You have likely encountered this popular YouTube channel in your feed either on YouTube or Facebook. The channel produces enjoyable, bright videos full of “crafts” or “hacks” that they promise will change your life. While most of what they show is seemingly innocuous, unfortunately, there have been many instances where people have severely hurt themselves or caused major damage to their homes.
This post will cover who owns 5 Minute Crafts, why they have been allowed to continue producing these videos of life hacks, and if there is anything that can be done to remove their content or warn others of their dangers.
5 Minute Crafts and Dangerous Hacks
Many point out that while the recommendations on 5 Minute Crafts don’t work, most of it isn’t dangerous (such as using baking soda to clean permanent marker off a t-shirt). While this is true, they have entered into some areas they should stay out of, including the medical field.
All that said, there have been several instances where 5 Minute Crafts have published content that is not only incorrect but potentially dangerous. Some of the dangerous crafts, hacks, or recipes they have presented on their channel include the following:
Ever want to have a white strawberry? According to 5 Minute Crafts, you can create them by placing normal red strawberries in bleach (yes, literal bleach). While they are correct (the strawberries will turn white), they should never be eaten once they have been bleached.
The video has since been edited to remove the strawberries, but not before it received well over a million views, and other popular YouTubers called them out for it.
Charcoal Ice Cream
If the side effects of the bleach don’t get you down, you can always try the Charcoal ice cream recipe that was uploaded in one of their videos. In this scene, activated charcoal is added to other ingredients and dry ice to create unique ice cream. This can cause severe side effects and even cause your medication to stop working.
Using a Drill to Peel Apples
While this may seem like a creative hack, it can also cause a lot of damage if done incorrectly. You wouldn’t even have to be a child to seriously injure yourself while attempting the stunt. It is always best to use the right tools for each job.
Grilled Cheese On An Iron
Crafty Hacks has produced footage of a hack where someone creates a grilled cheese sandwich by wrapping it in aluminum foil and using an iron to grill it. Not only does this hack not work, but it could cause serious injuries, especially if children watch the video and want to try it out for themselves.
Other channels, such as Blossom, have taught people how to cook steaks and bacon (and other food) by wrapping it in tinfoil and putting it in a toaster. Unfortunately, there have been several people who this has hurt, and one man even burned down his house after trying to follow the steps of these viral videos.
Hot Glue On Your Toothbrush
Apparently, all you need to do to get whiter teeth is place hot glue on your toothbrush. Not only is this not practical in any way, but you could also burn your lips and gums.
Along the same line, people watching the channel may also encounter a hack where you can put toothpaste on a burn to heal it. Not only will this not work, but some of the agents inside the toothpaste could actually do you more harm.
Other YouTube “Craft” Channels With Dangerous Hacks
While this article focuses on 5 Minute Crafts due to their popularity, they are far from the only channel or website that profits from the practice. Here are a few other hacks that have been found online:
Fractal Wood Burning
I didn’t know this information until I encountered Ann Reardon, a food scientist, and YouTuber who manages her channel called “How to Cook That.” On it, she frequently debunks videos made by 5 Minute Crafts and others.
In one video, Reardon talked about “Fractal Wood Burning,” which has shown up in many different “life hacks” videos in the past. When she created the video about this “art,” 34 people had already tragically died from this dangerous activity. In the video, she showed how there were several “tutorials” on YouTube on how to do this craft and explained why the practice is so dangerous.
YouTube removed her video. While Ann Reardon and her followers fought (and won) to get it reinstated, the platform still has not removed the videos that show the method that has taken lives and altered others drastically.
Fortunately, other people like Ann Reardon are trying to raise awareness of the dangers of these viral hacks.
Tin Can Popcorn
Ms Yeah is another YouTube channel where a woman creates food in interesting ways. While her videos aren’t as scammy as others, she did have one where she made popcorn from a tin can. While the method she used is possible, it is potentially dangerous, especially without the proper knowledge of how it is done.
Unfortunately, two teenage girls tried replicating the hack, and the cans exploded. One passed away, and the other survived but was severely burned.
Unlike 5-Minute Crafts and other YouTube channels, Ms Yeah seemed truly remorseful that her hack led to another child’s death and another’s injury, even though they hadn’t done the hack precisely as she had. She paid for all of their medical bills.
Caramel Over a Mixer
Want to make pretty caramel decorations as a part of a desert? Don’t follow the example of a “So Yummy” hack video that recommends pouring hot caramel over a hand-held mixer. As you may imagine, this can cause severe burns.
Planter Heating Hack
A viral heating hack used planter containers and candles to heat a home. Firefighters had to warn people to stop doing it because of how dangerous it is.
Why Is 5-Minute Crafts Still on YouTube?
Namely, money. 5-Minute Crafts understand the YouTube algorithm. Each video has a clickbait title and thumbnail. They have short sections within the videos that keep your attention and generate a lot of interaction (even if people say, “This doesn’t work!”). Not only does this generate millions of dollars for TheSoul Publishing, but also for the platform itself.
Because of this “short-form content” within a full video, many people don’t watch for a particular hack, and a lot of what you will see could either potentially work (even if it is silly) or is not dangerous. Overall, YouTube and Facebook see the content as “entertainment” that won’t be taken too seriously.
The channel knows its process isn’t always safe, but it will sacrifice someone’s potential safety for more views. “At least” they post a disclaimer in the description of their videos, though we all know that most people and children don’t read them and instead go from video to video.
People have tried to report both the content as dangerous to YouTube and point out that hacks on the thumbnails are often not within the video itself. Still, very few (if any) disciplinary steps have been taken toward this channel.
Who Owns 5 Minute Crafts?
5-Minute Crafts is owned by TheSoul Publishing, which is operated in Cyprus. That being said, according to their LinkedIn, the company has people working for their production team in 70 different countries over 6 continents.
The company was founded by two Russian men, Pavel Radaev and Marat Mukhametov. The launched 5-Minute Crafts in November 2016 and grew it very quickly. Two years later, the channel had over 10 billion views and was among the top 5 subscribed-to channels on YouTube.
TheSoul Publishing has won several honors and accolades due to the success of its channels. These include those from Streamy, Viddy, Webby, and Shorty awards. Altogether, the company boasts more than 1.5 billion subscribers and followers over their accounts.
Other Channels Owned By TheSoul Publishing
TheSoul Publishing owns and operates several other YouTube channels. Many are also highly popular, allowing the company to reap millions per year. The creators have stated in the past that they operate over 200 channels.
Here are the names of a few of their more popular channels:
This channel is similar to 5-Minute Crafts as it is a “hack channel.” Unfortunately, as far as true quality-checking of said hacks go, it also under-delivers. At this time, 123 GO! has 12.1 million subscribers.
This is a kid’s channel, or at least it seems to be marketed as such. A now-deleted video published three years ago talked about the after-glow of sex. They also have several videos that seemingly pit kids against their parents. The channel has 4.5 million subscribers.
Baby Zoo is also marketed to kids, with many “funny” songs for toddlers and small children. At this time, the channel is closer to hitting 5 million subscribers.
Bright Side creates hit-or-miss videos. While some are very knowledgeable, the mass majority are full of fluff and don’t deliver on the promise that clickbait offers. That said, the channel is very successful and will appear on the YouTube algorithm. The brand also has channels in many different countries and languages. The English version of Bright Side has 44.3 million subscribers.
La La Life
La La Life is another so-called kids’ channel that appeals to kids and teens. They upload videos of “hacks” and songs. The channel currently has 4.8 million subscribers.
A few years ago, TheSoul Publishing came under a microscope due to a few political videos they created. One stated the United States would split within the next 20 years, and another stated that Russia would take over most of Asia and Europe by the year 2099.
At that time, the company was the world’s third major video publishing agency (behind Disney and Warner Bros). Because they seemed to understand the algorithm on a granular level, the fact that they started publishing propaganda that could easily be seen by children (and potentially marketed to them) was concerning.
The company removed the videos and stated they did not want to be political. They also admitted to knowing that there were some fact-finding errors on their part.
How to Protect Yourself From Dangerous Hacks
The sad thing is that many fake ideas gain millions of views, and the platforms aren’t doing anything to prevent that from happening. Here are a few ways where you can keep yourself from arguably the worst channel on YouTube:
If something looks too good to be true or looks like it could potentially be dangerous, don’t do it. Just because you see something online doesn’t make it true. 5 Minute Crafts and other hack channels often will use a second product as the end result of a hack, not the original thing they showed you.
Don’t Watch, Comment, or Dislike
If you see a video from a hack channel that you know potentially causing harm to others, don’t watch it. If you DO watch it, don’t comment on it or “dislike it.” All of these actions are fuel for the algorithm.
If there is something dangerous in the video, you can report it to the platform (though, as we have read above, they still refuse to do anything at the moment).
Research or Ask a Professional
If you want to recreate a hack, ask a professional who would know about the trick first. Listen to what they have to say; if they say it is safe, try it. If they warn against the hack, keep yourself safe and do something else.
Know What Your Children Are Watching
Kids don’t always know if something is dangerous or wrong. Make sure that you know what your kids are watching online or what they search for on Google. You don’t want them to “try a hack” on their own and potentially cause injury to themselves or others.