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

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