The first time I had to wash my daughter's cheerleading uniform, I put it off for WEEKS! I'm not proud that I ignored that $300 pile of fabric for so long. It's red and white--every mother's laundry nightmare! It wasn't stinky or stained, but she had worn it for her cheer camp performance and the first day of school was fast approaching so I HAD to wash it. Oh the horror!! I took a deep breath and tried to figure out what kind of soap, what temperature, which cycle and water level would keep the red dye off of the white.
A walk through the laundry aisle at my grocery store didn't help too much...until I found this:
Shout Color Catcher! I used to use these years ago, but my grocery store stopped carrying them. (I now shop at a much better store -- more on that later!) These things are AMAZING! Just throw one sheet in with your clothes and laundry soap at the beginning of the wash and the sheet absorbs the dyes from the wash water that would normally redeposit on other clothes. No more full loads of white clothes turned pale pink by one red sock. No more need to sort your clothes by color. No more wasting water with half-full loads because you can wash it all together now! *cue the chorus of angels singing!*
I may be weird, but my favorite part is that you can actually SEE the extra dye on the sheet at the end of the wash. There's something oddly satisfying about finding that pink (grey? orange? green?) sheet mixed in with the clean clothes. It's tangible evidence of the fact that I just saved the whole load of laundry from certain death. OK, perhaps that was a tad dramatic.
When I finally washed her cheer uniform, the Color Catcher was BRIGHT pink from the extra red dyes that ran into the wash water. Wow! I'm so glad I found these again. I use them with every load now and I don't even sort my clothes by color. My Laundry Day just turned into my Laundry Half-Day! I think of them as my Laundry Insurance!
**I'm not affiliated with Shout in any way. This is just my opinion.**