Make Your Own: Laundry Color Catcher- Do They Work?

Can you really make your own Laundry Color Catchers?  Here's my trial of 2 different types and the results of  my experiment:

I have not purchased the commercial Color Catchers that you toss in your wash to protect them from colors bleeding onto other fabrics. I just try really hard to sort well and check pockets for surprises.  But, I had seen several posts for making your own color catchers and I wondered if they worked. The posts that i had seen either didn't show any photos or the photos they did show weren't a resounding endorsement in my view.

I decided to make two different types that i found instructions for and show you with photo's my results:
(Insert my disclaimer of this being a VERY non-scientific experiment!)

The first color catcher involves soaking fabric squares in a water/Washing Soda combo. and the second one involves a water/salt combo. after these fabric squares dry they are supposed to be a one time use color catcher.

Each set of pictures below I tried to show both the color catchers and the white cotton towel I used to test with along with my nemesis: the red tablecloth.

1st Experiment:  Washing laundry with washing soda mixed into my detergent:

So, realizing that the first homemade color catcher involves Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not to be confused with baking soda), and that I already add washing soda (along with borax) to my commercial detergent to boost and stretch it further, I wondered if it would work just as well as soaking a fabric square in it first? Washing soda is used in tye dying to prevent color bleeding so I decided to try just using my regular laundry soap recipe:


2nd  Experiment: Washing laundry w/ color catcher made from water/washing soda soak

The directions were to soak cotton or felt white rags soaked in 1 cup water mixed w/ 1 Tablespoon washing soda.  I actually used more washing soda than that, and used about 1/8 of a cup.  Let it dry and then use it in laundry. 



3rd Experiment : Washing Laundry with color catcher made w/ water & salt soak

The directions provided on this tutorial is to use heavy weight sew-in stabilizer 
(Used in sewing to stabilize stretchy fabrics and found at most fabric and craft stores)
Mix fabric in 1 quart water mixed w/ 1/8 cup salt. Soak for 1 hour then let dry. Can toss into laundry once dry.



In my opinion, none of the homemade color catcher "recipes" that I have found worked at all, I feel your money is better spent either buying the commercial ones to use on those striped or white & color combo clothing, or sorting and checking pockets very carefully as much as possible.  

Here are the 3 results side by side:
Left to Right:

1st one: Laundry soap boosted w/ washing soda
2nd one: Washing Soda color catcher
3rd one: Salt color catcher


  1. But my hubby loves it when his socks and underwear come out pink! ;-) Great info to know!
    Found this on Seasonal Celebration :)

  2. Wow, I'm glad you posted this. I've been wanting to make my own but not at the expense of my hubbies socks! Thanks for the experiment.

    1. You are welcome! I still would love to figure this one out, but so far no luck! If I ever do, I'll let everyone know for sure!

  3. What a great idea and I'm quite sure you will save many from finding out the hard way. Thank you for sharing your research project and hope very much to see you over at Seasonal Celebration today! Rebecca @Natural Mothers Network x

  4. Great tips!

    Would love for you to link it up at my new Empty Your Archive link party which is a chance to dust off great posts from your archive - there is a focus this week on laundry - would really love to see you there, Alice @ Mums Make Lists x

    1. Crazy day today, but I'd love to stop by and link up! I love the archive idea! I will try to pop over later tonight! Thanks!


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