Any thoughts on the use of these detergent free washing balls? I've a pair of Ecozone Ecoballs sold by Aldi and I'm wondering if they are OK to use without detriment to DWR treatments.
They work by increasing the level of the water alkalinity and claim not to leave anything in the fabric.
"Sodium and potassium oxides dissolve in the water, increasing it's alkalinity. ie the Ecoballs makes the molecule of the water smaller which returns the water to having its brilliant hydrating properties, high solubility and good permeability. This is so that it can remove stains, odours and provide you with an antibacterial effect. Inside each laundry ball are solid washing pellets. The pellets contain non-toxic mineral oxides."
The rinse cycle can even be left out apparently.
Over to you Chris.
Aye me too, but on the face of it, these sound ideal.
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Colm ab Ifan. wrote (see)
They don't work.
Mother in law tried them, friend and neighbour down the street tried them and they were both very disappointed. Crap, unless of course you like grey whites and the strong and unmistakable odour of French onion soup as you iron across the underarms of your T shirts, shirts and blouses. Mud spots persist, collars and cuffs stay grimed. Shall I go on?
I suppose it all comes down to what you think is acceptable in the name of economy and the environment.
Parky, don't you mean molecular physics?
the difference is too small to worry about mal
(swats a stray sodium atom buzzing past head)
I don't think I would either. As a sometime surface chemist, I've been thinking about this and while I can't say that I have the answer (I'm sure the people at Gore would, though), anything which potentially changes the condition of the surface of the material (including the DWR - which is configured to repel water droplets presumably by creating an unfavourably charged surface) doesn't sound like a good idea.
As for making water molecules smaller by adding Na and K oxides, what can one say? It sounds all too much like homeoopathy except with some stuff still in solution - I wonder if Bad Science knows about this?
I'm not so sure if its bad science or an entry in a competition for the worst English written by a far Eastern author. Or perhaps its both. The quote in full obtained by googling:
"A. Ecoballs™ increase the degree of alkaline. In the water Ecoballs™ exceed OH, which will react with stain/dirt under saponification (saponification creates surfact-active agent which lifts the dirt away. The Activated water molecule filters easily into the inside of clothing fibre and makes combination between filth and fibre loose. Under the stirring of a washing machine, the filth will be separated from fibre more quickly and will scatter in the water, so as to reach the effect of cleanout. Mineral oxides condition the water by changing its ionic structure. Sodium and potassium oxides dissolve in the water, increasing its alkalinity. I.e the Ecoballs makes the molecule of the water smaller which returns the water to having its brilliant hydrating properties, high solubility and good permeability. This is so that it can remove stains,odours and provide you with an antibacterial effect. Inside each laundry ball are solid washing pellets. The pellets contain non-toxic mineral oxides."
I suppose its true that as solution gets more alkaline, the more water molecules are converted to smaller hydroxide ions, But if thats how these things work you could get the same effect by adding a pinch of sodium hydroxide to your wash. Not too much though as your clothes would soon start to rot.
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