The Untold Truth Of ShamWow

Everybody knows ShamWow. Either it's a product you use, or a word you find fun to say. How could you not remember the infomercials of the miraculous towel that — supposedly — put all other towels to shame? Best of all, the product was peddled by Offer Shlomi, AKA Vince Offer, and he was more memorable than the towel itself. He was the sort of person who made you feel dumb for not already owning a ShamWow, the guy who didn't think his cameraman knew how to do his job, the man with a hairstyle that should've died in the nineties. 

ShamWow, probably because of the ShamWow Guy, was a success. As soon as the commercial hit television in 2007, people were pulling out their wallets and dropping $19.99, plus shipping and handling, to get their hands on eight of these miracle sponge-towel chimeras. Offer himself claims to have sold "millions" of ShamWows within the first two years they were around, according to MSN. That's pretty impressive, for something your find in a "as seen on TV" aisle of the store.

However, ShamWow might not be the innovative miracle product Offer's commercial makes it out to be.

ShamWoW didn't live up to its claims

Why has ShamWow fever died down? First of all, some of the claims in the famous ShamWow commercial are patently ridiculous. At one point, Offer claims that Olympic divers use ShamWow as a towel. Maybe there's some sad, ShamWow sponsored diver out there who actually does, but it's definitely not the norm. The commercial also claims you can use it as bathmat, which is probably true. You could use an old t-shirt as a bathmat if you wanted to — seriously, no one can stop you — but a bathmat that was meant to be a bathmat is clearly going to be a better bathmat. Don't even get us started on the line "made in Germany. You know the Germans always make good stuff."

That's not the reason you buy a ShamWow, though. You buy a ShamWow because it "holds 20 times its weight in liquid," as the commercial clearly states. Here's the thing: that's not true. When Consumer Reports tested the claim, they found it only held around 10 times its weight... the same as a sponge. Which, by the way, can also be washed in the washing machine. Popular Mechanics determined the ShamWow doesn't function like the commercials say it's supposed to, pushing around water on certain surfaces, and often needed following up by regular paper towels. 

ShamWow? More like "ShamMediocre."