When I first began sewing it was to dabble in the realm of quilting. I got most of my fabric from thrifted men’s shirts, but occasionally I would splurge on fat quarters of new fabric. There was a delightful little quilt shop just half a block away from my apartment… so dangerous when you live on a tight budget, yet a great source of inspiration, advice and camaraderie.
So what does all of this have to do with laundry? Well, all of the quilting fabric had to be pre-washed. I had to be especially careful with the new fabric as it could bleed and stain the other fabric or clothing in the load with it. The coin washers and driers in the apartment building where I lived were pretty expensive to use. I couldn’t afford to run separate loads for the small quantities of new fabric I would buy. When sewing I wanted to be able to grab whichever fabric struck me as the right one in the moment, not having to wait until my new fabric reached a “critical mass” before being pre-washed and dried for use.
Then I discovered Shout Color Catchers. These are little disposable sheets you throw in with your wash. They grab any free dye in the water and fix it so that it can’t be absorbed by other fabric in the load. Now I could wash all of my recent fabric acquisitions, all together, with my other laundry… FULL LOADS! Eeek!
I’m no longer quilting (at least for now) and most of the fabric I use is repurposed from old clothing, but I still have need of the old color catcher. Now it’s more a matter of being lazy and not wanting to separate my laundry. I just want to let enough for a load accumulate and then wash. (Not that I never get behind in doing laundry… that still happens.) I often even use the washer itself as a laundry hamper.(Hey! Don’t judge!)
Now I don’t use the disposable Shout Color Catchers but this handy dandy reusable cloth called the Carbona Color Grabber.
It claims to be good for up to 30 wash loads. Not so. The first one I had I used multiple times a week for over a year before it seemed to be losing it’s ability to grab errant dye. You are also not supposed to dry it in the dryer, but mine was forgotten when laundry was moved between machines more times than I would care to admit.
To show you the wonder that is this product I thought I’d invite you along for its maiden voyage. This is a load of red clothing, including towels that 8 years after the wedding for which we received them still bleed. I threw in a wee white sock as well for dramatic effect.
There you have it. The white cloth no longer white and the sock still as white as it was going into the wash.
I love this product! And since I can’t get my Amazon Associates links to work for me, rest assured that there is nothing in this post for me other than the joy of sharing a little something that has made my life easier and less expensive.
- Greener Laundry Products (mybigearth.com)
Thanks for reading!
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