An illustration of a DIY idea under a caution sign for an article about the dangers of 5-Minute Crafts. (Illustration by Sonja Vasiljeva, San Jose State University)

The 5-Minute Crafts Channel Is Being Exposed by Other YouTubers

Jarvis Johnson and Ann Reardon are showing viewers why this popular YouTube channel's dubious suggestions can be harmful for children.
March 19, 2021
8 mins read

5-Minute Crafts is a popular YouTube channel with over 71.5 million subscribers. The channel strings together various life hacks, throws them into videos that are 10 minutes long and posts those videos a few times a week on its main channel. There are also offshoots of the main 5-Minute Crafts YouTube channel, which includes 5-Minute PLAY, 5-Minute GIRLY and 5-Minute MEN.

5-Minute Crafts and its offshoots are owned by TheSoul Publishing, and with so many different channels, the company sometimes produces up to three videos daily. The company has a pattern of reusing the same life hack clips in multiple videos, and it will even throw random clips together to form a longer piece about an unrelated topic.

Enter Jarvis Johnson and Ann Reardon, who deconstruct these tactics on their own YouTube channels.

Jarvis Johnson

Jarvis Johnson breaks down the problems with 5-Minute Crafts in his videos, and he even talks about it in an episode of “That Creative Life” podcast. In the podcast episode, Johnson explains that to make more money on YouTube, a channel has to produce consistent content. The more videos the 5-Minute Crafts channel churns out, the more money the company makes.

Each video published by the company has a clickbaity title and thumbnail. One thumbnail even shows someone erasing cracks on a phone screen with erasers. The more outlandish the clickbait, the more views the video gets, and in turn, the more money the video generates. This has led to 5-Minute Crafts producing life hack videos that include extremely silly and outlandish ideas. However, sometimes, the hacks aren’t just humorous. Sometimes, they’re dangerous and could lead to serious injuries.

Jarvis Johnson takes a comedic approach to exposing the scams of 5-Minute Crafts. In his videos, he takes the most outlandish hacks from 5-Minute Crafts and comments on them. Sometimes, he even tries out the hack himself to see if they really work or not. With his upbeat personality and hilarious jokes, all of Johnson’s videos are a joy to watch; his personality mixed with his commentary on bizarre 5-Minute Craft hacks have led to some of the funniest videos on the YouTube platform.

In one video, Johnson watches a 5-Minute Crafts hack that tells him how to make a grilled cheese with no kitchen appliances. Just put a slice of cheese between two slices of bread and then completely wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil. Most people who don’t have access to a stove, toaster or microwave might just eat the cheese and bread as a normal cold sandwich. However, 5-Minute Crafts advises viewers to use an iron on both sides of the aluminum foil to create a makeshift grilled cheese.

Not only is this dangerous advice, but it doesn’t even work. Johnson tries the hack out on camera and shows his viewers that even though the outside of the bread gets cooked, the insides remain completely untoasted. The consistency looks disgusting, and viewers would be better off forgoing the grilled cheese and choosing a different dinner option if they don’t have access to a kitchen.

In addition to the strange hacks, a lot of content seems to be aimed toward children, which is why some 5-Minute Crafts videos can be so dangerous. Children might try one of the DIYs from the videos, like an ironed grilled cheese, and accidentally hurt themselves.

Ann Reardon

Luckily, Ann Reardon from the YouTube Channel How To Cook That has made multiple videos exposing the dangers of doing certain crafts from the 5-Minute Craft videos.

In the video “Exposing Dangerous how-to videos 5-Minute Crafts and So Yummy,” Reardon discusses how fake viral hack videos can be hazardous if followed by children. Like Johnson, Reardon describes to her audience that the whole point of videos filled with so much misinformation and clickbait is for the recordings to go viral and make more money. However, viral videos like the ones that 5-Minute Crafts produce have the potential to be extremely harmful.

In the video mentioned above, Reardon shows a video from the 5-Minute Crafts YouTube page that recommends putting toothpaste on a burn. The video claims that the toothpaste will soothe the burn and ease pain, but Reardon pulls up factual information from the brand Colgate to negate that claim. On their website, Colgate warns that toothpastes contain abrasives and detergents, which can irritate skin and burns. If a young child tries to soothe a wound with toothpaste, they might end up in even more pain thanks to a fake life hack.

The video “Is 5-Minute Crafts the WORST Channel on Youtube?” is one of Reardon’s best informational videos about the company. In the video, she pulls some of the company’s most dangerous life hacks and analyzes them for her viewers, discussing just what is so dangerous about them. She shows how one hack recommends putting hot glue on your toothbrush to whiten teeth, which will just lead to scalded gums.

Another trick is a homemade ice cream recipe that is made using heavy cream, sugar, activated charcoal and dry ice. Reardon warns her viewers that activated charcoal can absorb the medications they take, which will stop them from working effectively. Another side effect of activated charcoal is that it can make you nauseated, and that’s not a feeling most people want to experience after eating ice cream. It’s simpler to grab a carton from the store.

At the end of the day, 5-Minute Crafts can be viewed as just a silly channel with useless life hacks. But when children follow the poorly put-together life hacks without much thought about a company trying to make money, they have a chance of getting hurt in the process. It’s great that both Johnson and Reardon are making entertaining, informative videos about the scams of 5-Minute Craft videos. Hopefully, they’ll continue to help keep young people from getting injured.

Emma Watts, University of Arizona

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Emma Watts

University of Arizona
English and Political Science

My name is Emma Watts and I go to school at the University of Arizona. My majors are political science and English, so I spend about 80% of my time writing and reading.

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