Refund hopes for Utah purchasers of plastic laundry balls have gone down the drain.

Francine A. Giani, director of the Utah Division of Consumer Protection, said TradeNet Marketing went out of business this year before giving refunds to most of the Utah purchasers of the balls that were supposed to replace detergent."Out of 1,400 victims, only 320 got full refunds when they returned the balls," Giani said. "The rest are left holding the ball, so to speak."

TradeNet, a Dunedin, Fla., company, marketed the balls in Utah last year for $75 each.

The balls were supposed to contain electrically charged crystals that would create more crystals in the laundry water and pull dirt off clothes.

Giani's division, with the help of the University of Utah and a private testing company, did its own investigation and determined that the balls only contained water and food coloring.