Cora Ball FAQ
Who can use it?
Anyone can use the Cora Ball, in any washing machine; front loaders, top loaders with and without the center spindle, anywhere.
Can I wash all of my clothes with it, even delicates?
We recommend that you DO NOT wash anything with lace, tassels, chunky or wide-knit, crocheted sections, or fraying threads with Cora Ball. The stalks on the Cora Ball might catch these delicate items and potentially cause damage. The good news is that these items are not contributing much microfiber according to current scientific understanding, so leaving the Cora Ball out of the wash for your delicates is OK. Sometimes a bra or bikini strap will wrap around the Cora Ball; don’t worry, it is easy to unwind and unless the straps are made of lace, they will be fine (we’ve been testing with our own delicates for years and except for lace, have not had trouble).
How many Cora Balls should I use?
For most homes, one Cora Ball will do the job. For families with especially large washing machines, we recommend up to 3.
How much microfiber does it prevent?
According to a recent paper published out of University of Plymouth, The Cora Ball prevents 31% of the microfibers per load from washing downstream (Napper et. al., 2020). This is a result of a combination of catching microfiber and preventing microfiber shed off of your clothing. How much depends on several factors including the materials in the load, wash settings, wash frequency and the presence of pet hair (which helps catch fibers)! We are constantly testing to learn how it works best so we can share with Cora Ball users.
Can I see the fibers it collects?
Cora Ball catches AND prevents microfiber pollution. On the days you wash your heavier items, like fleece, sweatshirts, etc., you are likely to see the fibers stuck in the Cora Ball. Sometimes, after everyday clothing loads, you may not see much. It may be there accumulating and tangling up with hair and larger fibers, it’s just too small to see and you will be able to remove it when the tangles do get big enough to grab. But, even when you can’t see the fibers in Cora Ball, Cora Ball is preventing microfiber shedding in the first place!
How does it catch tiny fibers?
The fibers tend to tangle together into fuzz balls that you can see and pick out of the Cora Ball. When we look at a microscope image from a pinch of what a Cora Ball collected from a 3-load test, we can see different colors and sizes all bunched together.
Do I have to clean it after every wash?
No, you do not need to clean the Cora Ball after every wash. We recommend cleaning when it’s easy to clean - you’ll see big tangles of hair and fiber, then you can go for it.
How do you clean it?
When you have tangles big enough to grab, you just move the stalks to the side and pinch the tangles to pull them out. They come out easily.
Where do the fibers go?
The only option at the moment is to put the fibers in the trash, along with your dryer lint. It’s the same stuff. At this point, we cannot recycle laundry lint (from the washer or the dryer). But, Rozalia Project, and our partners, are working hard to figure this out. We look forward to the day when we can upcycle all of this material into new clothes or something durable and long lasting. Until that happens, the trash is better than straight to our public waterways.
What is the Cora Ball made of?
The Cora Ball is made of 100% recycled and 100% recyclable soft and stretchy plastic that will maintain its physical and chemical properties in the temperature extremes of both residential and commercial washers and dryers.
Is the Cora Ball recyclable?
Yes! Please do not put it in your blue bin. We hope you will use it long into the future, but if you are done with your Cora Ball, please contact us.
How long will my Cora Ball last?
We have spec’d a material that is meant to last a long time and we hope the Cora Ball lasts for years and years of washing and catching microfibers. It was designed as a long-lasting and durable product, not for just a few uses.
Does it cause the clothes damage or make more microfibers?
According to Napper et. al. 2020, the Cora Ball helps reduce fiber shedding off of clothes, so the Cora Ball effectively protects your clothes helping them last longer while also protecting the ocean.
Though this paper was recently published, from the start, our design team was driven by concern for plastic and man-processed fibers entering the marine environment, and for the longevity of your clothes, so we used 3 design strategies to keep the Cora Ball from making more microfibers themselves. Shape: the rings on the outside are smooth and round and that is what comes in contact with the clothes; Material: the material is extremely soft and stretchy - softer than some of your clothes! Finally, Motion: the Cora Ball moves with your clothes around the wash, not against them.
The items that do have potential to get past the rings and stuck in the stalks are: lace, crocheted/chunky knits, tassels or items with fraying ends - all of which could still be in the same wash, we recommend they are put in a wide mesh bag for delicates.
Can I put the Cora Ball in the dryer?
Yes, you can. If you accidentally throw your Cora Ball in the dryer, not to fear! We chose a material that can withstand the heat and action of a dryer.
My Cora Ball is Damaged. What do I do?
Cora Balls have been made to last years of washing and hundreds of loads of laundry. However, we all do laundry differently and the spindle of the Cora Ball can wear out.
Our warranty covers one year of free spindle replacement. If your Cora Ball spindle has broken less than 1 year from the date of your purchase, please contact Cora Ball customer support here to claim a replacement spindle. For any other replacement parts, please contact the Cora Ball customer support team and we will be able to help you!
We try our hardest to retrieve all materials for recycling, so we can discuss ways of getting the Cora Ball back to Vermont in the most economical way for everyone!
Has there been any independent testing of the Cora Ball?
Yes! There have been two independent tests investigating the effectiveness of the Cora Ball. The first out of Dr. Chelsea Rochman’s lab at the University of Toronto. It was lead-authored by Hayley K. McIlwraith and is now published in the peer-reviewed journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin.
The second test was conducted by the International Marine Litter Research Unit, School of Biological and Marine Sciences at University of Plymouth, lead-authored by Dr. Imogen Napper and published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
The results: the Cora Ball is an effective solution for microfiber pollution! Cora Ball prevented 31% and 26% of microfiber pollution in the Napper and McIlwraith studies respectively. Most notably, the Cora Ball was proven to PREVENT microfiber shedding, which can increase the life of your clothes!
My Cora Ball is Damaged. What do I do?
In the event the Cora Ball was damaged because of a manufacturing defect within one year of purchase, Cora Ball will replace the piece of pieces that are missing-or in some cases, replace the ball. We try our hardest to retrieve all materials for recycling, so we can discuss ways of getting the Cora Ball back to Vermont in the most economical way for everyone!
If the damage occurred in shipment, contact the shipping service you used to attempt to file a claim with the party at fault.
If the damage occurred at the distribution level, the Cora Ball or pieces will be replaced by the distribution company. Cora Ball customers are often environmentally conscious and appreciate the lower footprint of making the Cora Ball whole instead of shipping the entire Ball!