Laundry ball buying guide

Is a laundry ball right for your washing needs?

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Laundry balls, also called washing balls, are an alternative to laundry detergents that can remove dirt and grime from clothing. They can be a more hypoallergenic and environmentally-friendly option that regular detergents. Simply throw one in with your dirty clothes, and let the machine do the rest.

What are the best laundry balls?

Name Avg. price
(USD)
Balls per pack Washes per pack Hypoallergenic? Purchase
Smartklean Laundry Ball $29.99 1 365 Yes Buy now
Beron Eco-Friendly Laundry Ball $12.99 1 1,500 Chemical-free Buy now
Superior Clean Eco-Friendly $20.95 2 1,000 Yes Buy now
Ultimate Washing Ball $44.99 2 2,000 Yes Buy now
Biocera Ceramic Washing Ball $47.99 2 1,100 Yes Buy now
Data obtained April 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

What are laundry balls?

Laundry balls come in a variety of shapes that include spheres, disks and donuts and are used in place of traditional laundry detergent. Laundry ball technology changes from product to product.

In general, laundry balls aim to alter the pH balance of water through the release of a combination of magnets and minerals. They also release a small amount of detergent.

Many laundry ball manufacturers suggest that traditional laundry detergents cause us to use more product than we actually need. Laundry balls are the proposed solution to this problem, as they use the “correct” amount of detergent per wash.

Pros and cons

Pros

Laundry balls have some advantages over traditional laundry detergents.

  • Reusability. Laundry balls are reusable products, whereas detergents are single-use. This reusability factor is both convenient and cost-efficient.
  • Ease of use. Laundry balls are simple to use. Just throw them in with your dirty clothes and you’re set to go — no need to worry about spills or other hassles associated with laundry detergents.
  • Sensitivity. Some laundry detergents can leave residue on clothing, which can irritate sensitive skin. Laundry balls claim to leave less of a trace behind, which can be a benefit for those who need something gentler.
  • Water consumption. If laundry balls are used correctly, less rinsing is required, cutting down on water usage.
  • Energy consumption. Some laundry balls claim to be equally as effective with cold water as they are with warm water. Selecting a cold wash cycle cuts down on energy usage.

Cons

The main concern about laundry balls is effectiveness. User reviews are mixed, so it’s best to read carefully. The following are the three main concerns regarding laundry balls:

  • They may not clean as well. If your clothes aren’t coming out clean, then the laundry ball you chose might not be the best option. Clothes coming out dirty could also mean you used the wrong machine setting, but it may be best to try something else if it keeps happening.
  • They may damage your washing machine. Laundry balls vary in quality. Some products are encased in cheaper plastic that may not stand the test of time — and chipped plastic can impact your machine.
  • They may not last as long as they claim. Cost efficiency is one of the biggest selling points of laundry balls, but many products may not last as long as they claim to.

It’s your experience that matters. Keep an eye on how clean your clothes come out after using a laundry ball, just as you would when trying a new laundry detergent.

How to compare laundry balls

When buying a laundry ball, keep a check for the following:

  • Washes per pack. Many laundry ball brands advertise how many “washes per pack” the product offers, ranging from around 100 to over 1,000.
  • Effective cleaning. If you’re using laundry balls for the first time, pay attention to the cleanliness of your clothes after trying them out. You may need to try a few different brands or types before finding one that works the best for you.
  • Cost. Laundry balls start at around $20 and can get up over $50. They’re only cost-effective if they actually last for the advertised number of washes.
  • Eco-friendly. Some products claim to be made with environmentally-friendly products and all-natural minerals.
  • Hypoallergenic. If you have sensitive skin, look for a laundry ball that’s hypoallergenic. These products tend to be free of phosphates and sodium lauryl sulphate.

Bottom line

Laundry balls might be right for you if you’re looking for a more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way to wash your clothes. Compare a few options and see which one is the best fit for your laundry day needs.

How did we choose these products?

We performed our own online research, factoring in third-party product reviews and comparing features like type, number of washes, cost and ingredients.

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