Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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laundry balls

Time release capsules for fabric softener
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
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Reusable: two capsules; the inner one is twisted against the outer one by a spring; as time elapses, the openings start to overlap, and fabric softener is released into the wash.

Sdpinpdx recalls a version of this from the early 70's, albeit with a more ingenious opening mechanism:

"This one was spherical too. It had a hole on a flat spot, and a rubber disc was held on the outside of the flap by a rubber band that attached to the inside, opposite the hole. The rubber band had a weight attached in the middle, which was always about the center of the sphere.

"When the washer entered the spin cycle, the weight tended to move towards the drum of the washer. If that was directly towards the hole (unlikely) the pressure on the rubber disc was released and so was the fabric softener. If the weight moved any other direction (more likely), the rubber disc was pulled through the hole, also releasing the fabric softener.

"It also looked kind of like a spaceship, which is why I appropriated ours when I was 8 or so."


jutta, Jul 15 1998

Laundry Product Showcase http://www.worldwidescam.com/show.htm
Scam Laundry products, all (unlike this idea) attempting to substitute belief for detergent. [jutta, Jul 15 1998]

Spin Off http://www.quixtar....oc_id=&LPrice=False
Not reusable. Provides detergent for the wash and fabric softener for the dryer. [reensure, Jul 15 1998]


       The Downy ball. I've got one of them now. Really useful for putting the fabric softener in without having to watch the thing like a hawk.   

       http://www.straightdope.com/columns/970725.html Cecil Adams of the Straight Dope did a test of them too. Found out that on some stains, plain water did better than laundry balls, AND detergent.
StarChaser, Oct 24 1999

       Editorial suggestion: To create an annotation that's mostly a link, click on the [link] to the lower left of the text. Annotations don't auto-mark-up URLs, and tend to squish the center column if they contain long unbreakable words.
jutta, Oct 26 1999, last modified Oct 28 1999

       Starchaser -- enjoyed the Straight Dope column, thanks for the link. However, it was a review of laundry ion balls (to replace detergent), and not fabric softener release balls.
waxmaker, Mar 02 2000

       I knew that, I just didn't make it clear in my post...the first half was about the 'fabric softener release' ball, the second was about the 'Laundry Product Showcase'...
StarChaser, Mar 03 2000

       There are now washing machines with compartments for detergent, bleach, fabric softener, etc. and the appropriate amount is released at the appropriate time in the wash cycle
polkamon, Aug 12 2000


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