1981: Does it really work? WRTV puts the Thermo Melter to the test

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Posted at 5:30 AM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 09:05:51-05

INDIANAPOLIS — We’ve all seen commercials and infomercials featuring products that will change your life. Former WRTV Consumer Reporter Ben Morriston tested one such product in 1981, the Thermo Melter.

A newspaper ad for the Thermo Melter promised to transform your car into a “Powerful Snow & Ice Melting Machine,” for just $9.95.

The Thermo Melter was really just an 11-foot long plastic tube that connected to your car’s tailpipe with an included clamp. According to Morriston, the instructions said to hold the flange close to your car, allowing the hot exhaust to melt the snow and ice.

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However, after ten minutes of trying, the Thermo Melter failed to melt much at all.

Morriston also investigated the claim that the Thermo Melter would free up a frozen door lock. However, it was clear that the Thermo Melter didn’t stand a chance against February's single-digit temperatures in Indiana.

Morriston also pondered, how would one start a car if the locks were frozen anyway?

Nonetheless, the final Thermo Melter claim Morriston put to the test was its ability to clear snow-covered walkways.

Sure enough, the Thermo Melter failed to deliver on this claim as well, which is perhaps why you’ve likely never heard of the As Seen on TV Thermo Melter until now.