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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:
3.585 out of 5
3.6
 out of 
5
(159 Reviews) 153
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (159 reviews)
5 stars
88
4 stars
10
3 stars
9
2 stars
11
1 star
41
109 out of 159(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 1 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
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Review 2 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
Troy, OH

useless

June 13, 2015
Rarely opens. When it does, 1/2 of the fabric softner comes out on the clothes and leaves blue splotches or it stays in the ball. I have a top load, non HE machine and the manufacturer recommends the Downy Ball......the washer has no softner dispenser. Very disappointed in the ball. Guess I will have to use sheets.
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Review 3 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
Concord, NH

Fails more often than it works.

April 13, 2015
I can't believe Downy hasn't either done something to make their ball more reliable or just removed it from the market. It only works some of the time. The majority of the time I end up having to rewash my clothes. Instead of trying to make a more reliable product Downy makes excuses and explains away any problems with out of the can responses. wastes time and it wastes money. I am using an older top loading non-HE machine with a full after-wash spin cycle so, according to Downy, it should work great.
You would think with the amount of complaints Downy would do something about it instead of telling the users that it's their fault.
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Review 4 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
Tennessee

The Downy Ball makes a mess!

April 2, 2015
In almost every wash load the Downy Ball still has fabric softener left inside. I am sitting here now with fabric softener spilled on my clothes (the ones I'm wearing!) and that's what sparked this review! The Ball generally spills all over the clean clothes in the wash when I remove them from the washer and often I have to rewash clothes. There isn't a place to add fabric softener to my HE washer and the manufacturer of my washer insists you you the Downy ball. I don't know what else to do other than go back to dryer sheets. I am NOT a happy customer.
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Review 5 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Oregon

Doesn't Work

February 16, 2015
It just doesn't work. Don't waist your time or money. The ball opens and the fabric softener doesn't come out. Very disappointed!!!
1 of 2 found this review helpful.
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Review 6 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Roeland Park, KS

Downy Ball Fails again and again

December 31, 2014
I had a Downy Ball that I purchased some 18+ years ago and it worked like a charm. It open and released every single time. Unfortunately, I dropped the ball and it cracked and I had to purchase a new one. The new ball is hit or miss on opening. It appears that others have this problem as well and the company is quick to blame it on the type of washer, the slow spin cycle, or not enough water in the tub. With all the complaints, you would think that they would look into how the balls are made and compare them to the initial balls that were made years ago. I'm guessing they have found a way to use cheaper materials and that's why the balls are failing.
Looks like I'll have to pay attention to the washer cycles now and manually add the softener as I'm not a fan of dryer sheets. Dryer sheets seem to leave oily marks on clothes.
6 of 6 found this review helpful.
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Review 7 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 8 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Louisville, KY

Ruined my clothes!

January 9, 2014
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Our family has always used Downey. Unfortunately, we started using the Downey Ball and it has ruined several of my coats and a few of my work out pants. It discolored my coats and even left one coat feeling like paper mache.
26 of 37 found this review helpful.
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Review 9 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Maryland

$200 in clothes...ruined

October 14, 2013
Being a normal guy -- I wash my clothes generally in a large batch. Well, I bought some work pants, all tan/khaki colored, and when I plucked them from the dryer, I noticed they all had big blue splotches all over them. Unwearable in a professional environment. I narrowed down that the only thing that changed between my (mostly-white) bedding and my work clothes was the use of the downy ball. After doing some googling around, it appears this is a fairly common thing. Save yourself the money on having to buy new clothes (I can't seem to get the stains out) and just skip the softener. In this economy, who would have thought that a simple $2.99 (the ball) purchase would ruin $200 in clothing (a load of work clothes :( )
31 of 47 found this review helpful.
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Review 10 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 11 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
PA

Disappointed

August 1, 2013
I had used this many times with no problem. Bought a new one with my new washing machine and I open lid to find fabric softener all of my clothes. I now have to set a timer to go and add the softener into the water at correct time and will no longer use the ball.
6 of 7 found this review helpful.
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Review 12 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Greenville, SC

Ball does not work

July 29, 2013
My mother used the Downey ball when I was younger and it worked GREAT. I have since moved to an apt where I do not have the automatic despenser in my washing machine, so I purchased the Downey ball. I noticed that they only thing different was the lid. I have used it and it does not dispense all the Downey so I have had several of my shirts stained. Not happy ... putting it up out of the way. Will not use it as it causes more work. Very dissatisfied.
4 of 5 found this review helpful.
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Review 13 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Spring Lake

Ruined clothes

July 29, 2013
Every time I use the ball it never clears the fabric softener out so it leaks pure softener on the clothes! It has ruined multiple pieces of clothing,and the stains are there FOREVER! Downey, fix your product! Clothes are too
expensive to be disposable!
3 of 3 found this review helpful.
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Review 14 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Amherst, Ohio

Use But Don't Use

July 27, 2013
According to this website:
1. Fill the ball to the appropriate line for the Downy fabric softener of your choice
2. Pull the ring tightly to close the lid
3. Drop the ball in at the start of the wash
Please note: the Downy Ball should not be used in HE machines.
--------------------------------------------------
I find it odd that my brand new HE washing machine gives instructions for using the Downy Ball, and even includes a coupon. Then the Downy website tells me not to use it? I give up.....
18 of 21 found this review helpful.
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Review 15 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
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 16 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Pittsburgh, PA

Doesn't work

February 18, 2013
I don't know what there is to do wrong in using this product so I'm just going to assume I did everything right and that it's just a terrible product. I use vinegar instead of fabric softener but I can't imagine that makes any difference.
I bought three of these and used them at the same time in three top-loaders at a truck stop. In all three washes, the ball released its contents during the spin cycle rather than the rinse cycle. Therefore, there was no opportunity for the vinegar to be diluted with the rinse water and be distributed throughout the load. I ended up with one or two items in each load being soaked with vinegar that didn't get rinsed out.
Being that I was using commercial washers, I couldn't just run everything through the rinse cycle again. I am now stuck with a coat that stinks like vinegar which is annoying and embarrassing. One corner of my mattress cover was also soaked with vinegar and now my semi truck stinks like vinegar. I will be returning these to Walmart and go back to trying to monitor several washing machines to catch the rinse cycle.
7 of 14 found this review helpful.
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Review 17 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Kirkville, NY

Ball Opening

February 4, 2013
I love the Downey ball when it works, Sometimes it will open at the end of the load and I will have blue spots all over my clothes whch I have to wash again. Other times, it will not open at all. It is very frustrating.
6 of 7 found this review helpful.
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Review 18 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
indiana

downy ball

January 2, 2013
I have 2 downy balls that have worked fine. they will not open anymore.How does a dryer ball break? Im so disappointed. For the short time they worked the product was great.
6 of 10 found this review helpful.
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Review 19 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
IL

Please bring back the old bottle that works

November 29, 2012
I have had a Fabric softner Downey bottle for about 20 yrs and it still works. I have bought 2 new bottles for our new home in AZ and they don't work. It never completely open and leaves softner on the clothes and I have to re-run the rinse cycle again. Whatever change you did to the bottle please undo it............
4 of 4 found this review helpful.
Response from Downy:ShawnnaDowny TeamDecember 4, 2012
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. Hope this helps!
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Review 20 for Downy Ball®
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
WI

Junk

June 17, 2012
The only reason I rated this with one star is that it won't allow zero! I didn't discover until after my washer was delivered that there was no fabric softener dispenser. It did, however, come with a Downy Ball. I can't believe this product passed anybody's quality standards. Water gathers inside the ball and drains on to clothes after the final spin cycle ends. Also, occasionally does not completly empty during rinse cycle. I've never been a fan of fabric softener sheets, but I really have no other option.
2 of 2 found this review helpful.
Response from Downy:DeeConsumer Care June 19, 2012
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 have further questions, please call us at (800) 688-7638. Thanks!
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