The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 26: Salsa Escape, Cement Removal

Premier Date: February 23, 2005

Salsa was used by a Mexican prisoner to corrode the window bars of his cell and escape.


Given several years, it would be possible, due to the corrosive elements of the salsa. The use of electrolysis via a direct current source in conjunction with the salsa accelerated the effect, as it draws the electrons out of the bars and into the wires.

A urine-soaked silk shirt is strong enough to bend the bars of a prison cell when wrapped around them and twisted, as seen in the film Shanghai Noon.


Adam tested this myth after he gave up on his salsa/alternating current escape plan. The bars proved too strong for the wet silk, tearing the fabric apart instead of bending under it.

A stick of dynamite can clean the leftover scraps of concrete from the inside of a cement truck.


A powder charge equivalent to 1½ sticks of dynamite worked well and loosened or dislodged a lot of the dried excess concrete without noticeably damaging the barrel.

A stick of dynamite can remove a slab of concrete from the inside of a cement truck.


A solid slab of concrete is too hard to remove practically, and is tougher than the barrel itself. The MythBusters enlisted the aid of FBI explosive experts to load the truck and barrel with 850 pounds of commercial blasting agent. The resulting explosion reduced the truck to numerous very small fragments, and a few larger pieces; the observers had to stand a mile away from the explosion. Billed as the biggest-ever explosion on the show, Jamie admitted that, “This has got nothing to do with the myth; it’s just a big boom.”