Downy Fabric Softener Ball Review

by Anna
(Portland, OR)

Anna has shared her review of the Downy fabric softener ball, and at the same time responding to my review of this product.

Anna says:

Your review is, if you'll forgive the pun, spot on!


I've used the ball for YEARS and still love it. If I pack the washer full it doesn't open right, but that's my fault. If used properly, I bet it's worked 99.9% of the time and that .1% was probably my fault somehow too.

The whole reason I was googling the Downy Ball and found your article (*** here's a link to the article she's referencing***) is that it is so hard to find anymore. I was afraid there was some massive recall that I didn't hear about. "Downy Ball linked to bee infestations" or some such nonsense.

After reading many articles, I finally found my answer here, the growing popularity of the HE machines. Makes perfect sense.

I've always had older machines, if not coin-ops, so have missed the whole HE revolution.

Maybe when I can afford a nice new washer, I'll say good-bye to my Downy Ball. Until then though, it's the best!

Taylor says: Here are links to buy this or related products. If you make a purchase I receive a small commission which helps support this site and my family.

Taylor says:

Thanks so much Anna for your kind words about the site, and also your thoughts and experiences with the Downy fabric softener ball.

I've gotten another review, which you can read here, which shares another use for this laundry product -- adding vinegar to the rinse!

I'd love to hear if anyone else has any uses for this product, or tips for how they use it to make sure it works properly to dispense fabric softener without causing spotting or staining from the softener.

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I Miss My Rinse Cycle Without The Ball

by Jennifer

Jennifer shared on the site's Facebook page her experience with this laundry supply.

Jennifer says:

My washer and dryer are out in my garage.

I just love the Downy ball because before they came out I missed the rinse cycle many times and had to re-rinse.

I have had times when it doesn't open, but not that often. I hope I never lose them since they seem to be so hard to find.

I will not go with the HE washing machines until I'm dragged kicking and screaming.

My neighbor is an appliance repairman. He does not think they are good and he keeps my machine, which is about 20 years old, running. As long as he is able to keep it going, I'm sticking with my dinosaur.

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The Downey Ball Is . . . Ugh

by David B.
(Horsham, PA)

David has also shared his review of this fabric softener dispenser.

David says:

We have a brand new washing machine and the ball is new as well.

7 out of 10 times it doesn't open and no softener is used.

Basically we then have to waste water, energy and time to rinse again.

I've read that sometimes the ball has residue at the seal but we haven't used it enough for that to happen.

20% of the time it does open, yet it doesn't go into the laundry and about 10% it empties partially leaving softener all over the clothes.

We didn't notice it one time and it stained our new sheets which really made my wife's day.

I wish this new washer had the ability to pour in the compartment but it doesnt. We are at a loss.

Taylor says:

David, sorry to hear about this frustrating experience.

Beside the suggestions I made in my Downy ball article I really don't have any great suggestions for you, but I am sorry.

I'm wondering if you should just forego fabric softener, and not use it in the wash if it will cause this much trouble for you.

The other option would be to use a product that softens clothes, but can be added at the beginning of the cycle, instead of having to wait until the rinse cycle to add. Examples of such products currently on the market include Purex crystals and Dropps fabric softener pacs.

Does anyone else have any good advice for David? You can share your thoughts, advice, or own experiences with this product here.

Taylor says: Here are links to buy this or related products. If you make a purchase I receive a small commission which helps support this site and my family.

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Comments for The Downey Ball Is . . . Ugh

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Fabric softener stains with this product
by: Brandii Linville

I have a top-load el grande washer that uses a Downy Ball to dispense fabric softener. I use Downy. Sometimes, for whatever reason, the ball doesn't dispense all the fabric softener and I get blue stains on the clothes that turn to brown/ugly purple when I try to wash them again to get the stain out. Please Help!!

Stains
by: Anonymous

Every time I use the downy ball for Downy fabric softener it leaves huge stains all over my clothes. Very disappointed! I have been using this product since they came out with the ball and only recently have I had this problem. I have to re-wash an entire load of clothes because they have what looks like oil stains all over them. Pretty furious this time. Guess It's my fault; I had to throw away a pair of sweat pants from one of my last loads because I couldn't get the stain out, even with an oxy fabric spray. Will not be using downy in the future.

Does not work
by: Ann

I mistakenly purchased a washer without the softener feature. I tried the Downy ball over and over. It opens but over half the liquid does not dispense.

If it does it is all on one article which leaves a huge mess.

For those of you who have trouble finding them I know many people who would give you theirs for free.

I love mine!
by: Meryl

I love the Downy fabric softener ball and never had any problems with it opening at the right time. My clothes always smell so good!

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