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Eco-balls. Do they work?

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Do Eco-Balls work?

Poll ended at Mon May 08, 2006 11:22 pm

Yes
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No votes
No
3
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Total votes : 3

Eco-balls. Do they work?

Postby leavemetogetonwithit » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:22 pm

The issue of skin sensitivity has arisen in the "cheap washing machine" thread and this leads me to ask all you people out there, trade and public, what experience you have of "eco-balls".

I have two friends who have told me they use them. One of these friends suffers from sensitive skin and swears that the eco-balls have helped. The other has been using them for about a year and says they are fine most of the time but she is sure they don't always get the clothes quite as clean.(But she is quite fussy about cleanliness).

Both of these eco-ball users are middle aged women living alone. I have a suspicion that if one put tennis balls or those soft plastic balls with knobbly surfaces in with the wash they might work quite as well. After all, 40 degrees is about 3 degrees above human body temperature. Sloshing around in water at that temperature certainly ought to wash out anything that came from the body.
It might be a different story if you are washing a car mechanic's overalls.

All contributions welcome.

Mike.
"We don't know what we like. We like what we know." Philip Glass (ex-dishwasher repairman, now super-star composer).
Give that a bit of thought in relation to appliances.
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Re: Eco-balls. Do they work?

Postby kwatt » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:44 pm

So tell me, just how do they clean then? Explanations on a postcard please.

Short answer is that they do not remove half the detrious that the normal wash process does, but it sounds good. It's like the detergent-less washer, yeah they work, if you pre-treat like crazy with (shock) chemicals.

As I said in that thread (more or less if not exactly) the best thing for people that suffer from a delicate skin is extra rinsing, more water and proper cleaning. The proper cleaning gets rid of stuff that will irritate the skin, the water level higher allows the detergent to work correctly and be in a decent ratio with respect to the fill and the rinsing removes the detergent. It's not rocket science.

Reduce the detergent, you lose the cleaning

Reduce the water, you concentrate the detergent which you still need to achieve the performance.

Reduce the rinsing and you leave detergent in the clothing.

Eco-balls et all work on the "rock" principal where, in the stonge age and still some Third World countries, you wet the laundry and slap it off rocks loosening the dirt until it is "clean". How clean is up for debate. However, this is carried out usually in a flowing body of water, like a river, where there is loads of water to carry off the dirt, if of course it's clean, if it's not then it's pretty much a waste of time.

This is the very principal on which Zanussi's Jetsystem is based where little water is used yet the clothing is still soaked and then effectively "slapped" off the drum to loosen dirt. Some swear by it, most people wouldn't know the difference.

Simple chemistry (Chemistry 101 if you like) dictates that to remove staining, grease and other nasty stuff requires three components...

Water, to provide a means to hold the dirt in solution.

Heat, to loosen the dirt and activate the detergent.

Detergent, to attack the dirt, loosen it and then hold it in the solution.

It's why you wash dirty dishes in hot water with detergent and I've yet to see anything defy that simple physical law. And whilst all these things claim to be better,more eco-friendly or whatever I tend to regard them as snake-oil until scientifically proven.

This subject really cracks me up at times as I've seen so many things that claim to be God's Gift nd on analysis they turn out to be total tosh. The topper for me is additives like Vanish etc., talk about snake oil! :roll:

K.
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Re: Eco-balls. Do they work?

Postby Martin » Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:22 am

leavemetogetonwithit wrote: trade and public, what experience you have of "eco-balls".


Here is my 'trade' experience on the subject:-

http://www.ukwhitegoods.co.uk/modules.p ... =eco+balls

(Unfortunately not accessible for all to read though - requires trade access :()
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Re: Eco-balls. Do they work?

Postby kwatt » Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:27 am

I have requested data to back up the claims made by these products whcih seem to me to be pretty wild, like...

"they're natural, environmentally friendly, efficient and cost-effective, and deliver a clean, fresh, sensitive alternative to conventional washing powders that pollute our water supply, reduce the lifespan of our washing machine and break down the very clothing they're supposed to care for."

Quite how they achieve this is beyond me and there's virtually no explanation of how they achieve these fantastic results at all. In fact there's no supporting evidence of how they achieve anything at all, not even a hint.

I'd say that until there was data to back it up and comparative testing done then they are just that, claims.

K.
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Re: Eco-balls. Do they work?

Postby kwatt » Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:08 am

Well, little over two months asking for the data to back up the claims made and... surprise, surprise... no reply to my email. Not even a courteous, sorry that information is not available.

So to me, any company that won't even answer such a simple enquiry with information about how their products work says it all.

Maybe I'll buy some and get them lab tested. :twisted:

K.
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Re: Eco-balls. Do they work?

Postby iadom » Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:06 am

A customer of mine who is something of a fanatic and tends to read about and believe all this mumbo jumbo, tried them a couple of years ago. Her conclusion, totally useless. :wink:
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.
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Re: Eco-balls. Do they work?

Postby Trilobite » Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:50 pm

kwatt wrote:The topper for me is additives like Vanish etc., talk about snake oil! :roll:

K.


Actually, Vanish powder can and does work.

If you normally use 'colour' or liquid detergents, there are no bleaching agents in the formulae. The result is that through time, white articles can look decidedly grubby.

However, should you add a scoop of Vanish, then the whites will be returned to their proper brightness; though this may take a few washes.

This of course is all academic if a good 'whites' powder is used in the first place (Ariel or Daz).

The best thing to do is separate your whites from the coloureds; and use 'whites' powder for whites, and 'colour' for coloureds.
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Postby kwatt » Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:12 pm

Yes, but it also contains enzymes, a fair bit, which cracks me up when you see people using non-bio and adding Vanish to get the results. I've also heard of people adding it to colour detergent totally destroying the point of using a colour detergent in the first place.

IMO it's a big tub of bleach with a few other bits and bobs chucked in but the point of it is very poorly explained to people.

K.
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