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Eco Balls
Tue 17-Nov-09
6:28 pm
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fn
Newmarket
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I've just spotted these Eco Balls in Nigel's Eco Store. They replace 50 boxes of washing powder so must save loads of cash.

Tue 17-Nov-09
8:58 pm
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shelley
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Have you tried them out yet? They have them in the supermarket here in Toulouse, but with a 10 year old boy I was too afraid that it might not cope with the workload!

Wed 18-Nov-09
3:19 am
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Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

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I was looking at the site, and I saw that the eco-balls would last for up to 1000 washes for 29.99 (I don't have a pound symbol, sorry). Dividing 29.99 by 1000 loads would figure to be .03 per load (I don't know british currency, what would that be?).

Is that a good price?

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Wed 18-Nov-09
12:20 pm
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veronica
France

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Wed 23-Sep-09
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well, it would be if they worked. My mother in law gave me one (looks similar in design to Nigel's, but only 1 instead of 3), and I tried it for a few washes. It works great if the washing is already clean 🙁 I've gone back to eco-detergent.

I'd be interested to hear from others who have tried them though!

Wed 18-Nov-09
1:06 pm
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fn
Newmarket
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There are lots of reviews on Amazon

Seems they are great for some types of wash but not all.

Wed 18-Nov-09
1:28 pm
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veronica
France

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sounds as if it depends on type of washing machine and hard/soft water too. Our water is very hard, so maybe that's why they didn't work well -- although I do put water softener tablets in the machine to stop it getting clogged up with limescale.

I liked one person's suggestion that plain water with no eco-ball would work just as well -- that would save even more money!

Wed 18-Nov-09
8:23 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Try putting white vinegar in your wash, that sorts out the hardness. I use it in the final load as a softner, works pretty well and there is a hint of vinegar smell in the end but nothing I can't live with and ii disappears anyway

Wed 18-Nov-09
10:08 pm
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veronica
France

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Interesting idea, thanks Joanna! The anti-calcaire costs a fortune, so I don't put it in every wash. Vinegar would be an economical alternative!

Thu 19-Nov-09
12:57 pm
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SOL
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The spiky balls for the tumble dryer apparently work. 

http://bean-sprouts.blogspot.com/2007/01/whole-dif.....-game.html

Thu 19-Nov-09
8:51 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Forgot to mention that vinegar also deals with sweaty smells - my hubby is a bike enthusiast and has an indoor roller so even bad weather does not stop him cycling, so finding out vinegar deals with the cycling clothes was wonderful.

Thu 19-Nov-09
9:06 pm
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KateUK
uk

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Yes tumble dryer spikey balls do work- reduce time considerably when there is no alternative but to tumble dry!

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Thu 19-Nov-09
10:03 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Joanna, your tip about using white wine vinegar to counteract water hardness seems brilliant if it works!

We have had neighbours trying all manner of antidotes, including a magnetic system wrapped around their mains water inlet. We have no idea whether or not that method worked because they moved away soon afterwards. But it is a real and expensive problem in many areas all over the world. We find that the simple but expensive Brita filters do a reasonable job on the fluoride in our drinking water for the kettle but we still have to swill out the hardened calcium residue from the kettle every few days.

Never knowingly underfed

Fri 20-Nov-09
3:58 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Be grateful it is white calcium residue ours is brown iron residue and quite corrosive of shower runners over time

Wed 17-Feb-10
5:33 pm
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devongarden
Devon, UK

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I have been meaning to comment on eco balls for ages, and keep forgetting. I use them for hot washes (bedding all has to be done at 60C to kill dust mites to try to prevent nasty allergic reactions) and they work pretty well. A friend said she found they didn't work well below 50C, so I haven't tried them at 30C. I have been using them for ages, so maybe it is the tumbling action rather than whatever is inside that works.

Here the problem is water so soft it is almost impossible to rinse things well enough. Getting the balance of enough soap to clean and not so much it doesn't rinse out is hard. Eco balls solve that for hot washes.

And the spiky drier balls work well when I need to use the drier--they cut down the time required a lot.

Wed 17-Feb-10
10:54 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Danny said:

Joanna, your tip about using white wine vinegar to counteract water hardness seems brilliant if it works!

We have had neighbours trying all manner of antidotes, including a magnetic system wrapped around their mains water inlet. We have no idea whether or not that method worked because they moved away soon afterwards. But it is a real and expensive problem in many areas all over the world. We find that the simple but expensive Brita filters do a reasonable job on the fluoride in our drinking water for the kettle but we still have to swill out the hardened calcium residue from the kettle every few days.


Danny we have the magnetic system - atm it seems to be working, but I would add that we also have a  Breville Brita-filter kettle - and, considering the problems we've had before, this seems to work really well.

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