Thursday, March 5, 2015

Crystal Wash Review

I received this product free from Crystal Wash to facilitate this review.

Having to do laundry is one of those inevitable things for all of us. Most of us dread doing it because we believe it is a chore. At least we can say washing clothing and linens has gotten easier over the years. Instead of wash boards we have washing machines and most of us buy our laundry detergent or soap at the store instead of making it ourselves. Society has made things progressively easier for us. But what is the price we pay for the luxury of store bought laundry detergent?

There are a lot of laundry detergents on store shelves that claim this, that, and the other. Most of these have things in them that I wouldn't want touching my skin. My son is highly allergic to detergents with perfume and dye, so I end up getting the stuff that is for sensitive skin and says hypoallergenic on it. Lately, though, I have been looking into maybe making my own laundry soap at home with ingredients I am familiar with or seeing what other products are out there that might be better to use than the traditional detergents that you can find at just about any big box grocery store. I am not into harsh chemicals that might very well be toxic to my family and I...not to mention the Earth! I would rather use something that has ingredients that are safe, efficient, and effective.

I saw a laundry ball called Crystal Wash online and by the description these laundry balls seemed at first glance a great way to do laundry. Crystal Wash comes with two laundry balls that you use simultaneously in the wash together. I have never used laundry balls/washing balls in the past, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I love products that are natural, eco-friendly, and non-toxic and Crystal Wash said they were all of the above. This seemed valid enough, but Crystal Wash has other claims as well that seem to be not backed by actual science. Crystal Wash's claims are very intriguing and appealing, but I am not just sold by claims. I needed to try the product out for myself to see if they work.

If you look up Crystal Wash online you will find a lot of naysayers that say the product doesn't work, is a lot of hooey and quackery, and is backed by pseudoscience. Most of these people haven't tried this product for themselves and don't care to. I, however; like to give products that are supposedly better for you and/or the environment the benefit of the doubt, unless I know otherwise, and test them out for myself before I say they don't work at all.

This is what they say on their website: "These special Bio Ceramics were developed using various minerals with very effective antibacterial and anti-oxidant properties.

The pH level of laundry water impacts the wash greatly. If the water is overly acidic or alkaline it can damage delicate clothes and fabrics, cause colors to fade and cause clothing to still seem dirty even after washing. Most detergents on the market are a pH level of 6.5 – 9, but they use chemicals to achieve these levels."

Crystal Wash claims the bio ceramics in their product...
  • produces far infrared rays that effectively reduce negative ions in the water of your laundry machine, which raises pH level to 8.5 or greater
  • shrinks the water molecule clusters to a size that allows dirt and soil to be soaked free naturally
  • create Hydrogen Peroxide (which yes, is a chemical...just one that you can put on your skin) which disinfects the clothes, kills bacteria and odor
  • needs to be recharged in the sun for one afternoon every 30 days (or every 30 loads)
I am still very skeptical about their bio ceramics claims. I do not see actual science to back these things.

What Crystal Wash claims their laundry balls do and my families thoughts:
  • Save You Money: Crystal Wash is supposed to last for up to 1000 loads of laundry. Crystal Wash is $50 per 1000 loads, verses around $300 per 1000 loads for store bought detergents. So, if you swapped Crystal Wash for store bought detergent you would indeed save money.
  • Make Laundry Cleaner: It also says it will get your laundry cleaner. I am not sure about the science behind Crystal Wash's bio ceramics and its validity, but my husband who understands more chemistry and physics than me says that these claims are a bunch of big words thrown together to make it sound cool. He says these are nonsensical.
  • Make Doing Laundry Easier: So, how does Crystal Wash make doing laundry easier? You don't have to go to the store to buy detergent or lug those heavy bottles or boxes of detergent home with you. You don't have to deal with messy detergents at all. No more spilling or having to measure out the correct, exact amount.
  • Are More Natural and Better for the Environment: Crystal Wash's laundry balls do not use detergents, (toxic/harsh) chemicals, dyes, or perfumes. They are gentle on sensitive skin and fabric. By using Crystal Wash you are reducing contaminated waste water filtered back into the water supply, saving water by lowering required rinse cycles, and effectively reducing CO2 production by requiring less energy than a traditional detergent based wash. Although you would also be doing this by using just water to do your wash...or water with a bit of homemade soap.
What I do know that works for cleaner laundry and why:
  • More agitation during the wash means your laundry is getting cleaner. The big dirty secret among detergent makers is that we don't actually "need" them to get our clothes clean. The agitation is what gets the laundry clean not the soap!
  • Hot water gets most stains and dirt out better and kills germs. It says to use warm-hot water with these laundry balls. If you are not already using hot water you should know that along with killing germs it also gets most stains out more effectively...even without laundry balls like Crystal Wash.
My observations and tests...
I did a side by side comparison with a load with just my laundry detergent, a load with the Crystal Wash, and a load with just water. It was very hard to see a difference when washing with these verses with my hypoallergenic sans free detergent or just with water. I do not wash my laundry in perfumed detergent or detergent with dyes because my son is allergic, anyway, so there usually isn't anything to cover up odor and my front loading washing machine does just fine.

Crystal Wash Crowdfunding Campaign:
Crystal Wash has a crowdfunding campaign to fund their Crystal Wash 2.0. This lets you get connected with your laundry. Their new Crystal Wash 2.0 will give you recharge notices, real-time wash pH levels, wash complete alerts, wash cycle tracking stats (graphs, counters, social sharing), savings tracking, Crystal Wash (wash cycle counter – time to order new Crystal Wash), stain guide, and a label decoder all in one handy app that is integrated with the Crystal Wash ball for easier washing.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Crystal Wash for sending me this product for free to review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.


Anonymous said...

Straight forward, unemotional, factual review; but it didn't really say whether you would recommend this product. What I got was: just wash your clothes in hot water and it will be just as effective. And it's free.

Anonymous said...

I'm a retired biochemist and engineer. I'm also an artist, a fabulous cook, a mother of 2 adult daughters, and none of us were never afraid to get dirty doing anything. We three have various allergies to things in the family. We all, well not the wasband, have very sensitive skin so what I use in my washer to clean our laundry has always been what we could tolerate.

I just can't believe how ignorant people are, especially when it comes to something as simple as real chemistry in cleaning items.

Crystal Wash balls are a total scam! These things, and similar products, have come around in the past as well, and they too turned out to be totally worthless. They don't clean or disinfect your laundry any better than hot water and your washer's agitation.

Don't be a sucker. Don't be naive. Don't believe the things the inventors and marketers claim about anything. Do your due diligence. Do a lot of research before you believe what so many "bloggers" and non-independent reviewers want you to believe. Many reviewers and bloggers are paid to write what they post, even if they claim they aren't.

Anonymous said...

Crystal Wash balls are not worthy of your hard earned (or easily begotten) money. Please don't fall for all the hype about them. They are nothing more than a scam product.

As the previous commenters have written, the balls are no better than using hot water in your laundry washing machine. What kind of additives and washer you use, plus the water's quality going in it (be it filtered, hard, soft, acidic, or alkaline) has a lot to do with how clean your laundry will be coming out. Also, adding an extra rinse cycle, or two, helps to remove excess detergents that can be left on your things if they only go through one rinse cycle after the wash cycle(s) are done.

Detergent build up on fabrics can actually increase the stink of them when mixed with body oils and sweat. Detergent build up can also hinder the performance of some fabrics, such as synthetics (workout clothes, outdoor wear, down items, etc.) so you should be aware of this.

Water, dirt, stains, and fabrics, react with the chemicals in the brand and type of laundry detergent you use to remove the dirt and stains. This has been proven time and time again over the years by independent consumer products testing organizations such as Consumer Reports,, and others.

Try using 1/8 - 1/2 cup baking soda powder in your washing machine. The needed amount depends on the type of machine you have, fabrics you're washing, and the load size. Baking soda will soften water, if you don't have a water softener in you house, which will help clean your laundry better than plain water. and better than Crystal Wash balls. Using softer water also means you can use less detergent, like half the amount, which will save you money too.

You can buy a big bag of baking soda at Costco, and probably Sam's Club too, for cheap, and it will last you a long time. There are lots of uses for it outside of your baking and laundry needs too. I think OxyClean contains a lot of baking soda. I always add some baking soda to my laundry machine, even if I'm adding OxyClean, as then I can use far less of everything else and it really saves me money.