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How To Make a Washing Machine Color Catcher

Updated on March 5, 2012
Stop ruining your clothing and keep the clothing dye where it belongs.
Stop ruining your clothing and keep the clothing dye where it belongs. | Source

A color catcher catches clothing dye that runs or bleeds from fabrics and prevents the dye from landing on other clothing in the washing machine where it can leave dye stains and ruin the clothing. Commercially available color catchers are based on the same idea as a homemade color catcher. Homemade color catchers work just as well as the manufactured type. If you add a color catcher into your washing machine you can wash darks and lights together without fear of turning your man’s underwear on your son’s sock pink.

Homemade Color Catcher Directions

Buy non woven fabric interfacing. Choose the type you sew onto fabric rather than the fusible type. Do not buy the type used for embroidery that tears away. Fabric interfacing is also known as fabric stabilizer. Interfacing or stabilizer is used to stop clothing and other fabrics from stretching and losing their shape in areas such as waistbands, collars and cuffs.

Cut the interfacing into 4 to 6 inch wide by 10 to 12 inch lengths with a pair of scissors.

Run tap water until it is very hot or bring ½ gallon of water to a boil on the stove.

Pour the hot water into a bucket and add 2 cups of non iodized table salt.

Stir the water while the salt dissolves with a wooden spoon or stir stick.

Place the interfacing pieces into the bucket of salt water and push them down into the salty water with the wooden spoon or stir stick.

Let the interfacing or fabric stabilizer soak in the salted water for one to two hours.

Bring the bucket outdoors.

Reach into the bucket and pick up the wet interfacing one at a time. If you have any cuts or scrapes on your hands put on a pair of rubber gloves before picking up the color catchers because the salt will sting your injuries.

Hang the wet salt soaked interfacing, without squeezing out the salty water, over a clothesline.

Let them dry completely.

To Use Color Catchers

Fill your washing machine with cold water with will also help to reduce dye bleeding.

Add the laundry detergent and let it agitate for a minute.

Add the clothing and the color catcher.

Run the washing machine through the cycle you would normally use.

Remove the clothing from the washing machine and throw away the color catcher.

Put the clothing in the clothes dryer or hang to dry depending on the clothing manufacturer’s direction.

Color Catcher Tips

Homemade color catchers are good for one use only.

Interfacing or non woven fabric stabilizers can be bought in bulk to further reduce the cost.

If you choose to make many color catchers, adjust the amount of water and salt proportionately.


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    • Escapes profile image

      Escapes 5 years ago

      Yes, it's pretty amazing what you can actually do yourself.

    • profile image

      Candy47 5 years ago

      Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Well who knew?! Thanks for sharing what you knew!

    • Escapes profile image

      Escapes 6 years ago

      Yes! and they actually work.

    • katedonavon profile image

      katedonavon 6 years ago

      Useful and interesting! I didn't realize there was a way to make these at home.