Should I use ecoballs and or soapnuts in my washing machine

There has been lots of conflicting information around concerning these products, which are meant to replace normal detergent in your washing machine, thereby saving you money, and also helping to protect the environment.

There has been lots of conflicting information around concerning these products, which are meant to replace normal detergent in your washing machine, thereby saving you money, and also helping to protect the environment.

The claims made by the manufacturers are pretty convincing, however, with a little bit of research it is easy to discover there is no real scientific proof behind the hype.  Some of the manufacturers themselves are also very shy of providing any real proof for their claims.

Several investigations have been carried out on these products in both the UK and the United States.  It is fair to say the results were not good.To be honest, if they were as good as the manufacturers claim, surely we would all have switched to their use and most detergent manufacturers would either have gone out of business or had to diversify into other products.

However, this has not happened, and the percentage of use for these products is still low, and does not appear to be growing.

These balls are designed to agitate the water in the wash cycle, thereby causing a chemical reaction which should then remove the dirt from your clothes.  What is missing though is any kind of detergent.  With agitation you can knock dirt from clothes but without detergent you will not be able to remove any stains, particularly any oil-based stains, as you have to use a detergent to remove these.  

Another vital factor to remove dirt and stains from your laundry is bleach – most modern washing machine detergents contain small amounts of bleach, and this is what helps to clean and disinfect your clothes thoroughly.

In fact, for these types of product, in order to improve the washing properties, you need to purchase additives such as bleach and limescale remover plus additional stain removers.  If you have to add all this to wash your clothes, there seems little point in using this system and you may as well continue to use the proved normal detergent.  By having to add all these extras, it surely also damages the environmental benefits claimed by these balls.

Downsides to these products:

Damage to washing machines

There is quite a lot of evidence to prove these products can actually cause damage to your washing machine.  These include:

  • Bacterial build up which can lead to staining the inside of your machine and really bad odours 
  • Limescale build up which can cause damage to your washing machine

In order to rectify these issues you will need the services of a qualified engineer, as damage may well have been caused to the internal workings of the machine.  This can be both time-consuming and expensive.  Sometimes the damage can be so bad that the appliance will need to replaced altogether.  Not only will this cost you a considerable amount of money but also will have an environmental impact.  

This destroys both claims associated with these products – cost and environmental protection!

Damage to your clothes

There have been many reports that these products have a detrimental effect on your clothes over time, by taking on a dull appearance or wearing out much earlier than expected.

This is because there is no detergent or bleach involved and there is, therefore, no real cleaning going on.  If you think about it, the dirt you are trying to wash out of your clothes is actually getting redeposited around your washing, resulting in you wearing clothes or sleeping in bedding that are not really clean – not good.

 


 

 

 

 


Disclaimer: The information provided has been prepared as a guide only and the steps taken are likely to vary for different appliance models. We strongly recommend using a qualified engineer to undertake major repairs and fault finding.

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