Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Detergent Balls or laundry balls?? scam?

Laundry balls/disks allegedly eliminate or greatly reduce the need for conventional laundry detergents. You get different stories on how they're supposed to work, including a lot of hokum about "structured water" and "nanotricity" and whatnot, none of which makes much sense. The most coherent account comes from a catalog firm called Real Goods:

1. Metallic elements (including copper and silver) in the activated ceramics [inside the device] release electrons which in turn produce ionized oxygen. This form of oxygen is a totally natural cleanser which breaks up dirt and organic compounds.

Sure, it's possible, says the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board. A metal could produce a peroxide, better known as bleach. But probably not enough to accomplish anything.

2. The activated ceramics also emit "far infrared electromagnetic waves" which cause water molecule clusters to disassociate, allowing much smaller individual water molecules to penetrate into the innermost part of the fabric and remove dirt.

anybody use these? science fiction or fact? will they clean the fur of the yeti?
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