Detergents are not good for the environment and a July 23, 2008 University of Washington study reported 99 percent of detergents contain cancer-causing chemical toxins. Heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, and sodium contaminate water supplies. Phosphates in detergents account for between 20 and 60 per cent of phospherous build-up in waterways causing eutrophication or algae blooms and suffocating streams and lakes. Additives that are not necessary for cleaning clothes but create a blue-white illusion, including perfumes, colorants and optical brighteners, biodegrade poorly and result in allergic reactions, skin and eye irritations. Those containing MBEs have been banned in Canada and Europe.
Advertisements for a detergent replacement using magnets in the washing machine have been appearing on the Internet for several years. There is some question about whether consumers can really replace detergent with magnets that help the water stick to dirt and carry it away or if it is another scam. WMBF News reported in 2009 a test done by Ray Bolger, the assistant director of student activities at John Carroll University, who has to keep clean over 5,000 team uniforms. The uniform washed in detergent looked new. The one washed with laundry magnets Bolger said was "terrible" and "smells like grass."
The website also suggests using the Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Better Business Bureau, as well as Consumer Reports, Epinions website, and Product Safety Recalls for reporting or investigating products.
The disclaimer on the Life Miracles Magnetic Laundry System website says "The claims above may not be representative for every user. They may vary from person to person for a variety of reasons. You may or may not have success using this product. This is why the product is offered with a 100% risk free guarantee. If you receive our product and you determine that the product is not for you for any reason, or does not live up to claims regardless of our substantiation, you are entitled to a full product refund."
The site notes that for a risk-free trial, "unused product must be shipped back to return address within 30 days of reciept [sic] for refund to be valid. Shipping costs are not included in refund." One wonders if you try the product, how it can be returned unused?
Life Miracles Magnetic Laundry System offers 2 magnets for $69.99 or $116.99 for two sets. The company's phone number listed on the website is 888.271.life. The product is distributed by different companies such as Detergent Truth and Powerful Life. On some websites about whether the product is a scam, readers commented that they had problems with getting responses from phone calls and obtaining an address to which they could return the product.
A blog by Jonathan Kamens and then a follow-up tell the conversation between Jonathan and a representative from Life Miracle which manufactures the Magnetic Laundry System. Listed are several website links relative to the topic and reader comments on how they got their money back on their Life Miracles purchases. Credit card companies can return the money including shipping. According to a comment from Susan, without an address to mail the laundry magnets back to, she sent them to the address on the warranty card as her credit card's required proof of having mailed back the laundry magnets and she cited the information on Jonathan's website in describing what she determined a scam to her credit card company.
Watch the video on how to make your own detergent with soap flakes, borax and washing soda (sodium carbonate) and use baking soda in the rinse cycle instead of fabric softener. It is cheaper than commercial detergent and healthier for the family and the environment.