ShamWow vs. Paper Towels vs. Terry Towels

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Updated on May 24, 2013

The hype with the ShamWow is justifiable, as it is said that these ShamWows are made of a blend of rayon and polypropylene, which makes it super absorbent, but lightweight. Cotton is known for being very absorbent, that is why towels and other cleaning cloths have a high or complete cotton content. Paper towels are cheap, disposable, and get the job done. But which fares better in the long run in terms of saving money and effectiveness?

Problem:

Among these choices, which is the most absorbent:ShamWow towels, ordinary paper towels orterry (cotton) towels?

  • 1 ShamWow or similar product (you can order them online or over the phone, and they are available in some stores)
  • Several rolls of paper towels
  • 1 terry towel (about the same size as the paper towels and the Shamwow)
  • 2 large plastic mixing bowls (preferrably clear)
  • Water
  • Pen and paper for notes

Procedure

  1. Fill one large plastic mixing bowl with warm water to about ¾ full. Don't fill it up too high or you'll probably run into a spill.
  2. Set the other empty plastic mixing bowl next to the bowl of water.
  3. Take one ShamWow and press it into the bowl of water.
  4. Gently take the ShamWow out and wring the water out in the other bowl.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 until all the water has transferred from the originally full bowl into the originally empty bowl.
  6. Record how many wrings it took for all the water to be transferred.
  7. Now take 1 paper towel and put it into a ¾ water-filled bowl (same amount as before). You will notice that the paper towel turns crumbly and wet.
  8. Take a 2nd paper towel and put it inside. Keep adding paper towels until you have a good feeling about picking the towels up and wringing it out in the other bowl.
  9. Record how many paper towels it took to completely absorb and transfer all the water to the other bowl.
  10. Now take one cotton towel and do the same as you did above for the Shamwow.
  11. Record how many wrings that took to completely transfer the water from one bowl to the other.
  12. Compare which variable took the least attempts.
  13. You may also want to conduct several trials for accuracy.

Sofia PC is currently a college student with a deep interest in science who is aspiring to become a writer. She writes about all sorts of things across all subjects including, but not limited to; science, crafts, and fashion. She hopes to become a good writer so she can share her thoughts and experiences with the world and future generations.

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