to warrant going back to harsh detergents.  Yes, let's draw a veil over what actually DID cause the gutters to foam, shall we?.......

White school shirts are still clearly recognisable as white.  But if you like your white's sparkling, perhaps wash the shirts in standard washing powder every third wash or so.  I don't get het up about white getting slightly grey - Sonshine's 10 and not working in The City.  He can get a bit grimy.

So, I have to say....I'm very happy with the blue balls.  Haven't used soap powder nor conditioner since we got them!

I wash at low temperatures where possible and all seems to be going well - there's no powdery residue that you sometimes get if you use too low a temperature.  Stains that need a high temperature (fatty stains) are still a bit visible - but I put that down to not using high enough water temperatures rather than any problem with the balls.

I'm still on my first ball and have not needed to bring out the second one at all yet.  Refills are supplied and are also available on the intertubes.

All I would say is that you really can't overfill the washing machine when using them because if the ball can't circulate, then your washing is not going to feel the benefit of the wee pebbles.   So if you like to see your frogs with skin on them and your rivers flowing without bubbles, I can honestly recommend changing to the Ecozone ecoballs.


  1. It would take a lot to convince me.. I buy Fairy Non Bio.. in the large packet.. with a spare in fear of running out.. I am washing 24hrs a day.. also have sensitive skin soooo sensitive to some chemicals my face and hands are reacting to something at the moment .. yet I haven't a clue what..but they can sometimes do that when i am just under the weather too. xx

  2. I like the principle - I still don't know how the washing gets clean, but my friend also uses them so I've heard positive things from 2 people now...

    Made me laugh today to see bbc's breakfast news about supermarkets to charge 5p for bags. The woman from (I think) Carbon Neutral seemed to have peroxide blonde hair. Banging on about the evils of plastic bags yet happy to flush all that hair bleach down the drains... x

  3. for a while now, i've been washing everything in cold water in whatever environmentally friendly liquid i can get on sale and it's just fine.

    for fatty stains, i have just the thing, but sadly it's most likely only available here as it's made in canada. it's called nature's ultimate, it's made of citrus oils, gets ALL fatty stains off and can even be counted to remove tar from your favourite pair of sweat-pants (i can attest to that!). i use it in various dilutions to clean my entire house and it doesn't make my lungs fall out of my head. it is amazing and i challenge you to find something similar on your side of the pond because, seriously, this stuff changed my life!


    (and no, i'm not on commission, but i ought to be)

  4. Wildernesschic - at £12.50 I'd say it's worth getting a packet and trying them on your sons first!

    Trashsparkle - you see that a lot, don't you? Still I suppose we're all just bumbling along trying to do our best. Look at me with my little blue balls and Tartarus has had bleach put down on the roof of the house. Evil sod that he is.

    Polish Chick - I'll go looking for that! Consider it a challenge lol!

    Ali x

  5. How many washes do you get for your £12.50? I buy the massive 90 wash boxes of powder at the cash&carry for about the same price so it'd have to come close for me to consider switching for purely economic reasons.

  6. Most washing machine detergents over here can be used cold. We use a phosphate free biodegradable liquid called Planet. I don't use fabric conditioners and have had no complaints from the peanut gallery. I line dry in the summer but the towels get a bit scratchy, but the shirts etc work just fine,

  7. I am a Fairy Non-Bio girl I'm afraid, we are both very susceptible to itchy skin and that seems to be fine, plus the lovely man wears city shirts daily so need to be white white, sorry, I do a quick wash at a low temperature if that helps? X

  8. I'm a Soapnut fan but have picked those Eco balls up a few times and considered them. I'm with Tartarus in the leather skin brigade but Jon's a sensitive little soul and the slightest hint of a fragrance has him all red and itchy. x

  9. Ania - 150 washes, apparently.

    Vix - Sonshine has eczema and I get contact dermatitis from Fairy liquid etc. They work fine for us. Might be worth a punt and save some cash?

    Mrs P - yeah, if you need WHITE shirts for work, they can't really be grotty. You're off the hook - this time lol!

    Legend - so you're a musician, you cook like an angel AND you do the washing??? Are there more of you at home?!

    Ali x

  10. I feel compelled to point out that all this low temp washing *may* remove *some* dirt; but it will not remove germs ....
    Alison, what in your magic ball is the anti-bacterial substance ??

  11. viv - anionic surficants, sodium carbonate, sodium metisilicate, calcium carbonate. Not got specs on, but think that's what it says on side of box, Viv.


  12. I want to know what The Polish Chick is doing that involves her sitting in tar.

  13. Looby - that's a very fair point *folds arms, looks at Polish Chick and waits for explanation*

  14. Alison, have you looked up those ingredients ??

  15. I'm still on the Fairy non bio and the Comfort. I like things to smell of something but as I need to be sennsible moneywise I shall have a look out for these xx


I'd love you to comment, but I get a phenomenal amount of spam comments on here for some reason - so everything is moderated. But only for spam. Any other comment will be posted :-D

Explore the ruined citadel of m'blog: