In this report
Overview

Can products stop washday bleeding?

Last reviewed: June 2011
June 2011 issue cover This article appeared in
June 2011 Consumer Reports Magazine.
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The claims

Shout Color Catcher and Carbona Color and Dirt Grabber claim to trap what the textile industry calls "fugitive dye," color that has bled from cloth. Boxes of Shout, a disposable sheet, say, "Allows mixed washes" and "prevents color runs." Boxes of Carbona, a reusable terry cloth, say, "Wash mixed colors with confidence!"

The check

We found a brand of red polo shirt that bleeds reliably and washed identical shirts plus white cloths with and without Shout and Carbona. We judged the results with human eyes and with a colorimeter, which measures color change.

Bottom line

With or without the products, the white cloths turned pink. The Shout and Carbona sheets turned an even darker pink, meaning they did catch color. But they didn't catch all of it. Follow Mom's advice: Wash lights and darks separately, and wash anything that might bleed by itself or with a similar color.