Sunday, 3 Mar 2024

Shopper hails £10 gadget that washes clothes without detergent

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With the cost of living crisis biting hard, many households are trying to avoid switching on appliances that use a lot of expensive energy.

There are, however, chores such as doing the laundry where power usage is often unavoidable.

Using the washing machine can cost up to £2 per cycle and, on top of that, there is the cost of powder and fabric conditioner.

With that in mind, Gemma Sherlock of The Manchester Evening News decided to try out Lakeland’s new £9.99 ecoegg Laundry Egg.

It is the brand’s new alternative to washing powder and fabric conditioner, promising a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly wash cycle.

Gemma said: “I wanted to find out whether it will actually save you money in the long-run by stripping out powder and detergent completely, and whether or not it actually cleans your clothes properly.

“Lakeland’s ecoegg Laundry Egg is a complete replacement for laundry detergent and fabric conditioner and was originally developed for those with sensitive skin.

“Lakeland say by switching to the ecoegg Laundry Egg, you are helping to reduce tonnes of laundry detergent that often contains harmful chemicals from polluting our water systems each year.”

Here is how Gemma got on:

How to set up Lakeland’s ecoegg

Gemma said setting up the egg was “fairly straightforward”.

She said: “Inside the box you get the egg, which consists of two compartments that clip together to form the egg shape, instructions and four, small packets of mineral pellets.

“You need to simply fill the egg with mineral pellets and place in your washing machine on top of your laundry.

“The mineral pellets effectively draw dirt from your laundry, aiming to leaving clothes clean and very soft.

“At first I was wondering how all four bags of pellets could fit in the egg but you fill them in an upside position and then click the base on using the aligned matching arrows.

“The white pellets provide the fresh linen fragrance, as well as naturally ionizing the oxygen molecules in the water, which helps to lift away dirt without fading colours.

“The black tourmaline pellets weaken the adhesive force between the dirt and fabric. Both need to be used in conjunction with each other.

“Once all the pellets are in and your egg is clipped properly together (please don’t make the mistake that I did by turning the egg the right way around and not ensuring both components were clipped together, this leaves tiny pellets all over the floor!), you pop the egg into your washing machine on top of your laundry and start your selected wash cycle.

“It’s important to note here that you can’t use the egg on a tumble dryer setting, so you need to make sure the setting you pick doesn’t automatically go into a dryer cycle after a wash cycle, if you have a washing machine/tumble dryer combi.”

Cleaning process and results

“My washing machine’s cycle was a little noisier than usual because of the egg inside the machine.

“Looking inside though during a cycle, you would have thought there was washing powder in there given the amount of bubbles and foam splashing around, so I was quite impressed with this.

“The biggest annoyance I found though was that you have to wait for the ecoegg to completely dry out before using it in the next wash.

“I’m someone who likes to get all my laundry out of the way in one go, so it was slightly frustrating to have to wait but not the end of the world.

“It took just over an hour to dry out completely but because of the way the egg is designed, I couldn’t find out for sure because if I opened it up properly, I risked the pellets falling out all over the floor again, so I had to poke a cotton bud through one of the tiny holes to check if some of the pellets were dry – there is probably an easier way to do this but I found this process a little time consuming.

“I did my first wash on colours and the next wash on whites and noticed a difference between the two loads.

“While the first coloured wash smelt fresh, and overall cleaned the clothes, the next white wash had a few issues.

“The ecoegg isn’t tough on stains and I felt some garments weren’t as clean as others because of it.

“For me, the ecoegg struggled to clean my white washing, it didn’t get rid of some slightly yellow stains on some of the synthetic whites.

“The fragrance isn’t as strong as I would have liked either.

“The ecoegg is suitable for 15, 30, 40 and 60C washes.

“It says it’s not suitable for use in a tumble dryer or washer/dryer combined machines.

“However, my Hoover washing machine is a combined and it’s been fine in my machine.”

Cost and verdict

“The ecoegg Laundry Egg promises to get through 70 washes which is pretty impressive considering the washing powder I use and the fabric condition gets through less.

“I’ve had 20 washes out of it so far since it arrived and it feels like there are plenty of washes left in it.

“Each time it goes into the machine there’s lots of soap and suds pouring out from it.

“Mine and my partner’s clothes don’t get too heavily soiled and we wash all our clothes on a 30 degree wash.

“I usually buy Fairy Non Bio Washing Powder.

“A 3250g box (mega box) gets through 50 washes and costs me £11 from Asda, with the Comfort Fabric Condition, which promises to get through 50 washes, costing £3.25 or £2.75 when it is on offer, for a 1.75 litre bottle.

“Lakeland’s ecoegg Laundry Egg 70 washes costs £9.99 and you get four pellets with it.

“The pellets last for 50 washes so you will need to replace the pellets for the last 30 washes, to get full use out of the ecoegg.

“You can buy pellet refills for £4.99 here.

“Short term, it is cheaper and environmentally-friendly to use the ecoegg, and if your clothes are in need of a refresh, it works brilliantly.

“But I will have to rely on my washing powder and fabric conditioner for washes that need a bit of help with tougher stains like red wine.

“In terms of it being ‘kinder to skin’ I can’t really comment as I don’t have sensitive skin but so far it hasn’t caused any irritation or issues in our household.

“The eco egg certainly has been handy overall during the laundry process as I don’t have to fiddle about with powder and detergent in the tray.

“It’s a great tool from Lakeland that cleans clothing but needs to be tougher on heavily soiled garments.”

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