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Thread: color catchers

  1. #1
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    color catchers

    If you use a color catcher, how do you tell if it has worked enough so you won't have any more unacceptable bleeding--even if it seems to have gathered up all the bleeding from fabric, don't you have to go through a second wash with a new color catcher to see if the excess dye is really gone? I'm thinking especially of batiks.

    Here's a resource about color catchers:

    consumerreports.com/.....color catchers

    They tested both the Shout and the Carbona color catchers and their opinion was that they didn't work as claimed. I'm confused.

    Dana

  2. #2
    Member kentuckyred's Avatar
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    In each of the baby quilts I've finished, I wash them no less than 3 times with a fresh color catcher each time. Usually by 3 the color catcher has no more dye on them. I also put a cup of white vinegar in the first load because that helps set the color.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I use color catchers all the time for my laundry and my quilts and they work great. Sometimes I put two just to be on the safe side. Also it is a second nature to me to pop one in with my laundry. It is a habit I suppose. I realized how well they work when I washed my 10 years old red sheets that were previously washed at least 1000 times and the color catcher came out as red as the sheets.

  4. #4
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I prefer synthrapol to the color catchers. Just takes a capful. My bottle has lasted me over a few years now.
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  5. #5
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    The above link is bad, Try this instead.
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/m...view/index.htm

    I don't use color catchers; waste of money as far as I'm concerned, invented so people could wash all their colors together and not bother separating them. I'm not in that much of a hurry with regular laundry and I prewash all quilting fabrics (like colors together and never with regular laundry) until any excess dyes are gone. If they still bleed after two washes, they get treated with Retayne...end of problem.

    I'm very surprised to hear Tashana's red sheets are still bleeding after being washed twice a week every week for 10 years! That has to be some kind of record.

    Vinegar has NO effect on today's dyes. It will NOT set colors used to dye cotton. Salt will not do anything either.
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  6. #6
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    The above link is bad, Try this instead.
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/m...view/index.htm

    I don't use color catchers; waste of money as far as I'm concerned, invented so people could wash all their colors together and not bother separating them. I'm not in that much of a hurry with regular laundry and I prewash all quilting fabrics (like colors together and never with regular laundry) until any excess dyes are gone. If they still bleed after two washes, they get treated with Retayne...end of problem.

    I'm very surprised to hear Tashana's red sheets are still bleeding after being washed twice a week every week for 10 years! That has to be some kind of record.

    Vinegar has NO effect on today's dyes. It will NOT set colors used to dye cotton. Salt will not do anything either.
    I beg to differ with you....vinegar works very well for me....I would rather use something 'natural' than a chemical.
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  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    (I beg to differ with you....vinegar works very well for me....I would rather use something 'natural' than a chemical.)

    vinegar may soften & freshen your fabric---but it does not set today's dyes- the dyes were changed way back in the 70's by the EPA & what ever other agencies were involved- vinegar & salt has no effect on commercially dyed fabrics- now, if you dye your own fabrics with natural dyes they may help- but no effect on anything commercial-sorry

    if you choose to use a color catcher you should re-wash with a new one until no more color is collected.
    synthropol in the water will suspend any dyes in the water- keep them from getting on any other fabrics- Retayne (or Rit Dye Fixative) will set dyes- stop them from bleeding
    batiks tend to have alot of (excess) dye- some hand dyes do to- they just were not rinsed well enough in the first place- once the excess dye has been rinsed away they will stop bleeding (or should) wash until no color is in the water....
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  8. #8
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    I often will throw in a half color catcher in the second rinse. If the whole color catcher has picked up a lot of the color in the wash & first rinse, the second rinse sheet often comes out white. Then I know the fabric won't bleed anymore. Sometimes the half sheet will pick up some color. Then I'll rinse again with another half sheet and hopefully that one will stay white. If not, then I have a big decision whether to use that fabric in a quilt.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=ghostrider;5601974]The above link is bad, Try this instead.
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/m...view/index.htm

    I don't use color catchers; waste of money as far as I'm concerned, invented so people could wash all their colors together and not bother separating them. I'm not in that much of a hurry with regular laundry and I prewash all quilting fabrics (like colors together and never with regular laundry) until any excess dyes are gone. If they still bleed after two washes, they get treated with Retayne...



    Oh I never could figure out those color catchers! And here I have been separating my wash like forever with no bleeding problems!! But I think I will continue to separate out my stuff and save money and chemicals on my clothes.

  10. #10
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I did not know that so many of the board members had a degree in chemistry !!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member HouseDragon's Avatar
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    Consumer Reports may be correct about catchers not working in mixed clothes loads. I wouldn't know since I separate clothes into darks, lights, and wash anything new like a red sweatshirt separately. OTOH, if C.R. is saying catchers don't work at all, they are incorrect.

    I wash like-colours together. I throw in a Shout catcher and, if it's drenched in colour, I send the load through another rinse leaving in the first catcher and adding a second one.

    You can really tell the difference: the first catcher will pick up even more dye and the second catcher will be lighter. Repeat until the newest catcher is white or pale.

    The Shout Colour Catchers work! I rarely need to do a third rinse.

    FYI, I wash the like-colour fabrics just the way I expect the quilt to end up being washed: warm wash, cold rinse with Tide Free. I put the catcher in at the beginning of the wash cycle.

    Shout is the only brand I've tried. I stock up when they are on sale.



    Quote Originally Posted by danade View Post
    If you use a color catcher, how do you tell if it has worked enough so you won't have any more unacceptable bleeding--even if it seems to have gathered up all the bleeding from fabric, don't you have to go through a second wash with a new color catcher to see if the excess dye is really gone? I'm thinking especially of batiks.

    Here's a resource about color catchers:

    consumerreports.com/.....color catchers

    They tested both the Shout and the Carbona color catchers and their opinion was that they didn't work as claimed. I'm confused.

    Dana
    Last edited by HouseDragon; 10-21-2012 at 02:09 PM.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member stillclock's Avatar
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    oh please please please let colour catchers work. i am almost finished this red white and blue quilt and having inherited the fabrics, prewashed them and used them, i am still very nervous about the bleeding. i had a friend pick up some colour catchers for me in the states.

    (there is already a spot where something has bled on this quilt thanks to a leaky iron. i am sure it's going to run like mad....)

    aileen

  13. #13
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Yes my red sheets still blead after so may washes. They are not the only sheets I have but I like them the most because they are a good quality set we got when we got married. The thing is I did not know they blead since it is a large set and fills the machine so they are always washed by themselves until I tossed in a color catcher by habit. Boy was I surprised.
    About chemicals, color catchers are as benign as they get. When I get back home and to my own computer I will post a link to DIY color catchers.
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  14. #14
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    One thing to watch out for is that you are not supposed to use color catchers in a front loader. Not enough water. I had been using them in my old top loader machine. When I got my new front loader, I did a load with a color catcher as usual. The color catcher caught the color (say that fast 3 times) but when I took the load out, the color catcher was plastered against a light colored garment and had deposited the color onto it. I'm guessing during the spin cycle. Anyway, if you read the box they say not to use them in a top loader. Earlier this year I started using Retayne. An inexpensive and effective remedy.
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  15. #15
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    The above link is bad, Try this instead.
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/m...view/index.htm

    I don't use color catchers; waste of money as far as I'm concerned, invented so people could wash all their colors together and not bother separating them. I'm not in that much of a hurry with regular laundry and I prewash all quilting fabrics (like colors together and never with regular laundry) until any excess dyes are gone. If they still bleed after two washes, they get treated with Retayne...end of problem.

    I'm very surprised to hear Tashana's red sheets are still bleeding after being washed twice a week every week for 10 years! That has to be some kind of record.

    Vinegar has NO effect on today's dyes. It will NOT set colors used to dye cotton. Salt will not do anything either.
    I have a set of red towels that have been bleeding dye for at least 12 years. I just don't wash anything else with them and it's not a problem.

    The problem fabric is the one that picks the dye up!

  16. #16
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HouseDragon View Post
    Consumer Reports may be correct about catchers not working in mixed clothes loads. I wouldn't know since I separate clothes into darks, lights, and wash anything new like a red sweatshirt separately. OTOH, if C.R. is saying catchers don't work at all, they are incorrect.

    I wash like-colours together. I throw in a Shout catcher and, if it's drenched in colour, I send the load through another rinse leaving in the first catcher and adding a second one.

    You can really tell the difference: the first catcher will pick up even more dye and the second catcher will be lighter. Repeat until the newest catcher is white or pale.

    The Shout Colour Catchers work! I rarely need to do a third rinse.

    The point of the article is this...color catchers do not trap ALL the loose dyes. The white cloth that was included in with the red shirts turned pink in wash loads both with and without the color catchers added. It made no difference and if it makes no difference, why use it? CR said they did not work as advertised, and they didn't.

    I seldom need a third wash for bleeding fabrics using no color catcher at all. It's the washing that gets rid of the excess dyes, not the color catchers. All they do is show you there's loose dye in the water...and merely looking at the water or adding a white wash cloth to the load will tell you that much.

    You'd be far better off using Synthrapol, a product that chemically suspends loose dyes in the wash water until they are drained out of the machine, than something that claims to "trap loose dyes and prevent color runs", a dye magnet if you will.

    Retayne, by the way, is not intended for use with mixed colors. It's for use on uncut fabrics, before they get made into a quilt. It will set loose dyes on any fabric in the wash load, not at all what you want for a finished quilt or a mixed load of wash.
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  17. #17
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    I use color catchers on my hand dyed fabrics. Use syntrpol (sp) too. Would not be without either of them.

  18. #18
    Senior Member batikmystique's Avatar
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    Ghostrider, thanks for commenting upon the vinegar and salt methods. We can never assume that the status quo will always be the same for fabric manufacturing. I have great luck with color catchers with regular laundry...never had a mishap...on occasion I may only have several colored items in with lighter fabrics. Most of the time I have enough laundry to have enough for a white, color and dark load. However, for today's quilting fabrics I tend to lean towards Retayne for washing before cutting and piecing and Synthrapol for the post-completion wash.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    The above link is bad, Try this instead.
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/m...view/index.htm

    I don't use color catchers; waste of money as far as I'm concerned, invented so people could wash all their colors together and not bother separating them. I'm not in that much of a hurry with regular laundry and I prewash all quilting fabrics (like colors together and never with regular laundry) until any excess dyes are gone. If they still bleed after two washes, they get treated with Retayne...end of problem.

    I'm very surprised to hear Tashana's red sheets are still bleeding after being washed twice a week every week for 10 years! That has to be some kind of record.

    Vinegar has NO effect on today's dyes. It will NOT set colors used to dye cotton. Salt will not do anything either.
    Creative clutter is better than idle neatness.

  19. #19
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    I had quilts for Granddaughters with a red backing that was rubbing off on my white sewing machine - yikes!! I did some research and bought Color Catchers - they caught the red colour and it did not transfere to the white, red and green fronts. I have been using them ever since for all quilts. You can safety pin the sheet so that it doesn't get lost or end up on another article in the washer. These sheets are part of my quilting tools since I found them!
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