SmartKlean® Laundry Ball Q&A + Tips
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does the laundry ball keep white laundry white?
SmartKlean does a wonderful job at cleaning colors and whites but it does not contain any optical brighteners, bleach or other whitening agents. Many of our customers like to add powdered eco-bleach (non-chlorine whiteners) to help get whites really white or to combat stains.
Will the laundry ball remove stains?
The laundry ball does not contain any added whiteners or enzymes to help with stains, so you will need to pretreat stubborn stains prior to washing. Use SmartKlean Stain Remover or your favorite stain remover in conjunction with the laundry ball.
How will I know once the laundry ball is used up and it’s time to replace it?
Here are 2 ways of knowing when it’s time to replace your laundry ball:
1. You can print and use our handy SmartKlean Lifespan Tracker. This will also work as a reminder to recharge your laundry ball in the sun and when to do it.
2. You’ll know it’s time once your laundry appears less clean.
Can the laundry ball be used with laundry detergents?
Although this is not necessary, yes it can. This will not affect the laundry ball. In fact, whenever you use any laundry-cleaning product with the laundry ball, it increases the activity and function of these products. We recommend safe and eco-friendly products if you would like to use detergent with the laundry ball.
Can the laundry ball be used in shared / community laundromats?
We typically recommend new users to clean the washer if detergent was used before using the laundry ball. This is to avoid any detergent residues or mold to be in your wash with the laundry ball as it will affect its effectiveness. And since detergent is most likely still being utilized by other users in public laundromats, our suggestion would be to choose the machines that look the cleanest or to give any visible dirt on the machine a quick wipe with a sponge / cloth before throwing any light colored items into the machine. For best results add a 1/4 cup of white vinegar to your washes as the acid in the vinegar will dissolve any detergent residues and soap scum. Plus, added vinegar will soften your clothes even more.
Can the laundry ball be used in a 2-in-1 machine that washes and dries with one unit? Can the ball stay in during the dry cycle?
No, the laundry ball is designed only for washing machines. High heat can possibly melt and deform the seal of the laundry ball and may cause it to open up inside the washer. The exterior of our product is a thermoplastic, meaning it is affected by temperature. High heat may also shorten the lifespan of the ceramic beads.
Can the laundry ball be used to hand wash?
Yes, the clothes will need to be soaked together with the ball for 15-30 minutes and then afterwards, slightly agitate / stir the clothes for 10-15 more minutes.
Can I use hot water to wash with the laundry ball?
Please don't. Hot water is unnecessary to clean with the laundry ball and we do not recommend the use of hot water with the laundry ball because it may damage the exterior shell and reduce the life of the active ceramic components.
I accidentally put the laundry ball in the dryer after washing clothes. Did I damage it or decrease its effectiveness and lifespan?
Although the laundry ball should only be used in cold water settings, it should be okay if it is accidentally put in the dryer once or twice. If there is no visible damage, it should be working fine. The ceramics can withstand dry heat a few times without losing their power, but the exterior thermal-sensitive exterior can possibly melt or become damaged with the heat of the dryer.
Can the laundry ball be used for delicate fabrics?
Yes, in most cases. You can use it for delicate fabrics such as silk and wool although some will prefer to hand wash or dry clean these fabrics just to be safe.
Does the laundry ball work with removing pet hair off fabrics? Is it pet friendly?
Yes, the ball is effective in removing pet hair and even urine from fabrics. In addition, it contains a protective mesh fabric that will prevent any dirt or debris from affecting the ceramic pellets.
Can the SmartKlean Laundry Ball be used on cloth diapers?
Yes. Many of our customers love using our laundry ball to wash cloth diapers! Just make sure to follow the cloth diapers care instructions.
Will the laundry ball remove static cling?
The laundry ball can help reduce static cling, but it may need some help, especially during winter or dry seasons when static cling tends to increase.
There is no need to purchase toxic dryer sheets for this. Here are some easy and non-toxic solutions to high static cling issues:
1. Damp Rag: Put a damp rag into the dryer at the end of the dryer cycle.
2. Safety Pins: Seriously, we had never heard of this before, but we gave it a shot, and it worked REALLY well. Just pin two safety pins on two different items in the dryer and everything comes out static free!
3. Vinegar: Just pour about 1/4 cup of white vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser on your washing machine. You should have no need for a dryer sheet — and NO, you can’t smell the vinegar.
If bleach is added to the washer together with the ball, will it damage the ball or the ceramic beads, or make it any less effective?
Whenever you use any laundry product with the laundry ball, it will only increase the efficiency of all products. However, we don't recommend the use of common bleach because of its damage to your health, clothes and environment. Try this instead:
1. Add 1/4 cup of powdered bleach (like Oxiclean or Eco bleach) to help get whites really white or to combat stains.
2. Add a1/4 cup of lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide as a mild whitener for your fabrics.
I often forget that I have a load in the washing machine and it will sit there all day and / or overnight. Will this affect the ball or our laundry?
This won't affect the laundry ball, it may be kept in the washer. However, we don't recommend leaving the clothes in the machine as this may cause a moldy smell on the laundry. If it becomes smelly, you can re-wash the laundry or you can apply a cup of baking soda to the laundry once it’s in the dryer.
How do I know when the laundry ball is no longer usable?
Your laundry will appear less clean. The efficacy of washing decreases due to the deterioration of the ceramics within the laundry ball after about 365-400 washes. This can be anywhere from 1-3 years depending on how often you wash your laundry.
Use the SmartKlean Lifespan Tracker to help you know when it's time to buy a new one :)
What about smell? What can I do if I miss the smell of the detergent?
If you want scented laundry, we recommend essential oils! You can add your favorite essential oils to the wash.
Or, try adding essential oils to the dry cycle – for us this helps keep the scent of essential oils in the fabrics longer:
1. Add about 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil on a small towel or cloth and throw it in the dryer with the laundry once the clothes are DRY.
2. Air dry it for 10 minutes using a NO HEAT (or low heat) setting.
Please note: Once the washing is done, it is important to immediately move the load into the dryer. Leaving clothes damp in the washer will cause a bad odor on the clothing and will not be disguised by fragrances.
Can the laundry ball damage my clothing?
No, certainly not. The laundry ball’s exterior is tested and proved to be gentle with clothing. Its movement in the drum will only agitate the dirt off your clothing. In fact, the technology of the laundry ball is designed to prolong the lifespan of your clothing in comparison to detergent.
Will my clothes retain their color with the SmartKlean laundry ball?
SmartKlean does not contain any bleach additives or other chemicals that may fade fabrics, achieving excellent results in terms of color protection. Additional tips to prevent fading: Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. The sun quickly fades fabric. Line dry items or toss them in the dryer on an air-dry cycle. Less heat exposure to the fabric is best to prevent fading.
Can the laundry ball damage the drum or sensors in HE machines?
SmartKlean is designed to withstand long high-speed spin cycles and is safe to use with all conventional washing machines (HE and front loaders).
Is the laundry ball safe for septic systems?
Yes, the laundry ball does not leave behind any residues or suds so it is perfect for septic systems.
What is the size of the laundry ball?
The SmartKlean laundry ball is about the size of a softball or about twice the size of a tennis ball.
What exactly happens when you put the laundry ball out in the sun to recharge? How do the ceramic beads recharge?
The ceramics work best if they are fully dried about every 30 washes and sunlight is the best way to reduce the moisture content of the components. The sun will mildly heat up the ceramics and also the surrounding air. This causes the humidity to fully evaporate from the ceramics allowing them to work at their optimal function, such as the first time it was used. The quartz mineral present in the laundry ball is also energized by the sun, adding more power to its tech functions.
Does the laundry ball need direct sunlight to recharge or can it be placed indoors to dry on a sunny window? What if we don’t get sun where we are?
To recharge the laundry ball, it may be put in a dry area outdoors or indoors, the sunlight will just speed up the process of removing the moisture content. If there is no sunlight, leave it out in a dry area for a few more hours.
Is there any part of the Laundry Ball that is harmful to the environment?
The ceramic pellets inside the laundry ball are not harmful to the environment. They leave no residue in the water and are completely biodegradable. The balls exterior shell is made of thermoplastic elastomer, an eco-friendly rubber-like material and recyclable material.
Isn’t nano-silver harmful for health and the environment?
This depends on how it is used. There have been studies that suggest that the placement of silver in certain products such as cosmetics or moisturizers, or air fresheners may have a negative impact on our health by materially altering immunity, in some instances “taking away the ability for your immune system to deal with pathogens.” However, the silver substance in the laundry ball is applied the same way the rest of the ingredients and minerals are applied to the product’s ceramics; the technology is specifically designed to NOT release or dissolve easily into the environment. The environmental concerns mainly apply to products that actually dissolve the silver directly into the human body (through ingestion or skin absorption) or the environment. Some of these products are used for medical purposes in liquid, gel or powder form. These applications are very different from the technology we use on our ceramics to avoid waste or run off into our water systems.
Does the laundry ball contain BPA or PVC materials?
The enclosure is free of BPA, PVC, Pthalates and Latex. TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) is an environmentally friendly material that is not generally ranked in the pyramid of plastics, it is currently depicted as the third revolution of the rubber industry. TPE has been proven safe for skin in the medical realm and even meets the sanitary requirements of the FDA on food-contacted materials.
How does the SmartKlean Laundry Ball compare to using Soap Nuts?
Soap nuts are great (we love them in our shampoo!) and the results on laundry are similar but there are a few differences. The most obvious difference is that the laundry ball is much easier to use. There are two different ways of using soap nuts. One way is to place the soap nuts in a small bag and use it for about 5 loads until they are done, and then you have to switch the soap nuts again (if you remember to do so). The other way is to liquify the soap nuts through somewhat of a lengthy process. The laundry ball is a much less complicated method of washing. Just drop the ball in the washer with the clothes and you may even leave it in there for the next load. Soap nuts also sometimes require warm or hot water to wash effectively. Our laundry ball cleans washes all fabrics effectively in cold water, saving money on water and energy. Additionally, some of our customers that have switched from soap nuts to SmartKlean have reported that the laundry ball washes clothes more thoroughly. We believe this is due to the agitation caused by the shape and weight of the laundry ball. This mechanical action is an ‘extra boost’ that soap nuts do not provide.
There are claims online that laundry balls are a scam and either do not work, or do not wash really clean – is this true?
Some laundry balls are less effective, and sometimes ineffective. Not all laundry balls are created equal. We’ve purchased many of them for our own research and found that some laundry balls contain detergent, fragrances and others are filled with quickly dissolving ceramic pellets. Numerous tests and reviews show that the SmartKlean® Laundry Ball is a high quality product that washes just as effective, or in some cases, even better than detergent!
Once the ball is no longer usable, how can I dispose of it? Is it recyclable?
Here are a few options:
The easiest, most beneficial and most eco-conscious solution! You may re-purpose the laundry ball before disposing it. Our favorite way of doing this is by placing it in the back of your fridge to maintain the freshness of your food and produce. Many of the active ceramic components in the laundry ball (like our infra-red ceramics) have the same properties bio-fresh fridge technologies use for this purpose. This re-purposing method of our laundry ball has worked great for our family over the years in terms of keeping the air quality pure in our fridge and extending the freshness of our produce.
Different states / regions have different Waste Management (WM) protocols to sift through recycled products and materials. Most WM facilities in the U.S will take apart and break down multi-component products to separate reusable and non-reusable materials to dispose them properly. Especially if metals are detected (as they can be sold). All of our laundry ball's components, except for the exterior TPE green shell, are 100% quickly biodegradable.
Here are 2 options of recycling your laundry ball:
You can choose to open it by cutting it along the center seal (please be very careful and use a box cutter knife to do this) and remove the interior magnets, and ceramics. Before cutting it open, we highly recommend heating your laundry ball (soak for 5-10 minutes) in very hot water before cutting it, to make it easier and safer to cut it open. This is because the shell’s TPE material softens in high temperatures. Once you open it, you can reuse the magnets, compost the ceramics and drop the exterior shells in your recycling bin.
You can simply dispose the laundry ball as a whole (without opening it) into your recycling bin and “most likely” WM facilities will take care of the rest. We use the term "most likely" because we cannot guarantee they will properly dispose each component as there are different rules and protocols depending on your local WM’s facility.
If you prefer Option 2, and would like to guarantee its proper disposal using this method, you can contact your local Waste Management center and ask them about this and make sure the product will be taken apart to properly dispose your laundry ball in your area.
Where is the laundry ball made?
All The laundry ball's components (raw minerals, ceramics, magnets, and enclosure) are consciously sourced from different parts of the world, and the final product is lovingly assembled and packaged in the U.S.
What if I’m not happy with the SmartKlean® Laundry Ball?
We want you to be absolutely thrilled with your purchase. If your experience is not what you expected, you can return it within 30 days of purchase.
We invite you to read the troubleshooting tips below (under FAQ section). Common issues have simple solutions. If you are still not satisfied after trying our troubleshooting tips, please send us a message through our chat box and we will respond as soon as possible! :)
Where is the stain remover made?
SmartKlean® Non-Toxic Stain Remover is lovingly handcrafted in Canada and packaged in the U.S.
Trouble Shooting Guide
SmartKlean® Laundry Ball
As amazing and effective the SmartKlean Laundry Ball is, it’s not a magic solve-all solution for everyone. Sometimes, it just needs a little help. First off, it’s not your fault and don’t blame the laundry ball, either. And second, we are so here to help! Below are some solutions to common problems that may occur.
If you don’t see your particular situation, we welcome any questions about your experience with the laundry ball. Send us a message through our chat box!
First, please go through this checklist to ensure proper use of the laundry ball:
• Do not overfill the washer: the laundry ball will work more efficiently with more agitation and room to work. We recommend a 3/4 load or less.
• Do not use heat (warm or hot setting) with the laundry ball as this may decrease the lifespan of the ceramics.
• The laundry ball is not designed to remove stubborn stains. Check laundry for stains before washing. Many stains need pretreatment. Use SmartKlean Stain Remover or your favorite stain remover in conjunction with the laundry ball. Inspect wet laundry before drying to be sure stain has removed. Heat may set in stain.
• For your safety, the laundry ball does not contain bleaching agents. Natural whitening aids are recommended for whites. We recommend 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide (3% found in pharmacies) or 'eco-bleach' non-chlorine powders.
If you're still experiencing challenges, please read the section below carefully:
Clothes not getting clean? Musty odor? You may have hard water.
The laundry ball does work in hard water, however there are some rare cases where the mineral/ph combination will keep it from working properly. When our customers tell us their clothes are not getting clean, we recommend they look into getting inexpensive simple ingredients like Borax, Baking Soda, Calgon, RLR or White King. Do this no matter what laundry cleaning product you use, because even detergent will not get your clothes clean unless you use a hard water softener in extreme cases. Some of the big detergent brands add fragrances specifically to trick you into thinking your clothes are coming out cleaner and hide the musty mineral odor that is invariably on your clothes.
Borax and Baking soda are the cheaper options and we feel they provide the best results for laundry. Just add a 1/2 cup of borax or baking soda per full load. Washing soda may also be used. These products can be found on Amazon or on the detergent aisles throughout most grocery stores. These simple ingredients are natural, inexpensive and can be used for multiple purposes in the home.
My washing machine smells strange, as does my laundry – why is that?
If you have hard water, the laundry ball may need a booster. See hard water section above. If you do not have hard water, this may be caused by old detergent residues. Before you started using the laundry ball, you probably used detergent. Soap residues may have stuck to the soap dispenser and to the inside of the pipes in your washing machine, causing them to clog up slowly and cause mold. This may be the cause of the unpleasant smell. It is strongly recommended to give the washing machine a thorough cleansing to remove detergent residues from your washer. Please follow the instructions on the pamphlet included in the packaging on how to clean your washing machine, or download the PDF instructions here :)
Some of my laundry is coming out with dark or black stains – why is that?
Before you started using the laundry ball, you probably used detergent. Soap residues have stuck to the soap dispenser and to the inside of the pipes in your washing machine, causing them to clog up slowly and cause mold. Mold is then accumulated in different areas, but particularly the rubber seal on the door (HE front loaders). Since the laundry ball doesn't use any harsh stain-removing ingredients, the mold / scum may end up on the fabric and become difficult to remove. It is strongly recommended to give the washing machine a thorough cleansing to remove detergent residues from your washer. Please follow the instructions on the pamphlet included in the packaging on how to clean your washing machine, or download the instructions PDF here :)