Ecoballs - First Wash Verdict

We purchased our first box of ecoballs the other day and have been accumulating various loads of laundry to test.
Firstly I did a random "typical bloke" laundry wash to include an assortment of odds-and-ends that no discerning domestic deity would dream of.

  • Bath towel (well used)
  • Assorted t-shirts (including a red one for good measure and one that was deliberately "sweated-in")
  • Pair of denim jeans
  • Socks (lots of)

Now, because the ecoballs are each about the size of a tennis ball (we used two) there needs to be a slightly less packed washing drum so they can make their way amongst the clothes. We only use Ecover laundry liquid and Ecover fabric conditioner normally so there was no powdery residue or unnatural fragrances to purge from our machine.
Laundry in. Ecoballs in. Set to 40°C. Start.
Being in "typical bloke" mode meant that the setting wasn't checked for the rinse cycle (which is not needed with Ecoballs) so this was a "normal" wash sans environmentally-friendly liquids. The only difference to the wash cycle from outside was the sound of the ecoballs bumping the drum & glass.
Unload. Smell test. The ecoballs themselves do have an aroma a slightly acrid nose to them but certainly not unpleasant. Our bathroom tiles are natural stone and it's similar; imagine standing under a waterfall and the olfactory senses you get from the cascade of water over rock - that's it.
The socks smelt clean but had this slight "rocky/earthy" aroma, but everything else - the t-shirts, towel and jeans all smelled clean, as if they'd been rinsed in water and that's it.
Everything is now on the washing line, getting an airing, so we expect our newly ecoball laundered clothes to have that genuine "fresh air" smell that so many perfume & chemical companies just can't seem to get right... ;)
UPDATE: All dry and clean - these ecoballs are great, everything is clean & fresh and there was even a second load including a pair of jeans with bike chain oil on them. Whilst there is still some bike oil on the leg of the jeans (I did use the "quick wash" setting for speed & economy) just by themselves the ecoballs did well.
How did the ecoballs work in comparison with regular laundry cleaners? I've not used the major brands in years. Why not? They are too "chemically" and once you've stopped using them you realise how utterly artificial they smell - in fact the brands actually smell really peculiar once you've purged your olfactory sense of their man-made stink. Ecoball washed laundry smells like its been cleansed in a fresh water stream. In cleaning power the ecoballs work absolutely fine, I have no complaints whatsoever. They lift dirt and eradicate nasty niffs (in the armpits of sports shirts for instance) just as well as mainstream methods.
VERDICT: Buy ecoballs, they really are good and that's the last £5.33 I'll be spending for a year or two. Seriously!