A different type of snake oil salesman

posted in: Life and things | 0

Like a lot of us, I use an ad blocker when I browse the web. But I do occasionally allow ads on sites I use frequently, but don’t want to set up a paid account. One such is Willy weather, which offers comprehensive weather data.

While using the site I saw an ad for an oven cleaner. Cleaning the oven is on the to-do list. It’s one of those jobs where I can usually find an excuse to put it off. (Too hot, too cold, too tired, sore back, sore hand, have a book to finish, don’t feel like it, etc etc) It’s an upright cooker, with the hot plate on top and the grill and oven underneath, which means cleaning the oven is an on-your-knees job. So, if there’s a magic solution to take away the drudgery of the task, I’m your woman. According to the ad, Dr Clean Spray shifted the toughest burnt on gunge in minutes. Here’s a link to the website where the makers explain this magical product can clean anything! Lots of 5 star reviews, too!

Don’t get excited and take out your credit card just yet, though. I like to check the independent reviews on these things, so I took a look at Trust Pilot. Here’s just one of the 1 star reviews. (Somebody must have given it a 2 star by accident – all the other 224 reviews were 1 star).

“Got my “product” and mixed according to instructions. Followed the directions and sprayed the product on the bottom and sides of my fairly new fry pan, started scrubbing, and scrubbing, and scrubbing. Long story short, nothing happened. Sides and bottom are still stained with no apparent signs of coming off. I called customer support to see if I was doing something wrong? Girl I spoke with didn’t offer any solutions just a 50% return of my money. It’s like they know the product is JUNK. User’s recommendation: Stay away, far, far away!” Review from trustpilot

It’s a scam, folks. Take a few minutes to check before you buy just about anything on the web.

So… no magic oven cleaner. White vinegar and baking soda will do a good job, if you’re fit enough to put in the elbow grease and don’t mind kneeling for the required time. I’ll stick with the spray ‘n wipe stuff. I just have to get to the stage where I’ll say… just do it.

Having decided Dr Clean Spray wasn’t for me, I noticed a few other entries on my google search list, notably the one that promised to list the best and worst cleaning products – and why you shouldn’t waste money on floor cleaners.  It’s from Choice, so worth reading. Here’s a quote:

“Clean freaks, we have some bad news for you. (Sorry.) If you’ve been diligently mopping your floors with floor cleaner, you’ve been wasting your money. According to our tests, you might as well not even use floor cleaners – just a little elbow grease will do the trick. We don’t recommend a single one of the 16 floor cleaners we tested. In fact, we think floor cleaners are so bad that we awarded them a Shonky in 2020 for being ‘flawed cleaners’.”

As it happens, I use a steam mop to clean my hard floors, so consider me vindicated.

But it’s interesting that Choice tested legitimate items, available in all the shops. Those cleaners might not be in the same league as Dr Clean Spray but many of them are still rip-offs. Seems the snake oil salesmen of the past have simply moved on to another product.

A snake oil salesman is someone who knowingly sells fraudulent goods or who is himself or herself a fraud, quack, charlatan, and the like. Here’s what Midjourney created to illustrate. I rather like it.

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