How to make your own laundry color catchers

Written by amma marfo
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How to make your own laundry color catchers
Colourful clothes can bleed dye onto lighter clothes. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Fabric dye that runs in the washing machine can ruin some items of clothing, or even the entire load. To avoid dye bleeding to other materials, use a colour catcher to absorb dyes in the water before they invade other clothing. While colour catchers can be purchased in most laundry aisles, you can make your own with stabiliser found in craft and fabric stores.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Heavyweight, sew-in stabiliser
  • Scissors
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Spoon
  • Clothesline or drying rack
  • Washing powder

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  1. 1

    Purchase at least 5 inches of 22-inch-wide stabiliser. Stabiliser is a thin, foam-like material typically sewn onto clothes or fabrics to control stretching, literally stabilising the fabric. Cut the stabiliser into 5-inch squares with scissors to make four squares.

  2. 2

    Add 1/4 gallon of hot water to a bucket. Gradually add 1 cup of salt into the water, 1/4 cup at a time. Stir as you add the salt until it is all dissolved into the water.

  3. 3

    Place your squares of stabiliser into the water. Push the squares down so they are fully immersed in the water. Allow the squares to soak 45 minutes to an hour.

  4. 4

    Pull the squares from the water one at a time. Hang the squares on a clothesline or drying rack, and allow them to drip dry.

  5. 5

    Set your washing machine's water setting to cold, and fill the machine. Add one square of stabiliser to the machine along with your load of laundry. Allow the cycle to run as normal with your preferred detergent.

  6. 6

    Remove the square prior to placing the clothes into the dryer. Discard the square.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid fusible and water-soluble stabilisers as well as stabilisers that are made to "tear away" from a project.

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