Oxi Toss 'n' Go Detergent Ball: Does it Work?

Oxi Toss 'n' Go Detergent Ball: Does it Work?
By: Lauren Keith
Dozens of you have emailed me requesting I try the new Oxi Detergent Ball.  It's made by Oxi Clean.  I must admit I've been impressed with Oxi's stain removers, so I'm hoping this new rubber ball full of detergent will also live up to laundry cleaning powers.  Connie Smith of Cape Girardeau helps me out with this test. 
The Oxi Detergent Ball claims you can leave it in your washer for up to 25 loads. It promises not to leave behind any soapy residue either.  First, you have to place a lining over the ball itself.  Then, you stick it inside a blue, rubber covering.  This is no easy task.  I struggle trying to pull the lining over the ball!  Connie eventually helps me.  Right away, we both say if you suffer from arthritis, do not try to put this together yourself!  However, maybe the clean results will make up for the "not so easy" assembly...maybe.
By the way, you can't use bleach with this detergent ball, but you can use it in hot, cold or warm water.  Also, a warning on the label says it can reduce the effectiveness of flame retardant clothing.  Connie's not happy about that, since she has two young children with lots of pajamas containing that covering.
"What do you think happens in the rinse cycle?"  Connie asks.
We're going to find out.  The directions say to leave it in the washer, even in the rinse cycle. I peek inside the washer.  It doesn't look like anything's happening!  However, a closer look at the product label and I find a phrase that reads: "low-suds formula."   So, don't expect any suds. 
Connie and I are still curious what's going to happen in the rinse cycle.  We put a white glove in the wash that has some stains on it.  That will tell us if this detergent ball works, and we'll also feel the clothing to see if it's soapy.  Once the clothes are done, we find relatively clean clothing. 
"With the regular wash cycle, since you don't take the ball out, I think it still releases detergent in the rinse," Connie says.
She may be right. The stains came out of the clothing pretty well, and nothing feels soapy.  So, on the initial wash, we're pleasantly surprised.  However, the big claim I'm testing:  will this ball really last for 25 loads?  Connie promises to tally each load she does.  She even recorded her thoughts into WordPad.  That sounds pretty "official" to me. About two weeks later, we returned to Connie's home.
"When it gets to be the size of a golf ball, the directions say to replace it.  That's where we're at, and it's not lasting 25 loads," she says.
In fact, Connie's detailed records show at load #17, the ball needs replacing.  Plus, only after a few loads the detergent ball starts to lose its effectiveness.  She's also really upset about the scent if left behind.
"They smelled terrible, almost like petroleum!  I had to rewash everything, including the towels! I would think with the Oxi name, it would do well.  I like Oxi's carpet cleaner, but not this!" says an exasperated Connie.
I'd be pretty upset, too, if I had to re-wash several loads of laundry
"I'm very disappointed, and I'm not going to buy this again.  Some of my friends have used it, and they also said it's not a good product," admits Connie. 
Enough said. The Oxi ball really didn't live up to any of its claims.  So, I'm airing the dirty laundry out on this product! It gets one sparkling "F" on this Does it Work Wednesday test!   
Don't forget:  Starting Monday on the Breakfast Show, I test some of this year's hottest Christmas toys.  Be sure to watch "Toy Testers" Monday through Friday, Nov. 20-24th first on the Breakfast Show and also on Heartland News at 10.