Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary sample of one or more of the products or services mentioned below in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/ or believe will be good for my readers. In some cases, an affiliate link has been applied. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Detail: SmartKlean and detergent are both designed to help water clean. The difference is that detergent achieves this through a chemical process, and the laundry ball performs a physical process. With four kinds of earth mineral ceramics, two magnets, plus its shell’s shape and weight, the laundry ball naturally boosts the water’s ability to clean and soften fabrics without leaving behind any chemical traces on clothes, skin, or the environment.
Personal Experience: I received a SmartKlean Laundry Ball and a SmartKlean Stain Remover for the purpose of this review.
As a family that strives to remain “green” the idea of the laundry ball was intriguing. As a person with skin sensitivities and with a child who has eczema, it became something we really needed to try. It can be difficult to find products that are truly free of the harsh ingredients that causes mine and Xander’s skin to flare up.
I put SmartKlean to work the next laundry day. I did my laundry much in the way I usually do, but with a few slight changes. I did slightly smaller loads. The recommendations suggest loading your washer in a way that leaves room for the ball to move and agitate the laundry properly. I also washed in cold/ cold instead of my usual warm/ cold cycle. The ball does not fare well in hot water. I’m not complaining! Finding a detergent that washes well in cold water could save us some money and it’s better for the environment.
During the wash cycle I noticed a slight sudsing. For a moment, I wondered where on earth the soap was coming from… then my husband pointed out that it was likely the residual soap from previous washes coming out of the clothes. It did not happen when the same clothes were washed again. I’m not sure if this is a typical occurrence, but it made me very aware of how much soap can linger in our clothes. No wonder even clean clothes were making Xander itchy!
The clothes dried in the usual time. They came out smelling fresh… almost like they do when dried on a clothesline. No flowery scent. Just clean. They were also very soft. I had quit using fabric softeners shortly after my son’s eczema was diagnosed and we had grown accustomed to slightly rough towels. Now we can enjoy soft clothes and towels again!
The opportunity to use the stain remover arrived a few days later. We had been playing outside where I was trying to convince Xander that the pool was just a big (cold) bathtub. He was in his swim trunks and rash guard. After a failed attempt, we came in to eat lunch. I let him stay in his swimsuit… hoping to try a little more splashing about after we ate. I should know better! He soon had spaghetti all over himself.
I pulled his suit off, cleaned him up, changed him, sent him off to play, and then looked at his suit. Yikes. Red sauce all over the front of the rash guard. The rash guard is made from swimsuit material and, in my experience, this material stains easily. I read the directions on the stain remover and set to work…
The Laundry Ball retails for $45 each and the Stain Remover is $9.80.
Pros: It works! Free of fragrances, allergens, and toxins. Good for 365 loads! Compatible with standard and HE washers. Comparable cost to liquid detergents. Saves on cost of heating water. Cruelty-free product.
Cons: You may need an additional stain remover and/or whitening aid for harder to clean laundry.