Chemical Free My Butt! The Wonder Ball and Phthalates – An updated review

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Update: After tweeting this and having my @thesmartmama, Jennifer Taggart on my team and investigating the product it has come to my attention that this product is made of PVC and contains harmful toxic phthalates that are released while we are washing our clothing. The manufacture confirmed to Jennifer that DINP (a phthalate) is released. Another example of a mom trying to do good by the environment, save money and still there are issues. Saddness! This company is Green Washing by saying they are chemical free and eco-friendly – a joke if I ever saw one. Learn from my lesson and save your $40.00!

wonder ballHave you ever heard of the Wonder Ball? This magic little ball that use use to clean your laundry with – to either replace detergent or reduce the use of the detergent. It’s odd because the box doesn’t give you too much to go on other than it uses physics, it is chemical free and you put it into any washer with less detergent or instead of detergent and you’ll have clean clothing. Are you raising your eyebrow and feeling very skeptical? Yes, so was I and that’s why I HAD to give it a try and not just once but for the last two weeks. I’ve tried this magical “wonder ball” in my washer using no detergent and with a half capful of  my ecostore USA detergent and either way it seems to work just as well. My clothes look clean, smell clean and feel clean and I am here to tell you I have no explanation for it. The website claims that this Wonder Ball will last 3  years or 2000 washes which means that for only two cents a load you can have clean laundry without chemicals because this small little mystery only cost $39.95 – a huge saving.

After reading the free downloadable PDF report from the website I found all sorts of new ways to use this WonderDryerBalls Laundry Ball from cleaning jewelry, washing the car, diapers and one person even found it breaks down gasoline to to its finest for a car to run longer on! Wow – maybe the Wonder Ball is the answer to our high gas prices???  From all the reading I have done, my personal experience with the Wonder Ball thus far I am even buying the Wonder Dryer Ball to try for less static cling with the dry winter months on the horizon. According to the manufacture the Wonder Laundry Ball has been lab tested to prove that your clothes are actually clean. Probably because we’re so used to using soap that we believe we need it but with the Wonder Laundry Ball you don’t have to use detergent to get your clothing clean.

It sounds odd, I know but this Green and Clean Mom can tell you it seems to be working but I have no good reason for why or how so please feel free let me know your thoughts and experiences with the Wonder Laundry or Dryer balls.

13 thoughts on “Chemical Free My Butt! The Wonder Ball and Phthalates – An updated review”

  1. I don’t think it works.

    These laundry balls have (literally) been floating around since the Seventies. They’re usually slotted and filled with bits of ceramic or mystery filler, and are accompanied by some hokum about “negative ions” and how they’ll sanitize your laundry without soap. Search “Swedish Laundry Ball” and you’ll see they’ve been multilevel marketing staples for years.

    Yours appears similar, though now they’ve even dropped the pseudoscience pretext. It’s a plastic ball. I can’t see how it would do *anything* for you, and the “special report” PDF on the Wonder Ball site refers to lab testing without describing what kind of tests were run — under what system of controls — by what lab.

    I tested a similar laundry ball last year, for the same reasons you did: commercial laundry detergent is nasty, expensive stuff. Please forgive me linking an article on one of my sites, Lighter Footstep:

    To make a long story short, the reason I believe these balls appear to work (at first) is we use way too much detergent in our wash. It cakes our clothing. Further, our washing machines are coated with the stuff. So running several loads with just plain water will dissolve some old detergent into the laundry.

    And plain water happens to be a detergent. It lifts oil and dirt out of fabric, and suspends them until drained away. Most people would be pleasantly surprised how nice their clothes feel after an occasional plain water wash (a bit of white vinegar is a good

    As for the dryer ball, these have also been around a while. Most commercial models are made of PVC. The health risks of PVC exposure are fairly well known, and I, personally, would not intentionally expose my family’s clothing to heat and PVC for no good reason.

    I’ve seen handmade dryer balls made of nontoxic materials, but I’ve seen nothing which suggest they actually do anything. At least they’re harmless.

    Anyway, pardon the long comment — and please don’t take this as criticism of you or your site (which I have in my RSS reader). But I would like people to be more demanding of the sellers of these laundry accessories. Vendors should provide objective evidence of their claims, rather than a lot of fluffy marketing that preys on our desire to live healthier, greener, more affordable lives.
    .-= Chris Baskind´s last blog ..10 Places to Find Back-to-School Clothes on the Cheap =-.

  2. Chris,

    I am disappointed after doing more research, more investigation and like you trying to find something inexpensive and chemical free for my family and all the while putting something with PVC into my washer that then heats up and releases DINP (a phthalate). I am disappointed in this company and plan to demand more from them and write a letter. Very upsetting and you’re right after a few times it is indeed no longer working. A trick and I was tricked for a few days! My lesson learned online for everyone to learn from me, I suppose.

  3. I’m glad to know the ball was indeed too good to be true. Back to eco-friendly detergents, though I will try doing a plain wash without to see if it will clean my clothes from the residue from the washer.
    .-= Carla´s last blog ..Green and Chic’s most popular posts =-.

  4. I’m glad to know the ball was indeed too good to be true. Back to eco-friendly detergents, though I will try doing a plain wash without to see if it will clean my clothes from the residue from the washer.
    .-= Carla´s last blog ..Green and Chic’s most popular posts =-.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  5. I have always wondered about those… I remember seeing an infomercial on them one night a while back. Thanks for the update… How annoying that they are trying to say it is a green product when it is clearly not one. 🙁
    .-= anne´s last blog ..First aid for insect bites =-.

  6. My opinion of the wonder ball is that it uses friction as a way to create an electromagnetic field that atrracts the “durt” in your clothes. That is probably the main mechanism behind it. I can't think of anything else.

  7. Iwanttobelieve

    Thank you for your honest review. You just saved me 50 bucks. I thought it was too good to be true. The troubling thing for me is that my chiropractor, whom I trust implicity, is selling these under the guise of being green. I would have hoped she researched this product more thoroughly. It makes me question some of her recommendations to me.

  8. DINP is in and has been in just about every flexible vinyl plastic since WW-2.

    It's in the seats and dash of your car, your water hose, likely your raincoat, possibly your plumbing and in many many more things.

    Not saying PVC is “green”. Burning creates dioxin which is actually very harmful to humans. And it is certainly not biodegradable.

    When the maker says “chemical free” they mean that it's not chemicals doing work. It's physics. It's the actual physical movement of the balls doing the work – there is no magic to it. The release of DINP is simply through wear of the plastic. It's trace at best. The surfactants in detergents are more harmful to the environment and people.

    Personally, I don't use these because I think they wear out your clothes faster – that's the physics of it. They also cost too much. But, they are not chemically harmful. This is an example of a little information and knowledge being used to paint a product as hazardous when it isn't. If you overdose mice for an extended time with DINP you will kill them. Of course, if you dose them ONCE with copper, it will kill them. Do you rewash your clothes when you accidentally leave a few pennies in the pocket?

    I understand folks wanting to reduce the chemistry in their lives – why not if you can. But, painting this product as hazardous when you likely touch DINP laden products everyday without a care is pretty unfair.

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