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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:
3.562 out of 5
3.6
 out of 
5
(162 Reviews) 156
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (162 reviews)
5 stars
89
4 stars
10
3 stars
9
2 stars
11
1 star
43
110 out of 162(68%)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®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Denver

Doesn't open

November 12, 2011
I used the Downy ball a few years ago and had no problems with it. I bought another one about 2 months ago, and I would say it doesn't open on about 8 out of 10 washes. Good thing I still have a large pack of dryer sheets from Costco, because that is what I have to use instead. I love the way my laundry smells the few times that the ball does work, but due to the high failure rate, I think I will stick with the sheets. I live in dry Colorado, so I need all of the help I can get with static!
2 of 2 found this review helpful.
Response from Downy:JennyDowny TeamNovember 15, 2011
I am sorry the Downy ball is not opening. Please give us a call at (800) 688-7638 so we can help.
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Review 22 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
Louisville KY

LOVE the Downy Ball

April 10, 2011
After years of having a washer with a built in dispenser, I'm back to a very basic washer and dryer. I was worried with all the new technology, the Downy ball didn't exist anymore. I was excited and relieved to find on at the grocery store. It is wonderful. I use dryer sheets for every load, but somethings, like the kids socks and blankets, they need the addition of Downy.
The only time it hasn't worked is when my 9 yo tries to help and overloads the washer.... but then, nothing has gotten clean anyway, so I can redo the load in pieces and the ball works fine.
I grew up with the Downy ball, and I am so glad to have one now for my kids clothes.
Thank you Downy!
2 of 2 found this review helpful.
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Review 23 for Downy Ball®
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
stars
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 24 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Quality
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Value
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
stars
Chicago, IL

Total dissapointment and waste of money.

April 9, 2016
Worked great the first time I used it. I was very happy that I was no longer going to miss the cycle and have to redo my clothes. However, my happiness was short-lived since it didn't work at all after the first time. The ball opens up but does not release the Downy at all for some reason, or it opens and some of the Downy comes out but stains my clothes. I'm back to having to pay attention to the washer to know when I manually have to go add the fabric softener. Total dissapointment since I love listening to music while I do laundry and clean the house but since the ball doesn't work I can't listen to anything but the washer or I'll miss the timing.
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
Response from DownyApril 13, 2016
We're sorry you've had this experience, Cici. We wish we could help, but the Downy Ball is a licensed product. For any concerns regarding this product, please contact the Nehemiah Manufacturing Company at 1-844-333-6677 and they’ll be happy to assist you further. For any questions regarding Downy itself, please give us a call M-F, 9 am-6 pm EST at 1-800-879-8433.
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Review 25 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Quality
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Value
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Portage Michigan

Does not!! Open properly

July 23, 2015
When I use the downy ball in the past it worked great I just recently purchased two new balls and I'm not!! very pleased not over in properly leaving splotches all over my clothes because this off and it wasn't suspense properly into the water
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
Galloway, NJ, USA

GREAT PRODUCT

May 14, 2015
I have just recently started to use a downy ball and ultra downy fabric softener and it had made my clothes come out fresh and clean! I have used other fabric softness and they do not compare to downy and the ball makes it that much easier! I pre fill my balls and just throw them in my loads daily! recommend to anyone with a lot of laundry daily it gives your clothes a fresh feeling and smell every time.
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
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Review 27 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
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 28 for Downy Ball®
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
stars
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 29 for Downy Ball®
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
stars
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 30 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
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 31 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
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 32 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
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 33 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Jersey

Not Working

March 31, 2011
I've used the downy ball in the past and had zero problems. Now that I'm stuck with a washer with out a dispenser I buy the product and it's HORRIBLE. IT HAS NOT WORKED SINCE I BOUGHT IT TWO WEEKS AGO!! It either will open and ALL of the softener stays in the ball or it doesn't bother to open at all!!!! I have no choice but to use a product like this but, IT'S NOT WORKING AS PROMISED!! I've gone out of my way to make sure I am using it properly. I am at my wits end, what else can I do??!!
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
Response from Downy:DeeConsumer CareApril 4, 2011
I'm sorry your Downy Ball didn’t open in the rinse cycle and release the fabric softener. 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.
Thank you! You have successfully submitted a comment for this review.
Review 34 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
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 35 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
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 36 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
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 37 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
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 38 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
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.
113 of 120 found this review helpful.
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Review 39 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
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 40 for Downy Ball®
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
stars
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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