December 30, 1997 in Features

Eliminate Laundry Detergent? Not With This Kind Of ‘Magic’

Shanna Southern Peterson Correspondent
 

Imagine a product that will help reduce environmental pollution and eliminate static cling all at the same time.

What a wonderful way to start the New Year. No more laundry byproducts leaching into our drinking water, no more costly detergent bills.

Sound too good to be true?

Well, it is. But that hasn’t stopped hundreds of consumers from being ripped off by this latest snake-oil scheme.

The Laundry Solution and several similar products have hit the market within the last couple of years claiming to eliminate the need for laundry detergent. How, you may ask, will your clothes get clean without detergents? According to TradeNet Marketing, manufacturer of The Laundry Solution, their product cleans the fabric through the use of negatively charged ions encased in a recyclable plastic globe. Just plop this magic ball into your washer and the water will become thinner, allowing it to better penetrate the fabric and extracting dirt deep within the weave.

Keep in mind they recommend using warm or hot water, a regular agitation cycle, and chlorine bleach in addition to this miracle device. Don’t you think these conditions will likely produce clean clothes with or without the aid of a laundry globe?

These products boast a number of claims that are downright laughable. They supposedly last for up to six years but were only manufactured in November 1995. They claim to clean your clothes for 3,000 cycles through the washer, yet the companies can’t produce anyone who has actually used it that many times.

And best of all, these little orbs eliminate the need to waste valuable time shopping for laundry detergents. That one alone should save me at least 20 minutes over the next decade. What will I do with all that extra time?

Testing conducted by the International Fabricare Institute in conjunction with the Utah Consumer Protection Division shows there is no basis for the claims put forth by The Laundry Solution company. The tests determined that washing clothes in plain water provided the same results as using one of these devices, and two popular detergents were shown to outperform the contraptions.

There is no evidence to indicate they actually do anything other than take up space in the washer and relieve the owner of about $80 in hard-earned cash.

Basically, you can get the same results by taking your laundry down to the river and pounding it on the rocks.

If you are still not convinced that this is nothing more than a scam, put one of them to the test. Have someone wash a load of laundry in plain water and another load using one of these gizmos. I’ll bet you’ll be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two.

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