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on May 1, 2012
Wow. Recent reviewers really don't like this product. I'm not quite sure why.

I have been using the Shout Color Catchers (or something like them) since I was in college...about ten years ago! Blame it on being a guy or being lazy (at household chores) but I am not very apt when it comes to doing laundry. I love these little sheets and offer a few observations below if you are comparing them with something else (if you aren't, just buy them).

PROBLEM #1: Color catchers are not magical. This is the most important part of my post in case you read no more. I used to throw everything into one wash, drop in one of this suckers, and let it work away. For the most part, these sheets do the trick. Whoever throws whites in with reds, though, is either more out-of-touch with reality than me (and I'm currently in academia) or doesn't care about their clothes. At the least, I have always separated whites from clothes that are orange, red, or purple. I now separate my clothes much more (whites, reds/oranges, blues, and dark colors) because I no longer wear free t-shirts and these color catchers do a great job. I have not had any problem with bleeds. Of course, I also know just enough to not wash colors in warm water. Read the label on the washer or its manual!

PROBLEM #2: Color catchers are not cheap. The price point is a little higher online than at the store but I bought them on Amazon anyway. Why go to the store and risk buying things I don't need if I've got Prime's "free" two-day shipping? To counteract the price, I usually tear sheets in half and will typically use them twice (maybe three times). Poof! I've got 48 sheets in a box! Maybe they are magical...

PROBLEM #3: Color catchers are not perfect. I haven't had any sheets tear up a washing machine---and I would assume 10 years of experience is a long enough sample period, even if it is N=1. Sometimes they do bunch up at the bottom of the washer (it's a top-loader) or hide down a sleeve and end up in the dryer. I try my best to find them but every so often one reappears as I'm folding clothes. I follow a simple adage: what goes in must come out. If you put one into the washer, you should have one after you are done doing laundry. If you do not, find it. Don't let the things disappear into your washer or dryer and ruin a perfectly good machine. Also, don't believe they are going to suck out all the color if you've got a recently tie-dyed t-shirt or something that is cheap quality and is bound to bleed (spending $40+ on a shirt doesn't guarantee it is good quality and absolve it of any ability to bleed). Maybe they aren't magical...

PROBLEM #4: Color catchers do leave some residue. I thought it was my powder soap for a while. I changed over to liquid detergent and the problem seemed to vanish. Of course, I had run out of the sheets and was waiting for some more. Can't make a clear conclusion when two variables change! Later, the white residue came back but it's usually on my wife's stretchy workout pants. I usually blame it on her and say she must have spilled some powder or something onto them and she drops the argument...she doesn't want to switch and start doing the laundry! When I saw a reviewer's comment about the white residue, I realized the sheets were the culprit. I don't get the residue all the time. My guess is maybe it's the second or third wash that is causing the problem. Perhaps 1/2 a sheet isn't made for multiple cycles...seems like they aren't magical after all but I still like them.

SUMMARY: The color catchers are great and help reduce bleeding. These sheets, however, are not magical (have you caught on?). You have to use some common sense and be a little careful. Here's my parting advice: Separate your clothes. Use cold water. Happy washing!
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on June 17, 2013
A friend recommended these after I complimented her on how colorful and new her children's clothes always looked.

Unlike most reviewers on here, I did not purchase these sheets in hopes of being able to wash different colors together (ahhh, the good-ole college experience of learning that white socks + red shirt = PINK socks!?!) I bought these so I could preserve the colors in my family's clothing. As my friend explained, the sheets soak up the color that is sloshing around in the washing machine and keep it from settling back on the clothes; that would otherwise make the clothing look dingy.

I think Shout's television commercials are off-base. They shouldn't promote these sheets as something that allows you to mix colors in your loads, they should promote them as something that helps preserve the colors of your clothes. But, hey, what do I know -- my major was not marketing.

The warning on the package that indicates these sheets can get sucked inside the washer motor and cause damage to your machine was worrisome for me, as anyone who has dropped several grand on an expensive front-load washer would tell you. So, I followed the directions on the package that indicate you should always put the Shout Color Catcher Sheet inside one of those mesh lingerie bags. Amazon sells those mesh bags, too. (Mesh Lingerie Delicates Wash Bag #121) This resolved the concern that my machine might eat one of these sheets. I was disappointed, however that the Color Catcher sheets kept getting scrunched-up or folded-up inside the mesh bags. Sometimes, I would pull out the mesh lingerie bag and find that the Color Catcher sheet had folded-up inside the bag and only the outside parts of the sheet had soaked up color, while the folded-up parts of the sheet were still white and unused. But, I didn't give up. I figured out a great way to make these sheets perform really well. For most, this advice may be too much work, but if you are a laundry connoisseur as I am, then you will love the following tip:

TIP: To keep the Color Catchers from srunching-up inside the mesh lingerie bags, I sew all 4 corners of the Color Catcher Sheet inside the mesh bag. See my pics that accompany Amazon's product picture. It doesn't need to be a perfect sew, just enough to keep the Color Catcher sheet from moving around in the mesh bag. This forces the Color Catcher Sheet to stay open and the entire sheet can do its job. It's always easy to spot the Color Catcher Sheet inside its little mesh bag cocoon when moving my laundry from the washer to the dryer, so I have no worries that my washer will eat a Color Catcher sheet. After each use, I cut the thread, pull out the used sheet, and hang up my mesh bags to dry. See my pics of used Color Catcher Sheets at the top of the page. During the week, I sew new Color Catcher Sheets inside the mesh bags as I sit and watch TV or sit on the sofa. It's really become easy to do as it is just part of my routine.

In addition to my sewn Color-Catcher in the mesh-bag tip above, here are more tips for preserving the colors of your laundry:
1. Always separate your colors - keep reds separate from darks, and whites should always be washed separately.
2. Turn the clothes inside out - this is not a problem if you have kids that strip off the clothes and leave it inside-out anyway.
3. Use cold water whenever possible -- this keeps the dyes in your colors from bleeding as much in the wash.
4. Add one cup of white distilled vinegar at the beginning of the wash cycle, and a ½ cup too in the rinse cycle if you like. Vinegar helps your detergent clean better, destroys odors and also helps freshen clothes. It also keeps dyes from lifting off clothes, and if you live in hard-water areas, vinegar dissolves the minerals that allow residue to be deposited back on the clothes. Don't worry, the vinegar smell doesn't linger on your laundry. You can buy one-gallon of generic brand distilled white vinegar at the "big-box" stores for about $2.85. By the way, the "big box" store also sells these Shout Color Catcher Sheets for appx $3.80.
5. Use liquid laundry detergent instead of powder whenever possible. Powder detergent can leave behind a film or residue that settles back on the clothes and makes them look dingy or faded.

In summary, I think these color-catcher sheets work well if you are trying to preserve the colors of your clothing. I would not recommend you use these so you can wash multi-color loads together.

No, I didn't get paid by Shout to write this review. Although I should start checking my mail for a (hint) royalty check from Shout for my suggestion on how to make their Color Catcher sheets work even better, and my advice for how to tweak their advertising and promote these sheets as "color preservers." ((((Smile)))) Don't worry, Shout people, I'm just kidding -- I'm all too familiar with the outcome of "the check is in the mail." ;)

Happy Laundering Everyone!
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on November 2, 2007
I have been using Color catcher for quite a while and I love it. I have a baseball type shirt that has dark blue sleeves with a white body and another shirt that is a cream colored body with maroon sleeves and had the hardest time washing either one of these until I found color catcher. Now I wash them together and never worry about the dark colors running onto the light part which actually happed on the shirt with the maroon sleeves. When you take the sheet out of the washer the sheet that started out white like a dryer sheet has obsorbed the colors from the clothes. It has allowed me to make bigger loads because I can include different colors. My only objection is that I could buy it locally until recently and now that I'm hooked I have to order it online. But it is worth a little extra effort.
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on January 1, 2011
I have to admit I bought this product with some skepticism. My husband said it would never work. I just put it to the toughest test and it worked like a charm. I washed 8 brand new, deep cranberry red place mats and napkins, which clearly instructed "to wash in cold water with like colors" with some white towels that are used for rags so I didn't care if they got turned pink, and I used warm water for the wash, not cold water. I put in 2 sheets in the delicates bag and placed in the back of the washer drum as instructed for HE front loading washer. The white towels came out perfectly white and the color sheets came out deep red. I wish I would have taken my husband up on his offer of a bet that the sheets would not work! I will now use this every time I wash something new that is likely to fade.
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on June 25, 2014
Was excited to get these and threw one in with my color load. I had two new pairs of khaki shorts in there and a pink dress. I have washed the pink dress twice already so figured with the color catcher I'd be fine but I was wrong. Trusting this product cost me $30, as I will now have to replace these items. Very dissapointed.
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on January 2, 2014
These color catchers are great. They DO grab the dye in the water. We have VERY rusty water and our whites would turn dingy very quickly. Now, just tossing in 1 catcher with my loads of whites keep them bright MUCH longer!

No product works miracles - you still should separate your loads of clothes before washing. These allow me to cut it down to 4 different types: Whites, Reds, Lights, Darks. Works great and pulls dye from the water even when washing clothes I've had for YEARS!
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on December 18, 2013
These work much better than the kind that are easier to find in store these days, the ones shaped like a pouch that also contain "Oxy Clean" inside the pouch. These, without the extra cleanser, provide more suface area to catch dye. Far superior and with a lower cost per unit.
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on January 24, 2011
I have been using these for several months now and have not had a single color run! I have to admit I was very skeptical even when I got a free sample but decided to try them and they really do work. Having a large HE washer it's not practical to have to sort clothes and run small loads. I do still do whites vs colors as those seem to get dirty at the same rate anyway, but now I can safely put items with both light and dark sections in the colors and not have to worry about the color running from that piece or another onto the light section. I have recommended these to a number of friends.
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on May 19, 2012
I did not put extreme colors together yet, but with today's sheet, you could see some color trapped. So far I used the stuff I've got from overseas, so I hope that this one will do the same great job. I will change the review if it doesn't work. Today it worked for the kaki, blue and pink together.
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on January 11, 2016
I am so happy that my mother convinced me to buy these Shout Color Catchers -- they have saved my stained clothing!

Not that long ago, I (foolishly) ran a load of clothes with a blue towel; it stained two (really nice) white shirts into dark gray colors, the white collar of one of my nicer shirts into a bright blue, and a big yellow sweatshirt into a lime-green color. I initially tried Carbona Color Run Removers (which were a complete bust) before investing in these Shout Color Catchers.

I did a couple individual washes of my stained clothes with the Color Catchers and voila! My clothes were COMPLETELY returned to normal: stain-free. I now never do a heavy wash without one of these Catchers in the machine too!
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