I'm in Australia and these "oxygen balls" have been investigated here. They appeared on the market here about 10 years ago, perhaps a little more than that. They are a confidence trick and have little or no effect. The fact is that clothes washed in the normal way have a little detergent left in them from the previous wash. When washed again in plain water, with or without "oxygen balls" this remnant detergent foams up and does some cleaning. They were exposed as a fraud on TV here years ago.
In fact, washing clothes in a washing machine without any soap or detergent at all will do some sort of a job of cleaning them.
As a chemist I can tell you that there is zero possibility of these balls generating oxygen in a washing machine. If they could generate it from the water, they would also generate hydrogen, which is explosive when mixed with oxygen. Oxygen has no cleaning power, however it would act as a bleach.
Laundry detergents are a mixture of several components. There are usually at least two surfactants, alkalies like washing soda or borax, absorbent clays like bentonite, fluorescent dyes and there is usually a mild peroxide as well. This breaks down to oxygen which has the bleaching effect.
The laundry powder makers are merely promoting something that has been in their products for years. They might have "NEW" on the pack, but that just means recently manufactured.
The site I am quoting is an Australian one.
These laundry balls are "magnetic". Yeah, right. Pity most dirt is not attracted or repelled by magnets. The only reason they promote these things as "magnetic" or "oxygen" is that most people do not understand much about magnetism or chemistry, or have forgotten most of what they ever learned. Next thing will be "crystal vibrations" or "pyramid power".
The story of the "big companies" shutting the guy up is absolutely typical of the promotions for things that don't actually work. Perpetual motion machines, gizmos you fit to your car to save fuel, electronic insect repellers and so forth. So is the fake science.
· 1 decade ago