I got a Cora Ball from Lucy last year for my birthday (see What I got for Christmas (Eco-Friendly Version)). Since I’ve been using it for nearly a year, I thought I’d share a cora ball review in case you’re interested.
An alternative product is the Guppy Friend, a fine mesh bag you put your synthetic clothes in while washing, but I didn’t want the hassle of having to scrape out fibres from the bag. I also think my clothes get cleaned better when they aren’t confined, but that’s just personal preference. So anyways, here is my review of the Cora Ball!
What is it?
A Cora Ball is a plastic ball that you add to your washing machine to help catch microfibres.
Why is it necessary?
This product helps catch the microfibres shed from clothing so that they don’t enter the waterways. This is particularly important if you wear a lot of synthetic fibres. Take fleece for example; it’s kind of a catch 22 when you buy an item of clothing made from recycled plastic bottles to be sustainable, but that garment then sheds, and the microfibres get into the waterways.
The microfibres end up in aquatic life (and therefore the food chain) and they are in drinking water (including bottled). Up to 700,000 microfibres can shed from a typical 6kg (13lb) household load. Moreover, tiny, water-borne pollutants adhere to them creating amalgams toxic to eco systems and humans (cited in BBC article linked below).
Any way of reducing microfibres from going down the drain is a great small action to be more environmentally-friendly, in my opinion.
Does it work?
YES! The ball is covered in tiny hooked teeth that catch bits of fluff and hair. Ours excels at catching hair, but as you can see from the photos, it also picks up bits of lint and threads, which I throw in the bin. Both Lucy and I wear more natural fibres than synthetics, but I’m still impressed with how much lint it’s collected (photos taken after 6 months of weekly use).
Well, you need to clean it out every once in a while, but it’s a satisfying project when you see microfibres being averted from the waterways. Also, it’s a beast for bra straps, camisole straps, and those pointless ribbon hangers they sew into the shoulders of women’s tops (which I end up cutting off anyways). If you’re worried about damaging your delicates, it’s best to put them in a delicates bag like I should be doing anyways!
If you’re looking for ways to be more eco-friendly at home, or a neat gift idea, then the Cora Ball gets my stamp of approval!