Consumer New Zealand chief executive Sue Chetwin talks to Paul about the three of the biggest products that say they do something when they actually don’t.
Coloured hair shampoos
Twenty-three shampoos for coloured hair were tested to see if any gave longer lasting colour, this included a neutral TRESemme deep cleansing shampoo for all hair types, Johnson’s baby shampoo and water.
And, despite the marketing hype, after 12 washes none of the shampoos designed for coloured hair performed any better than the all-round shampoo or Johnson’s baby shampoo.
Soap nuts and laundry balls for clothes washing
Laundry balls are plastic or rubber, containing mineral pellets that you throw in with the wash. The claim is the mineral pellets change the pH level of the water to soften it, so it’s "better able to remove dirt".
Soap nuts contain a natural surfactant which supposedly lowers the surface tension of water. This lets water penetrate the cloth more easily helping it to remove oil and grease. It’s the shells rather than the nuts that are used as an alternative to laundry detergent.
Both performed poorly: none of them came close to matching good old Persil’s performance. Overall they didn’t do much better than water.
Door to door vacuum cleaners
A $3000+ Envirotect vacuum came bottom in a test of top‐end cleaners. It scored no better than a vacuum you can buy for less than $100. They are made in Korea.