More magic washes: the scientific ecoduchas

After the unmasking of the so-called “washing ecobola” , one could think that the business of the mechanisms to clean without soap would definitely be stopped. Nothing is further from reality; Although with less fury, continue to sell. Of course, complying with the order to remove misleading advertising, at least in part.

Consumers, alerted to a matter such as the ecovola, might also be expected to distrust other magical products that offer identically unsustainable solutions. Again, nothing further from reality.

However, it is not surprising that there is still a fertilized ground for any kind of pseudoscientific paraphernalia if we think that there are people capable of carrying out reasonings like the following, extracted from any blog, about the ecobola de marras and the resolution of the National Institute About misleading advertising:

If this is true, do you see it right? That after allowing the sale of the eco-ball, for years in the market and once it has been the best-selling product in Spain, tell us that it is a scam ….

It is amazing, as if to trust what we consume and eat, so that they are sanity and consumption? Is not to filter before reaching the consumer the product in poor condition or does not meet certain requirements.

Who are going to fine the eco-ball to health or consumption?

Who are we going to compensate consumers who have used the eco-ball for years?

This is just a brushstroke of how our great control system works ….


That is to say, you have been using for years a product that does not work, believing and defending that it did and, when the administration takes letters in the matter, you accuse it of not having warned before and request an indemnification. Let’s see, we are not talking about an undetectable chemical hidden in industrial bakery and ingested without knowledge. Are you insinuating that we are so stupid that if we do not notify the state we are unable to realize that a car has no wheels, that a light bulb does not give light or that a piece of plastic does not clean as your detergent ?. The truth is that sometimes I think we have what we deserve.

The types of reactions are very varied, like this one that has also been quite funny:

Ecoballs do not work. And that?

It turns out that what cleans the clothes when using the ecobolas, is the water. Washing clothes at 30 or 40 ° most of the day-to-day dirt disappears, with or without ecoball, with or without detergent. What ensures the balls, is that the laundry does not make a lump inside the machine so that the water can circulate between all the garments. Generally the people who use the ecobolas are very satisfied, and when they realize that “scientifically” they do not work, they remain astonished

Yes, for me, the ecobolas are like a placebo type medicine. While you do not know it does not work, you will notice the effect. And once they tell you it’s a placebo, you will not care anymore, because you’ve already proven that you can live without taking “medicine” for real. Ecoballs have drawn many skeptical people to the fact that they can use less detergent, and with that they already fulfill their mission, in a way.


I would like to see if, after buying a house and collapsing at two years old, the poor tenant would say “well, this collapse has helped me to know that I can live on the fucking street, thanks to the builder! “.

Beyond the ecobolas: the ecoduchas

Stockholm syndromes aside, the theme I was bringing today was not the archives of eco-washing, but another product that emerged in parallel and now returns to the load in many webs, telesales and mail-order catalogs: “ecoduchas”.

The truth is that with that name already a little splash the invention, but if we stop to read the specifications, the story is of note: these are Drips and Drops showerheads equipped with ceramic balls and an exit with micropores that break the molecules Of water (it is seen that they are very small) and cause a rain of ions that, of course, turn out to be super-cleaners without soap or other czarandajas.

This does tonify, relax and heal until the piles11

We started badly from the start. That some holes are so small as to break water molecules, it sounds like chufla. In order to support the action of the holes, the propaganda often resorted to the fact that the process is based on the Lenard effect, and they remain so wide.

But the Lenard effect, also known as aerosol electrification or cascade effect, does not consist of breaking the water molecule, men of God, but water droplets, which is something very different. The Lenard effect, first studied systematically by Philipp Lenard (1862-1947), consists of the generation of ions by the electric charges that the water molecule yields to the oxygen or carbon dioxide of the air through a friction between The droplets of the liquid when hitting the air or a surface of water, as it happens in a waterfall or in the swell. It can also be produced in any aerosol , depending on several factors such as the temperature, the speed of the current of air with which it collides and the impurities present.

Logically, a small household spray or a normal shower, produces a very modest Lenard effect. However, a certain level of ionization may occur, but there is no need for micropores or ceramics to do so. Just any shower head that projects water with sufficient force. Now that the ions clean more than the water, is a lot to say and, of course, neither Lenard nor its effect says anything about it. This is the typical pseudoscientific argument that consists in asserting something testable and extracting as a consequence something that does not derive from the above statement, which is known in logic as a fallacy non sequitur : “John is a man, so men can breathe under of the water”

Last (and esoteric) technology

As we deepen and gather more details from sellers and advertisers, the bets to absurd are rising up: we can read that they save up to 65% of water (but did not save soap?) And electricity (you see that they also heat water). Likewise, the fundamentals are also becoming more and more daring; Of the Lenard effect we go to the generation of “micromolecules of water with greater humectante capacity”, which leads us to think of a jivarización of the H2O that, being smaller, wet better. The microspheres, depending on the seller, may be “germanium” (lorite crayfish), Maifan (you guessed it: a stone used in Chinese medicine) or ceramic (as not), which get rid of chlorine (? ), To emit long-range infrared rays (ie, That for the same price showers also to the neighbor) and to kill fungi and bacteria. It also “softens” the water, whatever that means. So, with a stroke.

For ray-generating balls, those of the east lad.11

The problem is that there are no micromolecules of water; The water is formed by an oxygen atom bound by covalent bonds to two atoms of hydrogen in an angle of 104,45 degrees. It can not shrink to form micromolecules or stretch to form macromolecules.

Neither can we generate a significant intensity of infrared rays by rubbing some ceramic balls. Any hot body emits infrared radiation , including our body which, at 37 ° C, emits more than four balls spinning in the middle of a jet of cold water.

On the other hand, certain porous ceramic materials can capture ions – among them chlorine – inside, and are commonly used in aquarium filters and various industrial applications. Now, chlorine, like all matter, occupies space. A few microporous ceramic beads (assuming they are) will saturate in a very short time, losing their little effectiveness. The germanium, I am not very clear whether it is for its use in infrared optics, the bacterial lethality of some of its compounds (which on the other hand are moderately toxic also for mammals) or both, and thus kill two Birds with one stone.

To summarize: a few balls that generate infrared rays, capture bacteria, chlorine and other demonic beings from the water, along with a few holes that break the molecule and produce ultra-clean negative ions, will allow us to shower without soap. Well, I just hope that the manufacturer does not recommend saving also on deodorant, that the meter is already hard enough first thing in the morning …

The curalotodo

To finish, we will review the supposed effects of this alternative technological marvel, since if you believed that this great invention only served for your personal hygiene is because you are a perfidious skeptic: this serves for everything. The most modest advertisements are limited to the positive effects on the skin: prevention of dandruff, pimples, acne and hair loss, relief of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, etc. However, the more daring go a few steps (giant) beyond and thus, some web says that these ecoduchas are very beneficial to the stomach, liver and kidney, because it works as if it were a natural diuretic.

And I wonder: are these good people drink the water that comes out of the shower?

Joking aside, when you start playing health issues, things get more serious. To begin with, dandruff is caused by a proliferation of small scabs of dead skin on the scalp due to various causes that we do not know fully. The treatments are very varied and depend on both the degree and the type or origin of the pathology. In mild cases, the use of acid shampoos may be effective in helping to restore the acidic environment of the scalp, but not the use of neutral shampoos or water alone. In more severe cases it is necessary to use stronger active principles that should be preferably recommended by a dermatologist. As far as we know, pure water does not prevent or relieve dandruff, which we are going to do.

Pathologic hair loss or alopecia can be of several types, but the most common is androgenic, hereditary alopecia and polygenic genetic basis. It is much more common in men because it needs androgens to develop. While there are treatments that can slow or even reverse androgenic alopecia, it is incurable because of its etiological complexity and, of course, no one has proven that it is prevented by washing the head without shampoo, irradiating with infrared ceramics while breaking water molecules to around you.Acne, on the other hand, is a disease caused by the obstruction of the hair follicles and the accumulation of fat secreted by the associated sebaceous gland, where a bacterium ( Propionibacterium acnes ) proliferates . Acne is also produced by multiple causes, such as hormonal activity, stress or some medications. The role of diet is debatable, but what is reasonably clear is that dirt does not favor acne. In fact, obstruction of the hair follicle occurs at a depth where it is impossible to remove it by washing. The use of gels and shampoos also seems to have no effect on acne, although high concentrations of chlorine compounds may produce it. Of course, the chlorine level of drinking water is insignificant by comparison;

Something similar happens with psoriasis, another disease that we believe is not due to a single cause, there is a genetic predisposition that requires certain environmental triggers to manifest, such as stress, trauma, infections and other climatic, metabolic and endocrine factors. Like alopecia, there is currently no cure for psoriasis, although its effects can be calmed in several ways, among which is a good hydration of the skin. But for this you have to drink water, do not throw it over.

Precisely and paradoxically, showering does not moisturize the skin, but dehydrates it directly proportional to the duration of the shower and the temperature of the water, causing the loss of the natural oils of the skin. If you suffer from psoriasis, consult your dermatologist about the recommended frequency, duration and type of shower, instead of relying on an advertising leaflet.

And, well, that of the liver, the stomach, and the kidney, I find it excessive to discuss it in detail; I’ll try to open my mouth more when I sing behind the curtain.