How can I reuse or recycle washing liquid dosing balls?

We’ve had an email from Alison:

I have loads of the washing liquid balls that come with washing liquid such as Persil. It seems a shame to throw them away if I could use them for something useful.

Like with measuring spoons in baby formula and allen keys at Ikea, it’s annoying when manufacturers include stuff by default with every purchase even though, presumably, most of their customers will already have a spoon, key or liquid ball from their last pack. There are products out there that don’t include such waste – EthicalConsumer has a list of the greenest laundry products, taking into account packaging, alongside animal testing and chemical make-up of the product itself.

But what about the balls Alison already has at home?

The washing stuff we use doesn’t come with balls but I’ve got a few very old ones in my laundry cupboard for measuring out the different powders and potions, and transporting them over to the washing machine (I’d probably use way too much if I tipped it directly into the drawer). They’d also be useful as scoops/measures for other cleaning products.

Away from housework, the balls with the flat bottoms could be used as paint caddies during kids’ (or grown-ups’) art sessions or turned into mini-sewing kits/pin cushions: fit it with a cute, cushioned lid for the pin cushion, and pins & other supplies could be kept inside.

Any other suggestions?

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8 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle washing liquid dosing balls?”


  1. Fishcake_Random says:

    I have a whole bunch of these that I use to organise my underwear drawer. A pair of socks and a pair of pants fit nice and small inside one though it can take practise.
    Also when I go on a backpacking adventure I take 2 or 3 with me containing socks and pants and tuck them in my bag useally inside my shoes or an odd space to save room.
    Hope it helps.
    x x xx

  2. Nicole says:

    Could they be used to dress up some Christmas lights? Just make an X or punch a hole in the bottom and insert the light?

  3. fiona h says:

    you could hand them in to your local nursery as they would make lovely xmas baubles because of their shape.

  4. the greenth says:

    As wheels for childrens craft toy vehicles, filled with nutty/fatty bird food and hung from a cat proof location, plant pots suitably punctured to provide drain holes, as moulds for food like jelly!

  5. Olia says:

    Plant succulents and cactuses in them.

  6. jai says:

    I use these balls to make musical toys by filling with dried peas, pebbles or even some hair gel with glitter. need to use cellotape to seal the mouth and use glitter wrapping paper to cover. inexpensive things for children to make during holidays

  7. Jean says:

    I pour bleach in one and dip my cloth in the ball to save me having to get off the stool too many times when I am bleaching the bathroom ceiling or tops of tiles that are high up the wall. They are great for watering small plant pots as they act as a small jug with the pourer lip.

  8. marc says:

    have you got any off the round balls left at all?



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