Independent Test of
The LAUNDRY SOLUTION

by the staff of Nirvana Research

Test performed late March 1997. Report written April 4th 1997. Minor updates September 3rd 1997.

Specific reason for test: Claims that violate basic scientific understanding.

Example given from a brochure dated Oct 2nd 1996 which was included in a unit of "The Laundry Solution" (the product) marketed by TradeNet Marketing, Inc. (TradeNet), 1497 Main Street Suite 301, Dunedin, FL 34698, (813) 724-7762:

Q. What is "The Laundry Solution?"? A. It is Structured water that emits a negative charge through the walls of the container into your laundry water. This causes the water molecule cluster to disassociate, allowing much smaller individual water molecules to penetrate into the innermost part of the fabric. The Laundry Solution replaces detergent, thus eliminating the use of the chemical. You actually see the results of cleaner clothes without pollutants produced which harm the environment and your family. This is the latest in 21st century technology! In addition to the above, you can discard fabric softeners and no longer need an extra rinse cycle, thus saving water and money at the same time!

Even if that specific claim(s) were removed, other claims and the product line itself would still be highly suspicious.
  To be straight forward and honest: To people who have spent four generations studying the physical, chemical, and biological properties of water, including all aspects from plumbing to theory, farming to nuclear physics, environmental protection to process control, biology to pollution, everything including proven concepts such as pH scale (can you say "the negative base ten logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration"), surface tension, osmosis, Deuterium concentration (about 1 in 7000), specific heat (1 calorie / gram), density maximum (at 4 degree Celsius), latent heat of fusion and evaporization (80 and 539 calories / gram), constant molecular angle (now was that 104 or 107 degrees?), to such people on our staff
  "The Laundry Solution", as presented to us by a multilevel network marketing representative of TradeNet and in printed material, is simple superstition which we would call
  fraud if it were not for the 60 day satisfaction guarantee that allows customers to bail out.
  We are not discussing the price, not the distribution methods. We are only discussing the claims made about the properties, and the claims made about the workings of the product.

What is disturbing our world view is that we had to witness at least one person, a health professional with a bachelor of science degree, believingly become a representative of the product.
  Luckily he doubted his decision enough to ask us for our opinion, after he had become a representative. This page, which you are reading right now, is our answer to his questions.

Let's quote some more from TradeNet:

Q. Is The Laundry Solution environmentally safe? A. The container is made of recyclable plastic. Return to TradeNet for recycling. The contents are natural and safe for the environment. The confidential manufacturing process changes the molecular structure of the water. There is nothing chemically based. The product works by properties of physics. Hence there are no residues left on your clothing.

The actual product, The Laundry Solution, is an about 2.5" diameter ball filled with what appears to be a blue liquid.
  TradeNet claims a product life of approximately 1500 washes. They claim at 20 washes per month the product will last for 75 months.
  That means one plastic ball, filled with modified water, should clean 1500 loads of laundry.

While regrettably it may require quite some intellectual and emotional understanding of science to immediately or quickly recognize the nonsense in above and other claims made by TradeNet,
  we were able to easily disprove them on the following claim:

Q. How can you prove the "The Laundry Solution" actually works? A. Proof is in the pudding! You will see results.

So we went and did a simple, reasonably well designed, reproducible test:

[test result photo]
1 soap, 2 the product, 3 water. Sorry for the low quality picture.
Want to know for sure? Test it yourself.

100% cotton cloth. Cut into three stripes. Same dirt: Sidewalk dirt, bicycle chain, ketchup, mustard, olive oil, felt tip pens, ball point pen, cloth marker, coffee. Same few minutes to soak in before taking off excess ketchup and mustard. Same 72 hours to air dry. Clearly marked with numbers 1, 2, and 3. Pictures taken (not developed yet).
  Three equal washers. Same temperature settings. 1 with regular soap which we use every day. 2 with The Laundry Solution. 3 with water only, no soap, no The Laundry Solution, no additives. Not any other items in washers at the same time. Washers were watched and ran for same time.
  Washed sample stripes were laid out on a counter and shown to parties who did not know about the soap(s) used. 1 was considered most clean by a wide margin, 2 and 3 were considered equally dirty.
  Pictures taken (not developed yet). Five days later above picture was taken with an old digital camera, indoors, without appropriate lighting. We hope you can see what we definitely can see on the originals. Hopefully we will have better pictures in a few weeks.

Proof is in the pudding. Proof that it does not work, that is. The Laundry Solution performed just as if it were not there.

If you think we have made a mistake in the execution of the experiment, e.g. by using three different washers, e.g. by not performing enough variations on the experiment, please feel free to perform and document many more experiments yourself.

Because of work overload, there is a backlog of other, unrelated experiments that we hope to publish, we are not going to do another laundry test anytime soon.
  We will, however, try to archive all messages sent to us on this topic, whatever their content may be.

Are we looking for trouble? Are we trying to put TradeNet out of business? No, and yes. The claims made by TradeNet about The Laundry Solution are so outrageously in violation of proven science that we want them to stop making those claims. If presented in a comedy show, their claims were simply a sign of disrespect for common sense. Presented in the real world, their claims are obscene. Now that is some obscenity that we think the world should be protected from. Water is too important in human life. No one should go around and tell such tall tales about water, ...
  ... not even to bring up the sanitary situation in homes or communities that were to use The Laundry Solution, a potential health hazard.
  What stands between the world we had grown up in, that had put people onto the moon, that has developed semiconductors, optoelectronics, understanding of some laws of nature, and a threatening upcoming rule of superstition?
  Must we now really fear prosecution in court, and potential enforcement of censorship, or is this publication of our analysis covered under free speech? Do we need to align ourselves with the established laundry industry to afford funding for legal and other defense against TradeNet? Is it still possible to call a fraud a fraud?
  Will we be found guilty of disrupting business? Or will they be found guilty of false advertising?
  If you are a scientist and can agree with our factual criticism of this incredible scheme, not necessarily with our emotions about it, please cast a vote while you are here, to help us defend the right to keep publishing this critical page, which you are reading right now, at this URL, if challenged in court (at an unknown time in the future).

Do people fall for the Laundry Solution scheme? We have been told our friend has paid US$400 (fourhundred dollars) for a distributorship. Another source has reported that as of February 1997 there were 35,000 (thirtyfivethousand) distributors. 20,000 of these were said to have signed up in the last three months. From these numbers we estimate 8 million dollars income from sign-up fees in one quarter.
  To be fair let's mention that later we have been told the $400 amount was for more than one territory sold to our friend. Does this make a significant difference?

Can you believe we have to consider the possibility of being sued on the following ground: Their claims are advertising claims and are not meant to be scientific fact, hence we could be considered doing them wrong, damaging their reputation by calling it fraudulent? By calling it fraudulent we could disrupt their business, for which they could claim damages.
  Ok, here we counter: We don't discuss advertising, we don't discuss their business, we only discuss science. We make no recommendations to buy or not to buy from them.
  This case stinks. Just like the laundry of our friend, the health professional become representative, started to smell bad, which made him ask us for advice.

Note:
Science is not equal technology. Science is understanding things. Technology is making things. Science is inherently less dangerous because by itself it changes nothing outside the mind. The applications of science in technology or business can be dangerous, as the application of anything else, including and specifically superstition, in technology or business can be dangerous.

References: We really did not use any concrete references other than above quoted brochure. This page was written from past work and research experience, at that time using German, French, Russian, and US twentieth century scientific literature that we currently do not have in the office.
  In September of 1997 we have become aware of a very reasonable page (there may be one minor scientific glitch or another in mostly good material) at http://www.optc.com/~btoback/laundrystuff.html.
  In September of 1997 we have become aware of another published test at http://www.clickitown.com/tradenet/.
  Also, there seems to be more information at http://www.clickitown.com/tradenet/comments.htm.


Nirvana Research reads e-mail at nirvana@got.net, and publishes on the Web at http://moof.com/nirvana/
Copyright (c) Nirvana Research 1997. All rights reserved.