‘Miracle machine’ claims prove misguided


CLAIMS a floor-scrubbing machine could work miracles with plain old H2o have landed a Scottish-based firm in hot water.

Tennant UK Cleaning Solutions Ltd, based in Falkirk, claimed in adverts its machines electrically converted tap water into a “superior cleaning solution”.

But following a complaint from a rival firm, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said the advert was misleading.

SCRUB A DUB DUB – The miracle machine claimed to work with only water

False advertising

The firm has been ordered to ensure the ad for its ec-H2o scrubbers – which originally appeared on its website – should not be used again.

Tennant’s claimed their machine “cleans better, saves money, improves safety, and reduces environmental impact compared to traditional cleaning chemicals and methods”.

The firm said its technology “reduces the impact of cleaning operations on the environment by up to 98% based on third party study by EcoForm”. But Karcher UK Ltd, which produces its own line of floor scrubbers for premises such as warehouses and supermarkets, complained to the ASA.

Karcher UK said the advert “misleadingly implied the advertiser’s cleaning technology obtained better cleaning results than machines that used detergent”.

The ASA said: “Tennant said their ec-H2O scrubber-dryers did not need to use traditional chemical cleaners.

“They used…electrolysis to briefly separate plain tap water into two separate streams, one acidic and one alkaline.

“They said the acidic stream had weak bleach-like properties, and the alkaline stream had detergent-like properties.”

Explaining its decision to censure the firm, the ASA said Tennant claimed their products could remove more bacteria than other scrubbers.

Tennant said they had academic research to back up their claims that their scrubbers were better than traditional machines which used detergent, the ASA said.


But the watchdog ruled: “However, because Tennant had not provided sufficiently robust evidence to substantiate the claim in relation to bacteria, we concluded it was misleading.”

As well as being misleading the ASA said the advert broke rules on substantiation and exaggeration. The ASA slammed Tennant’s over tests which the company said backed up their claims.

The watchdog said: “We considered the number of measurements taken was small, and did not consider Tennant had demonstrated the results were statistically significant.

“We also noted the report did not appear to have considered whether other factors may have influenced the results. “We therefore considered the evidence was not sufficiently robust to substantiate the claim.

” But another complaint from Karcher over the technology’s green credentials was not upheld.

The ASA said: “We also considered that the evidence demonstrated ec-H2O saved money and reduced environmental damage in comparison to cleaning with detergents.”

Tennants, which has its global headquarters in the US, was not available for comment.

The company’s website now describes the technology as an “innovative cleaning solution.”