Kinoki footpad scam debunked


That something's obviously bunkum is not enough. Science must be done!

National Public Radio's Sarah Varney, and her husband unit, each took a Kinoki footpad and applied it to the soles of their feet at bedtime. As expected, by morning each was saturated with the nasty brown gum prominently associated with these "cleansing detox foot pads." The makers claim it comprises toxins and metals leached out of your body by the pad. So it was off to the lab with the used Kinokies, along with a fresh one for use as a control.

The verdict: Scam! While the used pads contained some grody elements, they were already present in the unused ones. All samples appeared to be identical, as far as toxicity was concerned. But what of the fecal fondue? Whatever it is, it's activated by any moisture, even by holding a pad over a boiling kettle.

Update: Commenter Bat21 points out that ABC reporter John Stosser already did the Kinoki-debunking legwork a while ago.

Japanese Foot Pad Is Latest Health Fad [NPR via The Consumerist]

About Rob Beschizza

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18 Responses to Kinoki footpad scam debunked

  1. vamidus says:

    lol! I saw those on TV and then spotted at local pharmacy. I never believed it was real – and now they finally proved me right. I hope no one hurt themselves through use of this modern snake oil.

  2. Kit10inDublin says:

    So called detox footpads (and there are loads on teh market) have been revealed to be a scam or at least do not do what they say on the packet. In fact, so called detox systems, in general, or herbs, drinks etc are similarly fraudulent.

    Some of the advice a detox plan or system includes in its information while following their plan is in itself detoxifying (eg, drink lots of water and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol for a few days). The body is capable of ‘detoxifing’ itself.

    These things rely on our modern ‘quick-fix’ mentality and good marketing especially around events such as Christmas when some people ‘enjoy’ certain toxins more than usual.

  3. SamSam says:

    This looks like it’s exactly the same as those ear wax cones/candles: Just stick ’em in your ear, light, and look at all that disgusting gunk that collects! … of course the disgusting gunk collects even if you stick the cone in a jar and light it.


    The first thing to be questioned is the idea that our bodies are toxic in the first place. Absolutely no science behind that at all.

  5. bardfinn says:

    Why are these people not in jail yet?

  6. semiotix says:

    You have to admit, though, it’s a pretty clever scam. It goes right for the lizard-brain “ick” factor, and that’s worth a dozen exposés on frickin’ NPR.

    Puts your average shoe-magnet type scammers to shame.

  7. markfrei says:

    Send in the psychic surgeons…

  8. teckels says:

    One simple rule: Make the networks that broadcast these ads, liable for the scientific claims of the advertiser.
    Such a law is completely justifiable, especially when in the case of false advertisement, such activity is found to be illegal, and therefore the network can be considered a partner in that crime. Not only is it illegal to commit a crime, it is also illegal to profit from another’s criminal activity, and therefore networks should be required to test the validity of the products they advertise.

  9. mudflap68 says:

    I never could understand their logic that all the toxins flow to your feet due to gravity but you were supposed to put them on when you went to bed. It would make more sense then to put them on your back and butt.

  10. tresser says:

    *sigh* guess i’ll just have to go back to cupping

  11. The Life Of Bryan says:

    @3: Actually, the ear candles do work. I’ve used them multiple times on two different people and noticed that there is significantly more funk collected by the first candle than by the second or third.

  12. popvoid says:

    Science Punk debunked this last October.

  13. SamSam says:

    @12: I’d need to see your controlled experiment.

    The wikipedia article, btw, has a nice collection of scientific studies on the candles, pretty much all of which say the same thing: that there is no data to suggest that could be helpful for anything at all.

  14. V says:

    “*sigh* guess i’ll just have to go back to cupping”

    *sigh* guess I’ll just have to go back to leeches

  15. Halloween Jack says:

    It’s nigh-infinitely sad that this sort of thing has to be debunked at all. Magic Post-it panty liners don’t make you shit through your feet? Unpossible!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I put one on my butt. It turned icky.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Formulated in Japan, made in China, distributed out of Wayne, New Jersey.

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