Last updated
HouseholdHacker Logo 2016.png
HouseholdHacker Logo
Personal information
Origin San Jose, California, U.S. [1]
YouTube information
Years active2007–present (YouTube)
Genre How-to
Subscribers4.47 million subscribers
(March 2017)
Total views658 million views
(March 2017)
Network Alveum
Updated March 8, 2017

HouseholdHacker is a YouTube channel and website that posts videos of various "hacks", or quick solutions, to common everyday problems. As of May 2016, the channel has 3.8 million subscribers and over 530 million views. The group is primarily known for its 2007 hoax video which claimed one could charge an iPod battery using an onion and Gatorade. The video fooled normally reliable sources, and drew the attention of the MythBusters among others. A couple of additional hoax videos followed, but drew less attention. More recently, HouseholdHacker has aimed to publish more truthful content.

YouTube video-sharing service owned by Google

YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries.

Website set of related web pages served from a single web domain

A website or Web site is a collection of related network web resources, such as web pages, multimedia content, which are typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server. Notable examples are,, and

Hoax deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as the truth

A hoax is a falsehood deliberately fabricated to masquerade as the truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, rumors, urban legends, pseudosciences, and April Fools' Day events that are passed along in good faith by believers or as jokes.



According to the HouseholdHacker YouTube channel page: "At HouseholdHacker, we solve your common everyday problems and create things utilizing items you find around your house. You might say we try to bring out the MacGyver in all of us. From kitchen hacks and tricks to getting rid of ants; we do it all." [2] HouseholdHacker was started by Dylan Hart and Traveler. [2]

HouseholdHacker was launched in November 2007 and quickly attracted interest, becoming YouTube's most subscribed channel for the month of December 2007. [3] By January 2009, HouseholdHacker was the 22nd most subscribed YouTube channel. [4] As of April 2018 they have over 4.8 million subscribers. [2]

iPod Onion

In November 2007, HouseholdHacker released a video entitled "How to Charge an iPod using electrolytes and an onion". The video, which claimed to demonstrate how one could recharge an iPod using little more than Gatorade and a white onion, was an overnight success. The video drew the attention of The Unofficial Apple Weblog, which reported it as fact. [5] Within its first week, the video had been viewed over 4 million times. [6]

iPod A line of portable media players designed by Apple

The iPod is a line of portable media players and multi-purpose pocket computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first version was released on October 23, 2001, about ​8 12 months after the Macintosh version of iTunes was released. As of July 27, 2017, only the iPod Touch remains in production.

Gatorade manufacturer of sports-themed beverage and food products

The Gatorade Company, Inc. is an American manufacturer of sports-themed beverage and food products, built around its signature line of sports drinks. Gatorade is currently manufactured by PepsiCo and is distributed in over 80 countries. The beverage was first developed in 1965 by a team of researchers led by Robert Cade. It was originally made for the Gators at the University of Florida to replenish the carbohydrates that the school's student-athletes burned and the combination of water and electrolytes that they lost in sweat during rigorous sports activities.

White onion

White onion is a cultivar of dry onion, that has a pure white papery skin and a sweet, mild white flesh.

The Household Hacker setup for charging an iPod IPod Onion.JPG
The Household Hacker setup for charging an iPod

By the following November, the video had been viewed more than 7 million times (currently over 10 million) and attracted the attention of ABC News, who asked "Can an Onion Charge an iPod?" [7] ABC put the video to the test, but failed to obtain the promised result. Reporter Emily Friedman remarked "this appears to be an iFraud." [7]

ABC News News division of the American Broadcasting Company

ABC News is the news division of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), owned by the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. Its flagship program is the daily evening newscast ABC World News Tonight with David Muir; other programs include morning news-talk show Good Morning America, newsmagazine series Nightline, Primetime and 20/20, and Sunday morning political affairs program This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

The TV show MythBusters also put the onion video to the test in 2008. In a segment dubbed "iOnion", Grant Imahara was unable to get any charge from the onion setup found in the HouseholdHacker video. [8] He explained that the setup lacked the crucial anode and cathode that would be required to get the electrolytes found in Gatorade moving and concluded the video was a complete hoax. [8] In an interview with ABCNews, Adam Savage called the video "complete horseshit." [7]

<i>MythBusters</i> Australian-American science entertainment television program

MythBusters is an Australian-American science entertainment television program created by Peter Rees and produced by Australia's Beyond Television Productions. The series premiered on the Discovery Channel on January 23, 2003. The series was transmitted by numerous international broadcasters, including SBS Australia, and other Discovery channels worldwide. The show's hosts, special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, used elements of the scientific method to test the validity of rumors, myths, movie scenes, adages, Internet videos, and news stories. The show was one of the most popular on Discovery Channel, being preceded only by How It's Made and Daily Planet, both in Canada. From 2006 to 2016, the show was overseen by British show-runner Dan Tapster, working out of Sydney, San Francisco and Manchester.

Grant Imahara MythBusters (build team member), Electronics and radio control expert

Grant Masaru Imahara is an American electrical engineer, roboticist, and television host. He is best known for his work on the television series MythBusters, in which he designed and built numerous robots that were needed for the show, and specialized in operating the various computers and electronics that were utilized to test myths.

Anode electrode through which conventional current flows into a polarized electrical device

An anode is an electrode through which the conventional current enters into a polarized electrical device. This contrasts with a cathode, an electrode through which conventional current leaves an electrical device. A common mnemonic is ACID for "anode current into device". The direction of conventional current in a circuit is opposite to the direction of electron flow, so electrons flow out the anode into the outside circuit. In a galvanic cell, the anode is the electrode at which the oxidation reaction occurs.


The iPod onion video fooled a number of normally savvy folks, or at least had them trying the technique out for themselves, [9] which has led to several theories as to why it was so appealing. Farhad Manjoo of Salon speculates that it is the style in which the video was delivered. "He's got a friendly, helpful voice, but he's not casual – he speaks in the formal, confident manner of a TV how-to guy," says Manjoo. [9] Anna Solana of La Vanguardia, on the other hand, speculated that it was the "science" itself that attracted the viewers, remarking that something so magical "freaks" people out and makes them want to believe. [6]

Follow-up videos

Following the iPod onion video, HouseholdHacker has released a number of videos that have generated some attention. A March 2008 video entitled "How to Cheat on any Test" has attracted 8 million views and the ire of some school teachers. Another video entitled "How to Create a High-Def speaker for under a buck" again drew the attention of the show MythBusters. Tory Belleci followed the instructions in the video, but when it came time to plug in the speakers nothing happened. In addition to disproving the video, he pointed out that the "under a buck" part of the claim was also false, noting that a single minijack alone typically costs about $10 retail. [10] However, it is possible to get minijack cables for under a dollar online. [11]

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Drew Curtis Founder of

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iJustine American YouTube personality, host, actress, and model

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4chan English-language imageboard website

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Chris Crocker American actor and comedian

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iResQ is a DBA of ResQ Systems, LLC, an Internet-based company founded in 1994 and located in Olathe, Kansas. iResQ diagnoses and repairs Apple products and the Sony PSP. iResQ also sells accessories and parts in addition to its repair and upgrade services.

Natalie Tran Australian video blogger

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Vevo is an American multinational video hosting service founded on December 8, 2009, as a joint venture among three major record companies: Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment (SME) and EMI. In August 2016, Warner Music Group (WMG), the third-largest record company, agreed to license premium videos from its artists onto Vevo.

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  5. Schramm, Mike (November 14, 2007). "Charge an iPod with an onion". TUAW. Archived from the original on January 31, 2015. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  6. 1 2 Solana, Anna (November 29, 2007). "¿Es posible cargar un iPod con una cebolla?" [Is it possible to charge an iPod with an onion?] (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. Retrieved July 14, 2009.[ dead link ]
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  8. 1 2 iOnion. Discovery Channel videos. August 13, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  9. 1 2 Manjoo, Farhad (November 21, 2007). "How to power an iPod with an onion (not really)". Machinist (Blog). Salon. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  10. "Homemade Surround Sound". Discovery Channel videos. April 29, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  11. "Cinchkabel 2x Cinch St an 3,5 mm Klinke St 0,5m". Planet4One Technology store.[ dead link ]