Crystal Wash 2.0

I’ve decided to add a new category to this blog: Calling Out Bullshit. I see enough bogus claims online to want to set people straight, so I’m going to start here.

Some of you might remember the 90s, specifically the fad of using “laundry balls” instead of detergents to wash your clothes. I’m sure we had some in our home when I was a kid. I didn’t know much about them then, but seeing them re-emerge in the form of this Kickstarter project prompted me to investigate.

crystal washThe Crystal Wash is a plastic device filled with little ceramic balls. The theory is that these balls somehow change the chemical make-up as they swoosh around in the wash and turn your water to hydrogen peroxide. They can thereby clean and disinfect your clothes without the use of harmful detergents!

The problem is, the whole idea of restructuring water like that is a well known scam and has been thoroughly debunked. Science simply does not support this claim. Studies have also shown that using laundry balls gives virtually identical results as using conventional detergents on your clothes, and sometimes even worse results.

The makers of Crystal Wash 2.0 also claim that this product can save you energy and water: less rinsing is required in the absence of detergents, assuming you have a setting on your washing machine to accommodate this; and cold water is more energy efficient, but their own pamphlets – and their precursors’ from the 90s – advise using hot water.

If you want to be more environmentally friendly with your clothes washing, your best bet is to use less detergent, and wash in cold water. Don’t support the woo.

New year, new places

About a month ago, Elspeth started school and Evelyn started kindergarten. 

20150216_084308Evelyn spent last year sitting in on classes at kindergarten with her big sister, so she’s an old hand at this. Her teacher describes her as “perfect” and “a model student”. No surprises there, she’s a sweet and obliging little person when she wants to be! She’s very happy and having a great time.

I was worried about Elspeth; she tooks months to settle into kindergarten last year and I don’t think she was ever really happy there. I anticipated similar problems with beginning school. However, with the help of some people in her class who she knew from kindergarten, and a fantastic teacher, she’s actually doing really well. I think the tighter structure of school suits her, she’s gaining confidence and doing really well. I knew she could read pretty well, but she’s further ahead than I thought, and she’s found it in herself to stand up and read books aloud to her class, so I’m very proud.

Of course, all these new activities result in tired kids, which often means grumpy kids, but I think I can put up with that! I’m really pleased with both of them.