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Downy Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for DOWNY Downy Ball®

DOWNY Downy Ball®

Make softness simpler with the Downy Ball—the easier and more convenient way to add fabric softener to your wash. Just pour your favorite Downy fabric softener into the ball, seal it, and drop it in. The ball then automatically releases fabric softener during the rinse cycle.
Average Customer Rating:
3.618 out of 5
3.6
 out of 
5
(157 Reviews) 151
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (157 reviews)
5 stars
88
4 stars
10
3 stars
9
2 stars
11
1 star
39
109 out of 157(69%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
This area allows consumers like you to express their own opinions and comments. Downy does not represent or warrant the accuracy of any statements or product claims made here, nor endorses any opinions expressed within this section.
Customer Reviews for Downy Ball®
Review 21 for Downy Ball®
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
stars
JJ in IL
Chicago

Didn't work the way it should

April 3, 2011
I bought the Downy Ball because the fabric softener dispenser on our machine is broke & I'm waiting on a repair man to come out & look at it. I added the Downy to the ball and tossed it in with the clothes as directed. When I took the clothes out the ball was empty (except for a little bit of water), but I noticed that none of the clothes were soft and didn't have that "April Fresh" smell. I did another load and went down to check on it, just as the rinse cycle was about to start (the tub had just started to fill with water). The ball was already empty and there was no Downy anywhere to be found. Not sure how it's supposed to work, how it "knows" when to release the Downy but it didn't work any better than if I had just added Downy to the washtub at the start of the washing. Guess if I want my clothes to smell "April Fresh" I'll have to buy Tide w/Downy while I'm waiting on the repairs (I don't normally use Tide)
2 of 2 found this review helpful.
Response from Downy:DeeConsumer CareApril 4, 2011
Hate to hear you're clothes aren't soft while using the Downy Ball. During the first spin after the wash cycle, the Downy Ball is designed to go to the bottom of the wash tub. This is where the pressure of the water filling in for the rinse cycle opens the ball to release the softener. It's possible the rinse cycle didn’t fill the ball with enough water to release the Downy or that the load was too large to allow the ball to circulate freely. You may want to check to see that the Downy Ball hasn’t become clogged with residue where it opens. If that has happened, clean the ball by using 3-4 drops of liquid laundry detergent, like Tide, and fill to the top with warm tap water. Close the dispenser, making sure the stopper fits tightly, and shake gently. Allow it to sit for several hours, then rinse with clear tap water, and repeat if necessary. If you continue to have problems, please give us a call at 1-800-688-7638.
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Review 22 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Randy
Atlanta

It's a mess!

December 9, 2014
Everytime I use the Downy Ball it creates a mess. The ball opens at inappropriate times and often continues to leak fabric soften after the rinse cycle. I often have towels with blue spots on them when they come out of the dryer. I'm not a fan!!!
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
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Review 23 for Downy Ball®
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
stars
June
Saginaw MI

Love the Downy Ball

December 2, 2014
I love the downy ball my daughter wants one but I can't find them any where. She looked in Ohio where she lives and I have all my friends looking for me. She used to have one and lost it in her many moves and now we can'
t find one.
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
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Review 24 for Downy Ball®
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
stars
sar sar
rockford ilinois

its alright :)

May 27, 2012
I bought mine when I was living somewhere with a top load washer but since I've moved I use the front load washers at the laundrymat. I loved my downy balls though :) it seemed to work good. At the top load washers at the laundry mat sometimes it didn't break open but I did fill it up with a lot of clothes. I really have no complaints the leftover water/softener mix causes some grimeyish residue and its hard to clean out but no big deal :)
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
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Review 25 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
hcurrie7
Rossville, GA

The only way to use Downy

April 3, 2012
I got a downy ball 15 years ago. It has outlasted 3 washers. I never used Downy before because i never had a washer that would beep or stop to let me know when to add it. With the ball I could finally use it. Unfortunately something happened to my Downy Ball and it is busted. I have not seen one in the stores yet but I have got to get another one. Even if I have to write the company.
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
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Review 26 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
Liz1012
West Virginia

Easier than the washer dispenser!

August 12, 2011
I love the Downy Ball! Before I used it, the dispenser in my washer would always clog with softener and spill it all over my clothes. This is way easier and almost never gets the softener on the clothes.It is also easier to clean out then a clogged washer dispenser!
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
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Review 27 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
kristin
corydon, ia

Laundray buddie

June 9, 2011
I love the downy BALL it has made clean laundray so much simpler no waiting for rinse cycle you fill to the amount line you want and just toss it in..... it makes my day just that much better......i bought mine at walmart for 1.98 for something that cheap that makes life that much eaiser why wouldnt you buy it!!! they last for about 1 year or so cant really go wronge with it thanks DOWNY
 
My Product Recommendations
 
 
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
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Review 28 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
Xaphod
Milford, OH

Excellent Product!

March 15, 2011
I had never used a Downy Ball until about a week ago. I recently started working for a company manufacturing the Downy Ball, and everyone at the station gets a free one from the company. I brought it home and tried it out and I am very happy with the results. So far no troubles with it not opening, although I hear from a lot of people and coworkers that they have problems with the dispenser opening.
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
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Review 29 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
Joi
Minneapolis, Mn

What a GREAT invention!

February 26, 2011
Most people have very busy lives. This little "doozie" is the most marvelous helper ever invented. I throw it in and I can go on to do my house work, read, watch TV or go to the store. I never have to time the load, or stand there until time for the rinse cycle. I helps too in the dryer with less build up of "stuff" from the sheets and is not as waterproofing as the sheets can be. I can always be sure in a spill that my newly washed towels, will sop us the liquid with out any problem. I have used Downy since it cam out and will NEVER change brands!! The ball is durable and I have only had to replace it 3 times! Not because of its failure or cracks, but because I moved and lost it and I have given mine to someone who wants to try it but wouldn't give it back! Thanks so much for this great tool!
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
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Review 30 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Baratacus
San Diego

another negative review but enlightening I hope

August 8, 2013
after wondering why my clothes were being stained from my fabric softener I started researching the Downy Ball that my machine says to use (on the inside of the lid with the Proper use directions) I read through 2 pages of negative reviews here on the Downy site, and the response is always the same canned "You may be using it wrong" and "it may be clogged, try cleaning it" with extensive explanations on how to clean the seal and how the ball works in the washing machine.
First of all, half of these people are stating that they are having problems with a brand new ball out of the package, how is it clogged if it's never been used?
Secondly, the explanation from the Customer support of how the ball works is completely wrong. The ball doesn't open from water pressure pushing the seal open during the rinse cycle. If you go to The "Usage and instructions" description on the web-site, there is a more accurate description of how it works. To be a little more descriptive I will elaborate on their brief summation. After the wash cycle finishes, the washer will spin the wash water out of the drum. The centrifugal force of the post-wash spin cycle pulls the ball to the wall of the drum, then the dangling weight inside the rubber stopper is pulled to the side and breaks the seal. The now open Downy Ball falls to the bottom of the drum, When the washer fills during the rinse cycle the water flushes the fabric softener out and is diluted into the water before it is agitated into the clothing..
If you have a H.E. washer, you have no post-wash spin cycle to drain the wash water out. Your machine pumps the water out, so the ball doesn't get it's seal broken, and the rinse water can not flush the fabric softener out of the ball. H.E. machine don't spin until the final rinse which is a spin rinse where the machine sprays water on the clothes as it spins the rinse water out. Here in lies the problem. The spin rinse pops the seal on your "still full" Downy ball. there is no water for the ball to submerge in, so it just spatters its contents on the garments that it's pressed up against. If you have a machine that has a second rinse cycle, you may have better luck getting some of the fabric softener out of the saturated articles of clothing, but it's already concentrated in a small parcel of fabric and is very unlikely to rinse out without leaving a stain that you won't find until you've baked it in with the dryer.
It's a simple design that worked well with the older machines, but relied on the centrifugal force after the wash cycle to open it up, and sufficient water to dilute it in the rinse water. H.E. machines that come with the ball, and H.E. machines that specifically tell you to use the Downy Ball, are what is misleading. The Downy site says the Downy Ball will not work with H.E. washers, maybe the marketing department should have had better communication with the Tech department when they sold this huge contract to companies like whirlpool. The little Downy Grenade Does not play well with the new H.E. machines and now I know why. Thought I should share my findings.
123 of 124 found this review helpful.
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Review 31 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
AuntV
RIchland WA

Solved staining problem

September 24, 2013
I have used the Downey Ball for years and love it. At one point I too found it was staining my clothes so now after adding the Downey to the ball I fill it up the rest of the way with water so it is diluted. Problem solved
44 of 46 found this review helpful.
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Review 32 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
Teya
Bassett,VA

After Reading the comments …

March 29, 2014
THE Reason for my rating is for older washing machines I do know it worked in mine great and Ienjoyed it.... not having to go and wait to add it in the machine it.
I cant rate it for my new machine cause I havent tried it. I'm kinda scared to after reading all the NEG. comments ... its a shame
(HINT) I just got a new HD washer yesterday I think I will try to figure out how to add my Downy another way if possible I did like the convince of the ball but now after reading the following review I don’t think I’m going to purchase a ball in the near future it is a shame cause I remember when I used one all the time till it broke. I just never got another one. But when I got my washer yesterday the instructions said use the ball… I came on the site to order me two… But then I started reading the reviews and the explanation below makes since to me if they are wrong would someone please let me know. If the machine doesn’t spin like my old one there is no way it will open. Hints cause a problem. Good idea while it lasted I guess
Baratacus
San Diego
Another negative review but enlightening I hope
August 8, 2013
after wondering why my clothes were being stained from my fabric softener I started researching the Downy Ball that my machine says to use (on the inside of the lid with the Proper use directions) I read through 2 pages of negative reviews here on the Downy site, and the response is always the same canned "You may be using it wrong" and "it may be clogged, try cleaning it" with extensive explanations on how to clean the seal and how the ball works in the washing machine.
First of all, half of these people are stating that they are having problems with a brand new ball out of the package, how is it clogged if it's never been used?
Secondly, the explanation from the Customer support of how the ball works is completely wrong. The ball doesn't open from water pressure pushing the seal open during the rinse cycle. If you go to The "Usage and instructions" description on the web-site, there is a more accurate description of how it works. To be a little more descriptive I will elaborate on their brief summation. After the wash cycle finishes, the washer will spin the wash water out of the drum. The centrifugal force of the post-wash spin cycle pulls the ball to the wall of the drum, and then the dangling weight inside the rubber stopper is pulled to the side and breaks the seal. The now open Downy Ball falls to the bottom of the drum, When the washer fills during the rinse cycle the water flushes the fabric softener out and is diluted into the water before it is agitated into the clothing..
If you have a H.E. washer, you have no post-wash spin cycle to drain the wash water out. Your machine pumps the water out, so the ball doesn't get it's seal broken, and the rinse water cannot flush the fabric softener out of the ball. H.E. machine don't spin until the final rinse which is a spin rinse where the machine sprays water on the clothes as it spins the rinse water out. Here in lies the problem. The spin rinse pops the seal on your "still full" Downy ball. There is no water for the ball to submerge in, so it just spatters its contents on the garments that it's pressed up against. If you have a machine that has a second rinse cycle, you may have better luck getting some of the fabric softener out of the saturated articles of clothing, but it's already concentrated in a small parcel of fabric and is very unlikely to rinse out without leaving a stain that you won't find until you've baked it in with the dryer.
It's a simple design that worked well with the older machines, but relied on the centrifugal force after the wash cycle to open it up, and sufficient water to dilute it in the rinse water. H.E. machines that come with the ball, and H.E. Machines that specifically tell you to use the Downy Ball, are what is misleading. The Downy site says the Downy Ball will not work with H.E. Washers, maybe the marketing department should have had better communication with the Tech department when they sold this huge contract to companies like whirlpool. The little Downy Grenade Does not play well with the new H.E. machines and now I know why. Thought I should share my findings.
109 of 110 found this review helpful.
112 of 119 found this review helpful.
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Review 33 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
KKTien
Spokane, WA

The Answer to 'Not Popping Open'

August 29, 2010
I've been using the Downy ball for over 10 years, and won't do laundry without it!
As Downy has gotten thicker and more 'ultra', I noticed the ball wasn't popping in the rinse cycle, or not mixing in properly. Then I realized, now that Downy is Ultra, there is less mass in the ball. Now, I add the right amount of Downy then run a little bit of water into the ball. It rinses some of the thick Downy off the stopper and makes the ball heavier. Haven't had a problem with the ball not popping ever since!
38 of 41 found this review helpful.
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Review 34 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
Karen
Irvine, CA

WHERE TO BUY A DOWNEY BALL!!!!!

November 18, 2011
I had been searching for months, looking for the Downey Ball and I finally found one nationwide chain that carries it online. The big W that ends with mart. Online only. Here's how to find it in there: Go to All Departments, then click "grocery and pets", then click "laundry room", then you scroll down until you see the blue bar that says "shop top brands", then under that you click the picture that says "shop Downey", then what I did was to click the little box that says "best selling" and changed it to "from lowest to highest price" and THERE IT WAS!, the first one on the list for $2.49 plus 97 cents shipping. WARNING!-- Do not use the search box, it will not pull up the ball- I tried to pull it up about 5 different ways and it did not work. So Do Not Use!!!
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
21 of 23 found this review helpful.
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Review 35 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
kathy
Simi Valley, Ca

Miss my ball

January 4, 2013
I have had a Downey ball for a long time. I have just in the last month had to throw my 3 third ball. I am looking for another one in the store but can't find one. We do lots of wash an miss it. Please help.
9 of 10 found this review helpful.
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Review 36 for Downy Ball®
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
stars
Kymm
Pittsburgh,Pa

Love it

September 8, 2013
I use it every time I wash...my machine does not have it's own softener port so finding a way to get my downy fix was important....as long as your washer has spin cycle it should work... Other piece of advice make sure to rinse between uses because mold will grow and there is no way to get inside it to clean...
8 of 9 found this review helpful.
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Review 37 for Downy Ball®
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
stars
vsg
las vegas, nv

can't find one in stores

March 1, 2012
Where are the downy balls sold? I can only find them online & I think its ridiculous to pay $5 shipping for a $2 item..ive searched targets and walmarts in my area and cannot find these.
8 of 9 found this review helpful.
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Review 38 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
butterflies974
Carrollton, MI

Love the Downy Ball! Can't find one to buy!

September 12, 2011
Over the years, I have used the Downy Ball. I absolutely love it. Just one problem,,,,I cannot find it in any of my local stores! Help!
8 of 9 found this review helpful.
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Review 39 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Sandy
Waynesboro, PA

Stains my clothes

April 22, 2013
Years ago (long before high efficiency washers) I saw Downy balls and didn't care for them.
One came with our new HE washer and since I couldn't find any other way to dispense fabric softener, I figured I had to use it. Most of the time it worked okay.
It didn't always empty. When it didn't empty and rolled down to the bottom of the machine, it would often dribble the softener liquid on the clothes. Stained a bunch of them.
I followed instructions on how to use it and how far to fill it. Just today it didn't empty properly when it was supposed to and I found it wrapped up in some underwear and everything at the bottom (or near the bottom) stained.
I'm going to follow the suggestion to clean it and see if that makes a difference. My machine locks during operation and I wouldn't have a clue how to unlock it or when to do that to put the liquid in. I'm not a big fan of these HE washers, but I'm stuck with this brand new one. I may have to stop using Downy ball entirely.
Huge disappointment. Something so simple that's been around for so many years should work every time.
22 of 25 found this review helpful.
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Review 40 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
Olphart
Georgia

It works and lasts

August 15, 2010
I just replaced my twenty year old washing machine. The Downy Ball I bought at about the same time is still working just like it is supposed to.
7 of 8 found this review helpful.
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