Watch a silly product morph into a lawsuit

A few years ago someone emailed me information on another garden miracle – this time a product called Mighty Wash. I found my notes on this product as I wondered what I should post about today. The sales information at the time advertised Mighty Wash as “frequency water” (which we’ll get to in a minute). Here’s part of the original advertisement:

Mostly water - plus "pink sauce" according to lawsuit documents
Mostly water – plus “pink sauce” according to lawsuit documents

“Mighty Wash is a new revolutionary way to solve your spider mite problem in all stages of development from eggs to adults…Mighty Wash is a ready to use “Frequency Imprinted” foliar spray. It is imprinted with special frequencies which target fleshy bodied insects. The use of frequency is nothing new to our world, and as you probably know all things have a frequency. What makes our products special is the fact that our proprietary frequencies are holding and stable for at least 2 years and running.

“One attribute of our Mighty wash is that it paralyzes the insect on contact not allowing it to flood out eggs and begin the resistance process! Essentially there is no resilience that can be gained from or product unlike so many others, and without the use of any chemicals. Mighty Wash does have very low levels of our naturally derived botanical oils, along with frequency make it the cleanest solution to your spider mite problem.”

Mites "flooding out eggs" [Photo source Wikipedia}
Mites “flooding out eggs” [Photo source Wikipedia]
When I looked for the manufacturer’s current information (an LLC called NPK), I couldn’t find reference to “frequency water” and its miraculous properties. After a bit of internet digging, I discovered that Mighty Wash was the subject of a bitter trademark dispute.  For me, the best thing about this dispute is the deposition, which states exactly what the original makers of Mighty Wash claim their products do:

“Yeti invented and manufactures three plant washes using a confidential and proprietary formula and process that includes electronic frequency imprinting.”

They accused the defendant of making knock off products “not manufactured using Yeti’s proprietary formula and process” resulting in products “substantially less effective than Yeti’s Products.”

Leaving the legal battle for a minute, let’s see try to figure out how this product is manufactured. “Frequency Water” is water that’s been exposed to vibrational energy or to minute quantities of dissolved substances. That’s the “electronic frequency imprinting” which is referred to in the legal complaint; it’s also called “water memory” and is the foundation for explaining how homeopathic dilutions work.

Homeopathic medications are diluted until nothing is left except water [[Photo from Wikipedia]
Homeopathic medications are diluted until nothing is left except water and presumably the memory of the substance [Photo source Wikipedia]
It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that there’s no reliable, published science behind any of this. What is surprising is the amount of money these companies make on selling water in a spray bottle. Mighty Wash and related washes (PM Wash, Power Wash, and Ultimate Wash [which is “Mighty Wash without food coloring”]) must generate healthy sales for two companies to squabble over the trademark of a product that is basically…water.

And the Irony Prize goes to the charges of fraud and false advertising leveled at NPK by Yeti Enterprises.

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - Books:

8 thoughts on “Watch a silly product morph into a lawsuit”

  1. Actually, if you’ve never tried homeopathic remedies, you might refrain from the ridicule. Many homeopathic remedies actually work and quite well, I might add. If something works but you still can’t explain how and / or why, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It might mean you have not yet attained the wisdom to understand

    1. Naomi, the purpose of our blog is to provide science-based information for gardeners and others interested in growing plants. There is little to no science-based evidence for homeopathy. However, if you have a supporting reference for your statement, feel free to post it and we will be happy to discuss it.

  2. Hi there Garden Professors! Boy am I glad I found you.

    Is there any way for me to submit a question for you to write about? I am a Cannabis grower, for my own use. I hope this isn’t off-putting, as my questions have to do with plants in general, and im not a POS druggy, jist a noral guy. However, as you may know, the Cannabis growing industry continues to expand, and the amount of pseudo-science being parrotted by people who largely belong to the Organic/High BRIX, all natural is better, to hell with evidence, is truly staggering.

    And some of their BS is starting to creep into other crops as well.

    Have you heard of the pre-harvest flush? It’s where you dump lots of water through the soil to flush out extra nutrients, forcing the plant to consume it’s own stores, thus cleaning all the extra fertilizer out of the flowers and fruit, making them taste better, and healthier. But you only need to do it with chemical fertilizer, because organic fertilizer is all natural.

    Anyway, I’ll be reading your site. You’ve already helped me with High BRIX. I was pretty sure it’s mostly nonsense, but there is so little actual information, much less a peer reviewed article, that I was going to try growing the same varieties side by side to see if High BRIX made any difference.

    Of course, with Cannabis, High BRIX just seems incredibly silly to worry about.

    Oh, and to those above who insist you try something to see if it really works. The problem with homeopathy is it is consistently inconsistent. Your anecdotes aren’t evidence. Nor are mine. But if someone tells you that feeding your plants Guinness the day after each fertigation, because it provides CO2 and carbs to microbes, will grow bigger, tastier fruits, are you going to give that a shot?

    Not me. There’s no reason to believe that would help. If you want me to try something, don’t tell me it works, tell me WHY it works.

    1. Hi Shaun –

      Glad you found us, too! Probably the best way to get a vigorous discussion going on a topic is to post on our Facebook group page (the Garden Professors blog group: If it’s a topic that merits a more formal treatment – like yours on “flushing” might – we often will post it here on the blog as well. But if you’re on Facebook, please join and let’s start there. It’s a science-based discussion group with over 4500 members.

      1. Thank you! Sorry, I sent you an email asking the same thing. I just love this. I’ve felt like Diogenes the last six months; finally I find an honest man. And he’s a woman, haha!

        I’m joined in and will get a question out there once I have it well written.

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