Shamwow Claim Check

The ShamWow, a hyped-up cloth, promises to wow you with its ability to clean spills. Consumer Reports puts it to the test.

"It's like a shammy, it's a towel, it's like a sponge."

The infomercial makes lots of promises. Consumer Reports wanted to put it to the test.

The first dilemma-which claim to test.

The infomercial says, "ShamWow holds 20 times its weight in liquid."

That's what the infomercial used to say, but not anymore.

"ShamWow holds 12 times its weight in liquid."

Not so fast!

The latest infomercial says, "The ShamWow holds ten times its weight in liquid."

So which is it?

Before the claim changes again, tester Bob Karpel discovered that it did hold ten times it's weight. He found this by dunking the ShamWow in cola, and in water. Then he weighed them, and did the math.

Consumer Reports also ran 14 cent sponges through the same tests. And just like the ShamWow, they held about ten times their weight.

And testers found the ShamWow doesn't mop up spills as well as its infomercial shows.

Wiping up water left lots of tiny droplets, too.

And then there's the price. An order of eight ShamWows adds up to about $28 with shipping and handling.

Consumer Reports says you may not want to swear off paper towels and sponges just yet.

The ShamWow claims to last ten years and is machine washable.

Contrary to what the infomercial suggests, sponges can be washed, too.

And while they won't last 10 years, they do cost a lot less.


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