I said Ecoballs™.

We first heard the term from our friends Howies a few years back. Of their organic cotton jeans they always say

ecoball™ washed for softness

So when @dombat said on Twitter the other day;

Ecoballs £5.35 in Aldi currently

I jumped on my bike and pedalled through the woods to our nearest Aldi, just a couple of miles away (and nearly got squashed by a dangerous driver in the process!) and picked up a box of ecoballs™ for the special offer price of £5.35

Of course I wasn't the only one buying eco-friendly washing products and you could see the cashier's face as another box of ecoballs™ came through the till.

So how do they work then?

...she said to the woman next in the queue. That was close - if she'd asked me I wouldn't have had a clue!

So what's in the box? Well, you get 2x ecoballs™, 2x extra bags of washing pellets, a tube of eco-friendly stain remover (let's hope it works on the bike chain grease on my jeans) and a set of instructions including an Ecoballs™ FAQ.

So. How do they work? You pop an ecoball™ or two into your wash load and wash as normal at 30-60°C. You can skip the rinse cycle apparently. The cleaning pellets inside the ecoballs™ raise the level of alkaline in the water and there are a few other processes that take place which loosen the dirt from the fibres, plus clever things about activated water molecules. Unfortunately our resident biochemist isn't around at the moment to explain, so hopefully when Dr. B is back, we can get a decent explanation of what saponification is.

I haven't has the chance to use the ecoballs™ yet but will be doing a washload this weekend and report back. with the box boasting up to 150 washes at around 6p per wash (or less than 3.5p with the Aldi special price) it looks like we won't be using our ecover for a while. It'll be interesting to see how our clothes turn out in terms of cleanliness and freshness.

Ecoballs™ are a registered trademark of Ecozone (UK) Ltd.


Wah. You almost were hit by a nasty driver? I'm unhappy about that.

Right...ecoballs...I'll look forward to the report...

Make sure the washing machine has been cleaned by a hot wash first to get rid of any detergent residue. I also added Sainsburys economy vinegar to the soap draw (15p for about 500ml) to help remove the soap and limescale. See this link for details of the vinegar tip

I found these Ecoballs to be superb. My stinking bike clothes come out smelling fresh. I haven't yet tried it on oily or really dirty clothes but for sweat they work a treat!

p.s You need to have a slightly smaller load that you might have done with detergent. The balls need to be able to move around and access the water.

Dombat, thank you for popping by and in particular for the additional info, absolutely superb!

I shall give all those tips a go this weekend before my first wash using the ecoballs. I'm also hoping that because we have hard water in Hampshire that I'll get results with the water softness too?

I may keep my chain-oil daubed strides separate with any other heavily-soiled laundry and see how the ecoballs work by themselves and with the supplied "stain stick" too, just to be really "scientific" :)

OK, I shall report back as soon as the results are in; I even had a phonecall tonight from an enquirer in Germany who I had expected would already be using them.

Yes, the car driver wasn't looking in my direction across the roundabout even though I was wearing my brightest fluorescent yellow biking waterproof in broad daylight, sun shining too!

First & second loads completed today, report soon.

Are they made out of plastic? Doesn't seem to eco friendly to me, maybe they will eventually evaporate?

You must have done a few washes now, Gone Green. Are you sticking with your balls or are you going back to daz?

Yes, they're made out of plastic. Whether it's recycled plastic or not I don't know but they're quite tough and look like they're built to last. You can refill ecoballs and there's a screw to open the casing but with an expected 3 year usage out of these babies I think they're green enough :)

Having used Ecovert all-natural washing liquid and conditioner for a decade now I would never dream of going back to anything like Daz anyway. The analogy is like this... ever walked past a girl wearing too much perfume or a guy with too much aftershave on? Well big brand washing detergents are like that... once you've been away from them for a while you realise how overkill the fragrances are.

We're all conditioned to thinking that Persil etc smell nice and are good when in all reality they're actually pretty repugnant. Give it a go... give up the chemicals and the concoctions that are brewed up to smell like "ocean breeze" and try washing your clothes so that smell as fresh and clean as flowing water :)