Last reviewed: February 2010

The claim

Last year an ad claimed that ShamWow ("like a chamois, a towel, a sponge; works wet or dry") "holds 20 times its weight in liquid." Now the claim is "12 times its weight." Four 19½x23½-inch towels and four 15x15-inch towels cost $19.95.

The check

We dunked ShamWows in water, soda, and milk until each could hold no more liquid. And we tested whether the small ones could slurp up as much water, milk, and used motor oil as sponges.

Bottom line

We weren't wowed. ShamWow soaked up only 10 times its weight in water or soda and usually 12 times its weight in milk. Sponges often held a bit more water and soda. If we used a damp ShamWow, we needed another cloth to wipe remaining droplets. Two little wows: A small ShamWow held more motor oil than a sponge, and a bigger one is good for drying a wet dog.