More on the Magnetic Laundry Scam

By | January 4, 2009

A representative of Life Miracle, the manufacturer of the Magnetic Laundry System about which I wrote several days ago, responded to my article here.  Here is my response:

I just want to comment here, as I represent the manufacturer of this product. I COMPLETELY disagree with Jonathan’s assessment of the product itself,

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the manufacturer of the product disagrees with my statement that it is useless.

There are three possible scenarios here:

  1. The product works.
  2. The product doesn’t work and yet Judy actually believes that it does.
  3. The product doesn’t work, Judy knows it doesn’t work, and yet she is still trying to convince people that it works.

Everything written on Life Miracle’s Web site, and everything Judy has written on behalf of Life Miracle in email to me and in the comment above, would be the same regardless of which of these scenarios is true.

The only thing missing is the one thing which Life Miracle could publish only if the product actually works: the results of rigorous laboratory tests showing that clothes washed with the magnets end up cleaner than clothes washed in nothing but water.

Here’s the fascinating thing: Life Miracle had an outside laboratory do such tests over ten years ago. The laboratory washed identically stained clothes without detergent, both with and without the Magnetic Laundry System, and then measured how much cleaner they were. On Life Miracle’s Web site, it has published the results of the laundry run with the magnets, but the results of the laundry run in which only water was used are omitted. The only conceivable explanation for why Life Miracle would fail to publish these results is because they show that water alone gets clothes just as clean as water plus magnets.

If that’s not, in fact, what is shown by the unreleased results, then I encourage Life Miracle to publish these results and let everyone see the independent laboratory confirmation that magnets clean clothes better than water alone.

Washing clothes with less detergent is a good idea. In some cases, even washing clothes with no detergent is a good idea. But people don’t need this product to use less or no detergent. All they need is the knowledge that they don’t need to use as much detergent to get their clothes clean.

Here are some additional questions that people might consider when evaluating whether this product actually does anything:

  1. Consumers buy over $3 billion worth of laundry-detergent products per year. The Magnetic Laundry System has been on the market for eight years, and the manufacturer claims that it makes most of those billions of dollars worth of detergent obsolete. Nevertheless, its sales even today are miniscule. Is that plausible if it really works?
  2. Over eleven years after the first patent behind this product was filed, there isn’t a single washing-machine manufacturer in the entire world selling a machine which uses this technology to clean clothes. Is that plausible if it really works?

the vast majority of our customers would disagree with him as well.

The vast majority of Bernie Madoff’s clients thought he was the cat’s meow.

The vast majority of patients treated with leeches and suction cups in the middle ages thought the treatments were effective.

The vast majority of people who bought the tonics sold by con men on the American frontier believed they had curative powers.

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. It doesn’t matter how many people have been hoodwinked if there is no objective scientific evidence that the product works.

Not to mention the fact that we have no way of knowing how many customers have purchased the product or how many of them are satisfied with it, since Life Miracle has not published those statistics and I assume they have no intention of doing so.

This is the first time in eight years a customer has so virulently attacked this amazing product.

I guess you’ve been pretty lucky, then.

http://web.archive.org/web/19990428054924/www.optc.com/~btoback/laundrystuff.html
http://www.mother-ease.com/wwwboard/messages/Default.asp/sub/show/action/posts/fid/1/tid/11086
http://www.post1.net/lowem/entry/balls_to_you_too
http://www.rathinker.co.kr/skeptic/refuge/laundry.html
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/944/do-laundry-balls-really-work
http://weeklywire.com/ww/12-08-97/nash_ol-helter_shelter-original.html
http://www.choice.com.au/viewArticle.aspx?id=105458&catId=100285&tid=100008
http://www.chem1.com/CQ/magscams.html#MLA
http://sniggle.net/Laundry/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laundry_ball
http://perchance-to-dream.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!831B7AF66C9D1F6C!137.entry
http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc.html?gpp=41&pst=1155172
http://rc.bipc.org/fanni/maghale/5-Int’l.%20Studies/FDA%20Report%20on%20Pseduscience%20Technologies.pdf
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070719191503AA9DQyK
http://www.skepticfriends.org/forum/showquestion.asp?faq=2&fldAuto=25
http://www.keytlaw.com/FTC/Cases/071.htm
http://www.jonstarbuck.co.uk/archives/121
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026852.700-water-washes-whitish.html

(That’s not even a complete list.) Some of these deal specifically with the Life Miracle Magnetic Laundry System and other magnetic laundry products, some of them deal specifically with the classic TradeNet “laundry balls” scam and products like them, and some of them deal with both. All are relevant, because Life Miracle is using exactly the same strategies for marketing its product as all the other laundry scams have used in the past (claims to revolutionary technology, reliance on anecdotal evidence, environmentalist appeal, etc.), and like the perpetrators of all those other scams, Life Miracle has offered no objective evidence that its product works.

We are a very small company, and our sincere goal is to do as much good to help people and the environment as we possibly can.

Unless you are a non-profit, your sincere goal is to make money.

If you don’t like our product, fine. But please don’t make personal attacks on our character and make terrible assumptions about our intentions. That is just wrong.

It is laughable that you accuse me of making personal attacks, when it was you who made this personal in your private emails to me. You appealed to things that you and I supposedly have in common, things which are completely irrelevant to the question of whether your product works, in an effort to garner sympathy. Then, when it became clear that it was not going to work, you got nasty and suggested that I must have been paid off by a laundry detergent company to post my blog entry about your product.

As I told you in email, Judy, I do not believe in posting people’s private email without their permission. But that rule goes out the window when they make false accusations against me which their private emails disprove or say things in public which contradict things they said to me in private. Continue down this path, and you will find your emails to me published on this blog for all to see, and I assure you, it won’t be pretty. Please consider this fair warning.

It is difficult not to make “terrible assumptions about [your] intentions” after examining the scientifically absurd claims you make about your product; noting your failure to provide any objective scientific evidence that it works; noting your hiding of objective scientific evidence in your possession related to the question of whether it works; and noting that when asked for objective evidence that it works, you start talking about the toxic chemicals in laundry detergents, which, true or not, is completely irrelevant to the question of whether your product actually cleans clothes.

I do not know Jonathan’s motivation to spend such an enormous amount of effort and time to attack a product and a company that is doing our very best to do a little good in the world,

You have no idea how much “effort and time” I have spent on this, nor do you have any idea how much time I would consider “enormous.” I’d venture to say that I’ve spent less time on this than you have.

Having said that, my motivation is that I believe you are ripping people off, and I don’t believe in standing by idly and watching people get ripped off. And it is more than my own personal belief — it is in fact a religious obligation handed down by the Jewish Sages, based on Leviticus 19:16, “You shall not stand idly by the blood of your brother.”

What is within our control is how we treat our customers. We have a number of companies who buy the product from us and retail to the consumer. Jonathan purchased the product through one of our distributors. I cannot confirm the information posted above, but I will nevertheless take his word for it.

If you really wanted to “confirm the information posted above,” you could have asked me, and I could have provided you with copies of the on-line receipt for my order from Powerful Life, my credit-card statements showing when they charged me for shipping the product and for the product itself, the shipping label showing when they actually shipped it, and the USPS delivery confirmation record showing when it arrived at my house.

It seems to me that you would have asked for this proof if (a) you were really unaware of how this distributor was treating customers and (b) you really cared about it.

I am also taking steps to communicate to this distributor so it never happens to another customer. If it does, their ability to sell our product will be jeopardized. Period. Our customers deserve our complete honor and respect.

“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” (Casablanca)

Powerful Life is cheating people.

I cannot imagine that you are so naive as to believe that a stern talking-to is going to convince them to stop. Companies that cheat people, keep cheating people… that’s what they do.

Just as the only way you can prove that your product actually works is to provide objective evidence that it cleans better than water alone, the only way you can prove that you actually care how your customers are treated is to sever your relationship with any distributor which is found to be cheating people.

Until Powerful Life is no longer distributing your products, you will remain complicit in their unscrupulous practices.

It is also worth noting that what you wrote above is different than what you told me in private email about how you are handling this issue. When you tell two different stories about how you’re handling the same problem, it is difficult to believe that either is true.

I have apologized to him directly for his alleged experience,

My “alleged” experience? I thought you said you were taking my word for it? Are you taking my word for it, or not? Would you like me to send you all of the proof listed above?

and have offered him a full and complete refund (including shipping costs) from us if he does not receive satisfaction from the reseller. We will do this even though we did not sell it to him or collect the money for this order. According to his written account, Jonathan deserves, and will receive, a full refund. Though it represents a total loss to us, we believe it is absolutely the right thing to do, and the right thing for Jonathan.

I appreciate that, and I assure you that I will take you up on it if the reseller fails to refund all of my money to me.

Perhaps you are sincere in your desire to do the right thing. Perhaps you are, truly, doing this to protect the fine, well-deserved reputation of your company. I would like to believe this.

However, I’m sorry to say that there is another possible explanation. If everyone who complains about your product gets all their money back, then who’s going to be the lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit alleging that you defrauded your customers by selling them a product that doesn’t actually do anything?

This product is NOT, in any way shape or form, a “scam”. It is a product that was awarded two patents from the U.S. Patent Office

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Object does not confirm that the inventions described in patent applications actually work, but rather that they could work if the claims made in the application are accurate. The fact that Marc Smulovitz managed to obtain two patents for his invention (#6,012,308 and #6,612,137, for those who want to read for themselves) indicates only that no one tried before him to patent the idea of using magnets to clean laundry; it has absolutely no bearing on the question of whether magnets actually can clean laundry.

Although magnetically influencing water is a concept somewhat “out of the mainstream” (our patents were some of the first in the field) there has been scientific precedence to support the theory. Although it is fair to challenge theories that are new, different and out of the mainstream, it is exceedingly unfair to call them a “scam”.

No one has denied that magnets can “influence water;” that is a red herring.

Rather, the questions at hand are (a) do wimpy magnets like the ones you sell “influence water” in any significant way, and (b) does whatever “influence” they have on the water actually have any impact on the water’s ability to clean clothes?

Coming full circle: As I noted above, there is a trivially easy experiment you could pay an independent laboratory to do which would prove that the answers to both of those questions is “yes.” The fact that you have not had any laboratory perform that experiment, or indeed the fact that it appears that you did have a laboratory perform that experiment and then concealed the results, suggests that you are fully aware of what the results would be, and that they wouldn’t exactly help to sell your product.

If you prove me wrong, then I will gladly publicly apologize for disputing the efficacy of your product and remove the critical article from my blog.

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56 thoughts on “More on the Magnetic Laundry Scam

  1. Prof S

    jlk, jlk, JLK!!! Thank you so much for this blog post — and you ARE hysterically funny — my problem is NOT!! I just received my “magic blue balls” in the mail today. (Ugh, gross; I fell for that??) I honestly think I ordered them online at the vulnerable hour of 4 a.m. (after being entranced by those two women talking waaay too much). Anyway — I have *no idea* how long ago I bought them — and I have a very good memory. You have argued clearly and convincingly that they are useless. As others have mentioned above, they come with no invoice, contact info, phone number — nothing. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO RETURN THEM???

    Reply
  2. Herbert Eales

    I work in the restaurant business, I like them to try them on our clothing before I buy them. Getting out grease, blood, and different sauces is a pain. I really haven’t found anything that works 100%

    Reply
    1. b2curious

      Herbert, I don’t think that there is one product that will work on everything. I’m not a chef, just a klutzy mom with two messy girls. Even with my suggestions below, a second, or even third washing may be required for particularly stubborn or set in (from previous washing and drying) stains. Check to see if the stain is out before drying. Putting stained items in the dryer can set the stain, making it harder to get out. If it needs rewashed to get a stain out, do not let it dry before washing again.

      For blood stains, especially ones that are set in, soaking overnight in peroxide can work wonders. Test for color fastness, as peroxide can fade or even bleach some fabrics. Follow with a stain pre-treatment (I like Shout).

      For most other stains, soaking overnight in the following solution works well – start with the warmest water safe for the garment, add both OxyClean (or generic equivalent) along with a good degreasing dish soap. I’m partial to Dawn concentrated, the concentrated version of the original blue stuff. Adding dish soap seems to me to help on tough stains, even when grease or oil is not involved.

      For just plain greasy stains, add the dish soap straight to the stain.

      Reply
  3. Wendy

    The only thing missing at the bottom of your post is a MIC DROP gif

    You completely wrecked these scammers and I, for one, completely enjoyed it! I’ve bookmarked this page for future reference the next time I see someone post about these wonderful [insert eye roll here] laundry magnets.

    Reply
  4. Brandon G

    Love it. I received these magnets as a gift, and I had the same line of thinking as the author here. Glad that someone else ran the test for me. I figure, “Hey, I just got a couple of cool rubber-coated magnets to play with!” I’m not going to wash clothes with them, but it’ll still be fun. I can’t believe more people don’t stop and ask the basic questions first. It’s too bad that they tend to get a little offended and defensive when I do. I can’t believe that a company can get away with this. Thanks for bringing this to light and running it through the B.S. test for us.

    For anyone that is confused or angry because they use the magnets and they “work,” you’re probably just better off using them and ignoring these sort of pages. More power to you. There is much more factual evidence provided by this author than by the manufacturer of these magnets. By the way, if you have any physicist or engineering friends, just hand the box to them and watch their face. I’m sure you’ll see the B.S. meter light up instantly in their eyes. Trust the guys who do this for a living and actually understand physics, chemistry, scientific method, etc. This product stinks like a rat.

    Reply
  5. Nancy Cole

    Don’t have to read all comments, have one of my own. Yes, water alone does get clothes clean, and all the suds and all the commercial detergents do pollute the earth, cause problems with our machines etc by clogging and wearing them out sooner, and we help line the pockets of those who manufacture and push on people who are not learned about life in many ways. Big mouth Nancy is at it again. I make my own cleaning products, and it does help the earth not pollute…why does Amazon keep helping scam artists? I am getting a letter off to them and will be posting my feelings about some of their products they have for sale on their site. I use A. for a lot , but we humans do not need to line to pockets of some of these scam artists…Starting here, I doubt till I prove. Just Sayin’….

    Reply
    1. Debby

      Thumbs up….I use 1/2 c baking soda in a load, and any a tbs of Castile soap. Works 100%. No dryer sheets, a little vinegar.

      Reply
  6. Linda Canham

    I am sending back the magnets mailed September 28th 2015. No packing slip was in the bedraggled priority mail envelope. If I got a warrantee card, I don’t have one now. I tried the magnets and my clothes seemed clean. My problem is the washing machine “walked” from poor balance (shifting weight of the magnets). I had a full load and the machine was brand new. it stopped before completion of the wash cycle. I dared not continue for if I had actually broken the machine (shared) I would be in a big problem. Luckily I still had the mailing envelope witch shows the date sent (and shows me within the warranty period) and my name and address, and the original USPS tracking #. The cost is significant enough that I do hope to receive a refund, Linda Canham

    Reply
  7. Michael

    I am a Appliance technician and I would think if these magnetic doo dads worked the appliance manufacturers would have designed a washer with this option. They haven’t so that tells you something there. Also 80% of people use to much detergent in their washers. I use half of what they recommend. My clothes clean the same as the recommended amount. On the newer style front load washers you are recommended to use HE detergent. Tide brand tells you to use 1/3 more than you should on their instruction’s. Failure to use the proper amount of HE detergent on the front load washers will prematurely wear out items on the washer creating costly repairs down the road. I thought I would share this info.

    Reply
  8. Larry

    Hi Jonathan, thank you for this blog. I almost considered going for it after seeing a Facebook ad but had a bad feeling about it. My one point of confusion is how it got so many 4 and 5 star reviews from verified purchasers on Amazon. Any thoughts on the matter?

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      (1) People are stupid; (2) people don’t like to admit that they’ve been conned; and (3) many reviews on Amazon are fraudulent.

      People are stupid, so they don’t realize that washing clothes in plain water is, by itself, pretty good at getting them clean. People are stupid, so they don’t realize that the “enzymatic stain removers” that the Magnetic Laundry System people tell you to use on stains are, actually, detergents, which means that when you spray those on stains in your laundry, you’re putting detergent in your laundry, not washing it with nothing but magnets. People are stupid, so they don’t understand that “enzymatic stain removers” plus water would clean their clothes just as well as “enzymatic stain removers” plus water plus magnets.

      People want to believe that the magnets they just spent money on are the real deal, because the alternative to that is admitting that they did something stupid and got ripped off. People don’t like doing that, so they unconsciously rationalize and filter to avoid having to do so. Scammers know this, and they are adept at using it to get people to buy their products.

      Finally, even “verified purchaser” reviews on Amazon can be faked. It’s harder, but not impossible. There’s no reason why the people peddling these products can’t “buy” them themselves and then post verified purchaser reviews, or pay someone else to do so.

      Reply
      1. Cathy

        I bought two sets of these magnets from Water Liberty (buying 2 at a discount was an option, and I do laundry at a laundromat). Other than the fact that I’ve felt a reduction in itchy skin I’ve noticed no significant difference between using the magnets and using detergent. If that is also achieved with just plain water, then I’ll admit I’ve been had. Money wall spent for the lesson, I guess. The homemade detergent made with Naphtha soap, laundry soda and 20 Mule Team Borax that I read about elsewhere on this blog sounds worthwhile. Maybe I’ll use the magnets to improve the agitation in the wash. Laundry detergent is pretty expensive.

        Reply
        1. jik Post author

          The magnets will not significantly improve the agitation in the wash. The only way to do that is not to overload the washer, and also frankly to use a front-loading washer rather than a top-loading washer, since the front-loaders achieve far better agitation with less water and less detergent.

          While they won’t improve the agitation in the wash, what the magnets could do is actually damage your washer, especially if you’re using a front-loader. Since they are dense and heavy, they make it harder for the washer to balance itself properly during the spin cycles. This adds increased wear to the washer’s moving parts and will cause the washer to need repairs more often.

          Also, when the washer fails to balance itself properly during the spin cycles, there is more water left in the clothes at the end of the wash, which means it costs more to dry them.

          Reply
          1. Stephanie Blum

            Since using these magnets actually ends up doing damage to the washing machine…it makes me wonder if a machine manufacturer didn’t aid in this scam in order to boost repair sales!?

            Reply
  9. Karen P.

    I haven’t tried these but I am extremely chemically sensitive. I cannot be around anyone who uses laundry detergent or dryer sheets. They make me very sick. People are killing themselves with all these toxic products. I use vinegar to clean and organic detergent.

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      There is no credible evidence that the chemicals in mainstream laundry detergents and dryer sheets are harmful to the health of individuals who do not have chemical sensitivities.

      Reply
    2. Stephanie Blum

      Also…what about the people who have magnetic allergic reactions? I myself had never heard of this but one time my mother used this magnetic “sheet” under the mattress pad that was advertised to help with body aches and my Nana woke the next morning covered in hives!

      Reply
  10. Pea Green

    Hi there, I just received an email from a friend about these magnets and the first thing that happened was that my BS radar went through the roof. I went straight to Google and found you straight away. Thank you very much for the article and follow-up on the magnets. I fear I have just burst my friend’s balloon by sending your findings on to her. I love your logic about manufacturers – makes perfect sense that they would have stuck magnets in machines decades ago if they worked. I only ever use half (or less) of the recommended detergent, I give an extra rinse and I use vinegar in that rinse. My clothes are always clean and last for years. I also, like one lady in another post, use Dawn or similar to treat spots and stains. Thanks again 🙂

    Reply
    1. Pea Green

      Note to self . . . When one means to say “burst my friend’s bubble” . . . . perhaps one should not put “balloon”. How embarrassing. However, if it gave somebody a laugh, then it’s all good ^_^

      Reply
    2. Evelyn

      As a chemistry illiterate, I did fall for the ads (particularly as the ‘system’ is also sold on Amazon and has several good reviews there – but that actually doesn’t mean anything as Amazon does not represent itself as a moral compass and I should have remembered my unsuccessful attempts to get the company to remove a disgusting ‘Christian’ book that advocates whipping offspring, even babies).

      I read in several places that customers had problems with returning the product, but that seems to vary according to the affiliate from whom the purchase was made. i had responded to an ad by a man named Kacper of Kacper Postawski Companies. When I submitted a request to return the product I received an e-mail response two or three hours later from ‘Water Liberty’ with instructions on how to return it. When I didn’t mail it for a few days, a company representative phoned me from British Columbia to check on the situation. I thought it only fair to let people know this.

      Reply
    3. Stephanie Blum

      Also baking soda used too works extremely well to get clothes EXTRA clean…especially when added to the white load!

      Reply
  11. J Davidson

    Tried these magnetic things and they did not do as promised. Put in some dirty work clothes and they did not come out the way they were before they got soiled. This product does not work as they say.

    Reply
  12. Ken

    I am laughing…….I have never tried the magic magnetic detergent balls. But I have to say, this is a really entertaining page of comments!

    On a side note, I have washed my very-allergic dog with only water only, and it works well….the soap allergies are gone, and comes out pretty clean.

    (Now, he does have a magnetic personality).

    All right, I will leave now…..with a joke:

    Q: What did the male magnet say to the female magnet? A: From your backside, I thought you were repulsive.

    Reply
      1. Rose Merkosky

        I have a Meile washer and Dryer front loads and can only use Purcell boxed soap and have no problems coming clean and always wash with cold water,never hot and they come out clean!!So Iwill stick with my Purcell soap and only need a 1/2 oz of soap!!no magnets for me!!I do like the nana towels to clean glass computer and I pad screens and windows,fire place glass ,microwave glass door and my glasses I wear love those towels!!

        Reply
  13. Diane

    [Here’s the fascinating thing: Life Miracle had an outside laboratory do such tests over ten years ago. The laboratory washed identically stained clothes without detergent, both with and without the Magnetic Laundry System, and then measured how much cleaner they were. ]
    [Washing clothes with less detergent is a good idea. In some cases, even washing clothes with no detergent is a good idea. ]

    I’m curious. Do you have similarly scathing article on using laundry detergent? It seems to me that laundry detergents are the bigger scam.

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      Responding to:

      “It seems to me that laundry detergents are the bigger scam.”

      No, they’re not.

      Reply
  14. Dionne

    Thank you so much for sharing this exchange, Jonathan. You have saved me a LOT of time by addressing all of this and sharing the outcome here. I agree with your assessment of the situation and wish to add my voice to those asking that the FULL findings of the laboratory tests be disclosed: Did the magnets clean any differently than just water? If so, why were the water-only test results omitted?

    One thing I will add, Jonathan, is that the power of the petrochem manufacturer’s and their ownership of the appliance manufacturing companies could, in fact, keep a working technology such as this out of the marketplace. The allure of the millions they make selling us petroleum-derived detergents is too much.

    Again, thank you!

    Reply
    1. Larry

      Dionne makes a great and potentially valid point. I ponder your same points/concerns as well.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Agreed. Though I fully appreciate and agree with the accusations, observations, and demands here, I do agree that any good technology can brushed into oblivion by the rich powers-that-be. Electric cars is a great example. Even if using a detergent is needed at times, I’m certain that there are less caustic formulas and cheaper methods than those that most of us buy. That understanding does not mean that magnets is one of those cases. Thanks to this article, I now understand that they most likely do not work. Thanks.

      Reply
    3. Stephanie Blum

      If this technology actually would work one of the larger detergent manufacturers would have bought out this company and the patents long ago and would have “shelfed” them so that no one could purchase them and ruin laundry detergent sales! My “scam radar” went wild when I saw this video advertised on Facebook and I immediately went looking for information about the product! I am glad someone took the time to investigate this so called product and hope the final thing that is “done” is that this company is reported to the Better Business Bureau!!

      Reply
  15. JACK H.

    Your article was most helpful to me.
    A seller of various commercial items was touting the magnetic balls for washing clothes. Being skeptical I proceeded to research the internet for serious criticism and found your excellent article that dispelled the hype and left me grateful to you.
    Thanks.
    Jack

    Reply
  16. Dr. Kal

    The cavalier dismissal without exploring the science or actually testing the reality of this technology is cowardly and serves no one. The reality of magnetic influence on water to reduce its surface tension is indisputable and has long been known by science. The reality is that magnets may be effective this way if they are properly constructed to produce fields that span the water.

    There are going to be some substances that may not be removed by such water as those substances requires specific solvents or enzyme actions to break them down or dislodge them. This is hardly proof that these do not work. Those who use fabric softeners will certainly have inferior results because those products by nature bond to and affect the behavoir of the fibers of the clothing. Those people will also have those chemicals in their brains and the brains of their children and ought to reconsider using them.

    Various products have appeared over the years with varying efficacy, not because the science is bad, but because the design is flawed or because quality control of the manufacturing is insufficient.

    Many people are so afraid of being duped that they dupe themselves by resisting anything that is not mainstream. They fear being made fools of, so they make fools of themselves.

    I doubt in today’s advanced chemical world that one could entirely replace chemical detergents with magnets, but one could certainly greatly reduce the need and probably use none on most loads of laundry unless they are in the habit of using other chemicals in their house that do not come out with low surface tension water.

    I am really a concerned citizen with no stake in any of this except to make a dent where I can in the blind rage of mob mentality whenever there is fear of being duped. We would stop reading websites full of nothing but criticism entirely and we would stop listening to all conventional media if we were really wanting to avoid being duped. I, for one, use websites with blind attacks on anything alternative as solid evidence that what they attack works great! If it did not work, it would not get enough of their attention to attack it!

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      The cavalier dismissal without exploring the science or actually testing the reality of this technology is cowardly and serves no one.

      *snort*

      Perhaps you missed the part where I actually “tested the reality” of the Magnetic Laundry System and proved that it doesn’t clean clothes any better than plain water.

      Perhaps you missed the part where the manufacturers of the Magnetic Laundry System paid an independent laboratory to test the effectiveness of their product and then refused to release the full results of that testing, the results which would have actually proven whether their product cleans clothes any better than plain water.

      Perhaps you missed the part where there isn’t a single reputable, controlled study published anywhere in the world that proves that magnets can clean clothes.

      Perhaps you missed the part where there isn’t a single manufacturer of washing machines that has integrated magnetic technology into their product. It is obviously and clearly patently absurd to any rational human being that at least one of the washing machine manufacturers wouldn’t be using this technology to sell their products if it actually worked.

      Perhaps you missed the part where many highly educated, knowledgeable scientists with training in this area — you know, instead of crackpot herbalists like you — have debunked the idea that throwing a couple of magnets into a washing machine will get the clothes cleaner.

      The reality of magnetic influence on water to reduce its surface tension is indisputable and has long been known by science.

      Now you’re just quoting from the propaganda that the manufacturers of these scam products publish. If you’re going to do that, at least change the words a bit so it isn’t so damn obvious.

      The reality is that magnets may be effective this way if they are properly constructed to produce fields that span the water.

      No, this is not the reality. This is bullshit with zero science to back it up.

      No one denies that magnetism can affect water. On the other hand, as the many pages which debunk this scam explain, the power of the magnetic field required to affect water in any meaningful way is orders of magnitude more than what you get when you throw a couple magnets into your washing machine.

      Many people are so afraid of being duped that they dupe themselves by resisting anything that is not mainstream. They fear being made fools of, so they make fools of themselves.

      *snort* again.

      I don’t resist “anything that is not mainstream.” I resist fake-science scams and bullshit.

      I am really a concerned citizen with no stake in any of this…

      Except, of course, that everything you do to make money in your life is predicated on convincing people that “mainstream” is bad and “alternative” is good, so convincing people that the people debunking crackpot science are all part of the mainstream conspiracy helps you sell more of your own products.

      I, for one, use websites with blind attacks on anything alternative as solid evidence that what they attack works great!

      See, what’d I tell you?

      If it did not work, it would not get enough of their attention to attack it!

      Right, because no one could possibly be motivated to spend the time debunking crackpot science out of a desire to elevate the general level of scientific education in the world and help prevent people from wasting their money on products that don’t work.

      In short… You’re a moron.

      Reply
  17. Alana

    Thank you for your posting.I did not purchase these products because of folks such as yourself showing the truth.Are these not the same or similar products that James Randi proved only contained blue food dyed water and weak magnets not strong enough to change water polarity or some such thing?Companies that rip people off get away with FAR too much in the US,and far too much meaning “anything at all that rips ppl off, this company,telemarketer scams,infomercial products,all of it. Sickening! Appreciate what you do and wrote here.Thank you. From Alana

    Reply
  18. LAUREN

    I just read your site and feel equally duped…I ordered the magnets but have not received anything yet, nor have I been able to find any response from the company for about 10 days. This failure to respond got me concerned and I began to look into the company. I only found your site so far. Wow, fooled again hoping to reach beyond the norm.

    Reply
  19. Danysha

    FYI… I havent tried these magnetic balls yet, but, it’s extremely difficult for me to accept “naysayer” credibility when the naysayers website is sponsored by traditional laundry detergent companies. NEXT.

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      As I’ve already explained here the ads on my blog are selected by Google AdSense based on the keywords in my blog postings, and I have no control over the ad selection. It is entirely unsurprising that AdSense would automatically display laundry detergent ads on a blog posting about laundry detergent.

      I’ve made a whopping grand total of $331.45 from Google in the ~5 years since I started showing ads on my blog, across the entire blog, not just the Magnetic Laundry System postings. If you think I made up the entire thing just to attract clicks to my blog and earn a few pennies from Google, well, you’re welcome to believe that, but it’s not true.

      Reply
  20. Susan

    Update: My credit card company just credited me the cost of the laundry magnets including shipping which I was told not to expect. They needed proof of my mailing the laundry magnets back, so without an address to send them back to (Detergent Truth refused to give me an address or an RA# because it was past 60 days, but a scam is a scam). So I sent them to the address on the warranty card. Thanks Jonathon for the info on this site. I cited it when I described the scam to my credit card company. Too bad this company refuses to return calls or emails.

    Reply
  21. Susan

    I am trying to return the laundry magnets now. I, too, have had no return calls to the two I left and am now communicating by email. If any of you know the address of DetergentTruth.com, I can send them back without an RA# and use the proof of postage sent to let me credit card deal with it.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Susan

      I’m just reporting back that Detergent Truth would not give me their address or an RA# for a return. (It was past their whatever number of days return policy, but a scam is a scam). My bank credit card company was happy to deal with them. I wrote up my description of how they were not scientifically proven and used this website as a reference. Thanks Jonathon.

      They needed proof of my mailing the laundry magnets back. I used the address on the warranty card that came with them which wasn’t the right address probably, but I needed something. If you are in the same situation, mail them back to the warranty address or mail them to anyone so you can get your proof of mailing. My credit card company just credited the cost of the laundry magnets including shipping back to me.

      Reply
  22. ADL

    Jim Zimmerman, of Life Miracle at lifenatural.com did contact me personally with detaills needed to return Laundry Magnets. So Life Miracle seems for now to be good on at least there guarantee. Got to admit, after 6 calls and as many emails, I was getting a little scared. Jim seems to be a stand up guy though.

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      One of the hallmarks of scam artists is that they are always friendly, personable, and accommodating in person. Deeply ingrained in most people’s psyches is the subconscious belief that people who “seem nice” are more trustworthy. Scam artists capitalize on this belief to make it easier to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

      Another important characteristic of scam artists is, of course, their ability to lie convincingly.

      In short, whether Jim Zimmerman seems like a “stand up guy” has no relevance whatsoever to the question of whether the Magnetic Laundry System is a scam. It is.

      Reply
  23. ADL

    I don’t want to attack the magnetic laundry system, I just want to return the product. I have been trying to find out how to properly do that. I called 2 times 3 weeks ago and just recently left 4 telephone messages and no one has returned my calls in 2 days.

    I need to know how to properly return this? There is a P.O. address on the package it came in, but always like to make contact with the company before sending it in the mail. Many times there is a different address in which to return it, often a RMA #.

    Please instruct anyone who knows, it is about 60 days, guarantee time.

    Reply
  24. Nathan

    I appreciate your comments. I also very much appreciate you taking the time to perform some experiments. The only thing negative I could say is that I do think you are overstating your feelings in some cases and letting that sorta get in the way of your research (which is pretty awesome). But all that being said, it IS your site and you can do that.

    As a reader of other sites, I have a responsibility to research what I read on your site on my own. There are cases where someone has some weird motive (it could be totally unrelated to the product).

    Anyways… People will agree and disagree. Some will believe things that are not true, and some will never believe something that is true. Some will try to prove things just like you are doing. However, actually having a controlled test is very meaningful and I applaud your efforts.

    I think you are making more a difference to the environment than the magnets ever will. I actually think I will use less laundry detergent next time I do my laundry. I appreciate that advice a lot. I also enjoy your blog. It was good reading.

    Apparently, magnets also cure headaches, they improve gas mileage, I am trying to think of some others. They probably clean or water. I have heard stuff like you can get power from them (to charge stuff, maybe actually be true). Anyways… I love magnets… but without doing real tests that have real results… it is all a bunch of … as George Bush would say… fuzzy Math (I never voted for him, by the way).

    = )

    Reply
    1. Laura

      My sister and I inadvertently found out about the “most people use too much soap” thing in a round-about way. We noticed that when we go shopping and buy the exact same clothing item, wear it once, wash it, then wear it again-hers is considerably more faded and beat-up looking than mine, which looks new but a little less crisp. This happened w/quite a few clothing items and always hers became completely worn out within a few months, while I was still wearing mine years later. She finally got frustrated and asked me what I was doing differently, we compared our laundry routines and noted: she was using Gain laundry detergent (1 of the most chemical-filled brands), filling the cup to the suggested line and drying on medium or high heat with a scented conventional dryer sheet. I was using all-natural laundry detergent (coconut-derived surfactants, no dyes no chemical fragrances only real lavender oil), pouring about a tablespoon for small loads and 2-3 for large/super loads (I’d say less than 1/3 of each suggested fill line), putting heavy fabrics through an extra rinse cycle and drying on medium or high heat with free & clear dryer sheets. I took her clothes and put them in the washer with just water, no soap-it bubbled considerably and smelled like the laundry soap. After the cycle ended, the colors on the clothes were much brighter. So apparently the colors didn’t run or fade, they were just covered in a soap film which dulled them.

      Also I never use laundry stain pre-treaters either I use just Dawn original formula dish soap (because it’s a concentrated de-greaser) or Dawn mixed with hydrogen peroxide and apply it to the stain then throw it in the hamper to wash later or wash immediately. For old stains, give it more time to sit. The peroxide can bleach certain things though, so if you’re unsure about a colored item try making a tiny spot on an inside seam and letting it dry. I use maybe 2 bottles of detergent and a bottle of Dawn each year on my laundry. That’s only about $25 bucks a year on soap, beats that magnet company’s price by a lot. I could see through their silly advertisements immediately though I did fall for the dryer ball craze when it was first sold at Bed Bath and Beyond, but got my money back easily.

      Reply
      1. Jeanie

        I fell for the dryer balls; I was about to buy the magnets but I’m glad I did further research.
        I can not handle the dyes and perfumes in detergents so, I use ECOS from Earth Friendly Products, Addison, IL 60101 1.630.595.1900; call from 9-3 CT/ M-F. efpclean.com and ecos.com sold at Walmart. The other one I buy is homesolv from citrasolv, Danbury, CT 06813-2597 1.800.343.6588; http://www.citrasolv.com. I also use vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda detergents such as Arm and Hammer. I react terribly to chemicals; anytime I come in contact with them I can taste them for anywhere between 1/2 a day to 2 days and I don’t wash with them because I itch so much. I urge everyone not to buy the magnets until they have actual evidence confirming their results. In the mean time try searching for detergents derived from plants.

        Reply
      2. Carolyn

        Dryer balls, (if they are the blue with spikes, type) are nothing more than a rubber ball that bounces around in your clothes. The purpose of the dryer ball is to “beat” the clothes as they dry. This softens them and it DOES work.

        If you don’t want to use “this” type of Dryer Ball, make your own. You need wool and wool yarn. You can find instructions on Pinterest.

        Reply
        1. Traveller

          Tiger…..the shop, sell kids rubber balls with spikes on for about £1 each, or maybe even for two. I use those and they DO work, especially on towels which come out of the dryer soft and fluffy.

          Reply
  25. jik Post author

    I dont [sic] know why I’m taking the time to respond, have you used the magnets?

    I don’t know why I’m taking the time to respond, but have you actually read my blog postings? I ask this, because if you had you would have seen that I did, in fact, “use the magnets,” and I did, in fact, prove through my experiments that clothes washed with the magnets come out no cleaner than clothes washed in plain water.

    I have for a year now and they work great!! I work in a dirty sweaty enviroment [sic] and my close [sic] come out clean as a whistle..

    Have you tried washing your clothes without the magnets, in nothing but water?

    If not, then how can you possibly know that the magnets have anything to do with how clean your clothes get?

    Also, do you use any of the stain pre-treaters that the manufacturer recommends for tough stains? Has it occurred to you that those treatments are in fact concentrated detergent, and that it’s not the magnets that are getting your clothes clean, but rather the detergent?

    Does it occur to you to wonder why there is no research supporting the claim that these magnets do anything to clean clothing? Do you wonder why the manufacturer of the magnets asked an independent laboratory to compare washing clothes with the magnets with washing clothes in plain water, and then didn’t publish the results of the latter half of the experiment?

    Does it occur to you to wonder why, if the fact that magnets can clean clothes has been known for years, there isn’t a single washing machine manufacturer anywhere in the world selling a unit which has built-in magnets to get the clothes clean? Do you think there is a vast global conspiracy funded by the laundry detergent manufacturers?

    You don’t know what your [sic] talking about….

    Right, and you’re obviously an authority on laundry technology.

    Or is it more likely that you’re too dimwitted to understand the proof that I and others have proven that these magnets are a scam? (The four spelling errors in four sentences, one of them a run-on, would seem to support that theory.)

    Or that your ego is too fragile to admit that you were duped, so to protect your self-image you have to delude yourself into thinking that the magnets aren’t a scam?

    Or that you’re an anonymous shill for a company that manufactures or sells these magnets?

    Consider this: Everything I post on the Internet, including this blog, I post under my own name.

    You, on the other hand, are completely anonymous.

    Which of us is it more reasonable to believe?

    Reply
  26. joe

    I dont know why I’m taking the time to respond, have you used the magnets? I have for a year now and they work great!! I work in a dirty sweaty enviroment and my close come out clean as a whistle.. You don’t know what your talking about….

    Reply
    1. Richard Sharp

      I was stupid and bought the magnets. I gave them a fair try. I found that my laundry of work close and causal ware, came out just as clean. Except, for stain removal.

      I sent an email to Kacper Postawski Companies about it and was advised to use White vinegar in the rinse cycle. I did this for several weeks, as I only do my laundry on Saturday. I have found no difference since using White vinegar in the rinse cycle.

      I have been wondering if the results would be the same without the Magnets. I don’t think that the Magnets do anything.

      Similar to cow magnets tied to the gas line in the early 80’s to increase gas mileage. Which it didn’t.

      Richard.

      Reply
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