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Robert Todd Carroll

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The Skeptic's Refuge

About Too Good to Be True

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The ABI Laundry Ball 
and 
The Laundry Solution 
and 
The Laundry Clean Disk

& about twenty others just like them!

 

Imagine a world without laundry detergent. No more troublesome decisions as to whether to buy Cheer or Joy or Surf or Tide or Amway. What a wonderful world it would be! Well, it's here. You can quit buying detergent. The new ABI Laundry Ball is here.

The what? The ABI Laundry Ball. You can buy one for a mere $75. Here is how it works:

The ABI Laundry Ball emits a charge into the water which breaks the bonds between molecules, enabling the individual water molecules to penetrate the fabric. The water is also highly charged with negative ions. The dirt, which is highly positive in charge, is attracted to the individual water molecules and it [sic] flushed out with the water during the rinse cycle. The rinse cycle actually acts like a second wash cycle, since there in NO SOAP to rinse out. Clothes are clean at a cost of approximately 5 cents per load.

I find this information a bit puzzling in light of another claim made by the people at ABI. In their explanation as to how laundry detergents work they say:

The detergent saturated water enters the fabric and the dirt is attracted to the positive charge in the soap molecule. The dirt and detergent rinses out during the rinse cycle (in theory). Clothes are clean at a cost of approximately 11 to 25 cents per load.

If dirt is highly positively charged and soap molecules are positively charged, the dirt should be repelled by the soap, not attracted to it. This must be an example of New Age Physics where "energy" means whatever you want it to mean because Quantum Mechanics proves that anything goes. Here is some especially interesting technological information for New Agers who love their crystals:

By manipulating the electric fields associated with hydrogen and oxygen atoms, crystals are formed in the shape of electrical keys. These keys fit into locks and bonds of other compounds to dissolve away dirt much like the action of enzymes in the human digestive system.

These crystal [sic] retain their form in boiling liquids. Ie Crystals, although completely benign to man and the environment, can perform and enhance reactions formerly only possible by chemicals, soaps, and detergents.

So, there you have it. The ABI people even quote Dr. Shui-yin Lo, nuclear physicist, who apparently spends his time working on new and improved ways to do the laundry. Some people might wonder what is in this little ball that can manipulate electrical fields and form little crystals. I wonder if the crystals act as anti-matter and annihilate the dirt, too. If not, where do all the little dirt ball locks go with their crystal keys stuck in them? And do they bond together into one giant dirt ball crystal? [Perhaps these scientists did not want to take their digestive system analogy to its logical conclusion!] And, while the crystals retain their form in boiling liquids, which is useful in case you want to wash your clothes in boiling oil, what happens when you use cold water? Isn't there a fear of cold fusion or a nuclear chain reaction by all the positive synergy created by aligning all those crystals? Anyway, there is an alternative for those who are not impressed by the science and technological gobbledygook. The alternative focuses on how you can save the world by giving up detergent.

The Laundry Solution is also a laundry ball and it too costs a mere $75.

At a retail cost of only $75.00 each, one Laundry Solution globe will replace at least $300.00 worth of chemical detergent products for a total saving of roughly $225.00.

One "globe" will do 1,500 washes. That's $.05 a load, the same as the ABI Laundry Ball. So now I don't know which one to buy! Who can I call? Don't call anyone. Just read how you can save the world by buying the Laundry Solution:

The net savings for 100 million American households would be more than 22 BILLION dollars. These figures are based on actual statistics. However, they are only hypothetical numbers if each one of us, individually and as a group, do not share the responsibility for the future survival of our race by preventing the continuing pollution of our water with poisonous chemical detergents. Each one of us can use The Laundry Solution in our own homes. Each one of us can sell The Laundry Solution to our friends and neighbors. Together, we have the power to ensure that The Laundry Solution gets into every single washing machine in America - one at a time. In actual fact, we have the power to change the crse [sic] of history - a future history that can be healthy and prosperous for everyone.

So, forget about dirt being positively charged. Forget about how much money you will save. And remember how you will be saving the planet by buying a laundry globe and getting a few neighbors to buy one and sell a few themselves, etc., until in a few months we have the entire planet using laundry globes instead of those awful "chemicals."

In a brochure for the Laundry Solution, the reader is told that "The Laundry Solution" 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.

Another sales pitch for a similar device says that the water molecules disassociate because of "far infrared electromagnetic waves" [i.e., heat]. So, is it the altered size of the water molecules, the charges emitted by the magic ball, the crystals formed by manipulated electrical fields, or something else yet undiscovered by these laundry scientists that is performing this miracle? It is hard to figure out the truth given all this New Age scientific-sounding gobbledygook.

But wait. Why not go all the way? Why use anything at all to clean our clothes? Why use laundry balls or globes? Why not just use plain water? Better yet, why not use air? Air is full of negative charges and should do a fine job of sucking out the positively charged dirt balls. Better yet, why not buy only negatively charged clothes? The dirt will be repelled to begin with and we won't have to wash our clothes any more.

But what about the dishes? Isn't there a ball or globe that can do away with dishwasher detergent, too? No, sorry, there is no ball or globe for your dishwasher. Because of the special nature of dishwashers as opposed to washing machines, the former must use a disk. But you better hurry. Supplies are limited and they are going fast. Rhonda & Pete at LifeInfo claim they've sold 5 million of their Dishwasher Disks in the past 8 weeks. At that rate they will have the planet covered in only 153 years. In an e-mail spam ad received recently, the world was told that this disk

works on "Quantum Mechanics" (Physics), not chemistry. With a method called 'Structured Water Technology" The Laundry CD(tm) activates your laundry water naturally through this proprietary process which structures water to mimic the cleaning effect of detergent - without detergents or chemical agents.

You can e-mail them for more info at WorldCD@leipro23.com or LifeInfo@answerme.com?subject=CD

Of course, you can also get a disk for your washing machine. We're told the disk will last for 8 years and do 2,500 washes. These people must be very clean.

Anyway, the next time I see someone wearing a crystal I'm going to look closely for dirt. If I see dirt being repelled my way, I may convert to some New Age religion where all the grass is green and the water is pure and no one buys laundry detergent or dishwasher soap from Amway.

further reading

Consumer Reports, February 1995.

┬ęcopyright 2000
Robert Todd Carroll

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Last updated 07/06/01

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