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Downy Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for DOWNY The Downy Ball

DOWNY The Downy Ball

Make softness simple with our easy-to-use fabric softener dispenser. Simply fill it up and toss on top of your fabrics before each load.
Average Customer Rating:
3.489 out of 5
3.5
 out of 
5
(133 Reviews) 127
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (133 reviews)
5 stars
68
4 stars
10
3 stars
9
2 stars
11
1 star
35
91 out of 133(68%)customers 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 The Downy Ball
Review 1 for The 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!!!
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Review 2 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Angi
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.
25 of 36 found this review helpful.
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Review 3 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
cleanbachelor
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 4 for The 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.
122 of 123 found this review helpful.
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Review 5 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Sissy
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 6 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Holly
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 7 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Unhappy
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 8 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Schleprock
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.....
17 of 20 found this review helpful.
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Review 9 for The 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 10 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
PJSnickers
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 11 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
PTMom
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 12 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
kathy
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 13 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
KO
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:By 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 14 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Jules
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:By 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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Review 15 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Anonymous
ny ny

Don't waste your time or money

June 4, 2012
The ball came with my new Maytag washer as it does not have a internal dispenser. Sounds like s good idea but it doesnt work. Either it pops open during the wash cycle or it does not empty completely. It just is not a keeper. Go for the fabic dryer sheets instead.
5 of 5 found this review helpful.
Response from Downy:By JennyDownyJune 6, 2012
I am sorry to hear the Down ball is not opening or emptying properly. We would like to get more details from you. Please give us a call at (800) 688-7638 so we can help.
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Review 16 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Kyarri
Washington, DC

JUNK!

May 11, 2012
The Downy ball is JUNK! Bought one for my old washer and it never worked; finally threw it away. We bought a new house and have a brand new washer with no dispenser so I decided to give the Downy ball another try. I've washed three loads of laundry of varying sizes and all three loads had to be rewashed because this (STILL) worthless contraption left softener all over my clothes. I've tossed it in on top of the clothes, before and after the basin fills, and even tried tossing it in at the bottom before loading clothes. NOTHING works! What a waste of money!
3 of 4 found this review helpful.
Response from Downy:By DeeConsumer Care May 18, 2012
I'm so sorry you had trouble with the Downy Ball. We wouldn't expect this to happen and would like to trouble shoot to find out what happened. Please give us a call at (800) 688-7638 and we'll be happy to help!
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Review 17 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Judy
Illilnois

Useless piece of plastic

March 26, 2012
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I just purchased a new washer which does not have a fabric softener dispenser built in as my last one did. Your Downy ball has ruined ,in one week, so many pieces of my clothing and vintage linens (which are irreplaceable and very expensive) I cannot even count. I have thrown away many garments and linens because the Downy ball must have opened after machine stopped, not during rinse as it should have. I just found this site today. I called where I purchased new washer from and was told to buy another Downy ball. Fabric softener was left on my clothes and linens during the laundering process. Could it be the washers problem being as the washer rinse water is supposed to open this ball? (I have read your reply to some of the other reviews). If the washer rinse water did hit the ball, maybe the ball would open when it is supposed to? Fabric softener ruins fabric. You are lucky if you ever get this stain out, particularly if the fabric has been put in dryer. Who has the time to examine every piece of laundry to see if there is fabric softener on it because of ball not working properly? I do have button on my washer that has to be placed on "on" if fabric softener is used. A couple of times it actually did work correctly and I did not get fabric softener on my clothes. I think I have already lost the amount I paid for my brand new washer in ruined items due to the fabric softener ball. I am very upset. I would hope it would be the washer's problem, my washer is still under waranty.
4 of 6 found this review helpful.
Response from Downy:By JennyDowny TeamMarch 29, 2012
We are here to help. We would like to ask you some additional questions about how you have used the Downy Ball. Please give us a call at (800) 688-7638 at your convenience.
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Review 18 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Nicole
indiana

DID NOT WORK

March 23, 2012
I filled it, sealed it, threw it on top of the load, and it didn't even open! Did I do something wrong? I am just glad I had some dryer sheets leftover.. I was very excited to use the downy ball, too.
2 of 3 found this review helpful.
Response from Downy:By JennyDowny TeamMarch 27, 2012
Sounds like you are using it correctly. Give us a call at (800) 688-7638 so we can help.
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Review 19 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
GLJezebel
Carrollton, TX

My Downy Ball doesn't work

November 20, 2011
I have used a Downy Ball for years and years and loved it. 3 weeks ago I moved to a new apartment with a brand new washer and dryer. The first night I did a load of laundry and used my Downy Ball. It was a small load of laundry and I used the Large setting on the washer. When the washer finished I noticed that all of the Downy liquid was in the bottom of the washer. I thought it was a fluke and didn't think much of it when I did the next load. Unfortunately, the result was the same. I am a single person and I do not have large loads of laundry. I have since done many loads of laundry, all with the same result. I don't understand why my Downy Ball has suddenly stopped working properly. The ball is clean with no gunk or residue on any part of it. I guess I have to give up on my Downy Ball.
3 of 3 found this review helpful.
Response from Downy:By DeeConsumer Care November 22, 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. 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 still have further problems, give us a call at (800) 688-7638. Thanks!
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Review 20 for The Downy Ball
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
stars
Kelly
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:By 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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