Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

Laundry ball reviews

Buy smarter with CHOICE membership


Or Learn more

Last updated: 13 February 2020


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

We tested six laundry balls that we found on the market, as well as soap nuts, which are actually a berry purported to help wash clothes. All are simply added to your wash instead of detergent. 

Wouldn't it be nice to throw something into your washing machine and not have to replace it for years, secure in the knowledge that your laundry is being washed and you don't need to fiddle around with messy detergents? Laundry balls and soap nuts have been making this claim for years. We've tested them before, back in the 90s, but weren't impressed by the results. Given they're still around, we thought they were worth another look.

Read more
  • We tested each product in a front loader on a cold wash using our usual laundry detergent test method, against 10 different stains.
  • We tested the soap nuts in a top loader as well, because the manufacturer claimed they worked better in a top loader.
  • We also tested without any product (i.e. water only), and did one more test with a leading performing detergent from our previous laundry detergent review.

We found these products underwhelming. In fact, one brand even received a CHOICE Shonky award. Take a look at the results for yourself, but don't be surprised if you find yourself shopping for detergents instead.

Show less


Expand to view more details.

List of brands we tested in this review.


    Expand to view more details.

    This is the price we paid for the item. Sometimes two balls come in a pack, or in the case of SoapNuts, they can come in 100g-1kg packs.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 150

    Recommended products

    Remove product

    Member only

    This test score is for members only. Join now to unlock our expert results.

    Already a member?


    Expand to view more details.

    These products generally fall into a few categories:

    a) Plastic balls with seemingly no reasonable exit point for detergent or detergent-free agent.

    b) Plastic balls filled with minerals. These tend to be in the majority and claim a need to be replaced over time.

    c) Soap nuts, which are actually a type of berry that claims to release saponin and acts as a natural detergent.

      Tested in

      Expand to view more details.

      We tested most products in front loaders, as they all claim to work in front loaders. We re-tested soap nuts in top loaders because the distributor came back to us claiming that they perform best in top loaders.

        Included in this review

        Members-only access
        • Status
        • Tomato
        • Brand
        • Model
        • Recommended
        • Type
        • Price ($)
        • Pack size
        • Claimed washes per pack
        • Cost per wash (cents)
        • Tested in
        • Overall score
        • General detergency
        • Perspiration
        • Mud / grass
        • Olive oil
        • Make up
        • Chocolate ice cream
        • Baby food
        • Motor oil
        • Blood
        • Origin
        • Contact


        Your filters

        Clear all filters

        Product selected for a detailed comparison

        Clear all