Shout Color Catchers Review: Can You REALLY Get Away Without Sorting your Laundry by Color?

Shout Color CatcherHave you heard of Shout Color Catchers? They are single-use sheets that go in with your non-sorted laundry that claim to “absorb and trap loose dyes in your wash water, protecting clothes against color bleeds and helping preserve original colors” (a quote from the Shout Color Catchers website). I had seen products like this show up over the years, but had never actually tried them. So it was fun to try out something new for this Shout Color Catchers review!

Now, let me just put a major disclaimer here: I in no way endorse mixing colors and whites in one load. In fact, I sort my laundry almost religiously and will never, ever wash white and colored clothes together. Or even light and dark clothes together. I firmly believe that if you want to keep your clothes looking good, the best (and easiest) thing you can do is spend a couple of minutes sorting. The reward? Non-dingy whites and colors that look good longer.

But sometimes, just sometimes I find myself wishing I could combine whites and colors. Specifically when I wash microfiber cloths. I use a ton of microfiber for cleaning – it’s probably the most used cleaning tool in our household (and you can read about how I use it and some of my other green cleaning choices in this post). We use microfiber cloths to clean everything from dog paws to bathroom counters to our ceramic stovetop, along with microfiber pads for the mop. And I have the cloths color coded so they don’t get mixed up: the bathroom cloths are white, the dog towels are orange and green and the kitchen towels are mostly pink and purple.

My microfiber laundry basket with dirty cloths that have been used for wiping dog paws and cleaning the bathroom

I like to wash the kitchen microfibers separately from the bathroom and dog paw ones, and this is where I could really find myself using a product like Shout Color Catchers: it would be fantastic to be able to mix the white and orange/green towels in one load. On top of that I wash all my microfiber on Hot, so that really gets the colors bleeding… Which is where the Shout Color Catchers could come in to “absorb and trap loose dyes”.

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Judging by how overwhelmingly positive the Amazon reviews were I thought I’d give them a try. Also, the 56 pack was pretty inexpensive – around $8 on Amazon when I bought it (that comes to around $0.14/sheet), which ended up being cheaper than my local supermarket where a 24 pack was around $5.

Shout Color Catchers Review

The box clearly states to “mix whites & colors in the same load”, so… I did

I took all the “dirty” (non-kitchen) microfibers I had – a couple of dog paw ones, several of the white bathroom ones and threw in some colored synthetic gym clothes I had in the hamper. All of the items I used for this test had been laundered many times before. I used Hot water in my Miele (50C/122F) and one Tide Free&Gentle pod along with two Shout Color Catchers. I placed the Shout Color Catchers sheets in a delicates bag to keep them from getting lost in the drum.

I have to say that I was pretty skeptical, and did not have very high hopes. But I was nonetheless willing to sacrifice some microfiber for the sake of laundry blog science!

Once the cycle was over here is what came out of the washer:

Not a great photo (my “laundry room” is actually a closet in our tiny condo bathroom with no windows, so I should really stop trying to take pictures there…), but you can see that the color catcher took on quite a bit of dye – it was completely white when it went in.

You can also probably see that the microfiber cloth is no longer white. In fact, here’s a comparison with a cloth that I did not wash in this load:

The microfiber cloth on the left was only laundered with whites, the one on the right went through the wash with colors and two Shout Color Catchers sheets

No miracles here: as you can see, the microfiber on the right is visibly dingy. And with microfiber being synthetic it’s pretty much impossible to get that out, although very hot water and sodium percarbonate can help a bit.

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I do however think that the Shout Color Catchers absorbed some dye – I’m sure without those two sheets the results would have been quite a bit darker.

Shout Color Catchers Verdict

As I expected, sorting whites and colors is still the only way to go if you want your clothes to stay in good shape. I did use hot water which increases dye run, so the results in cold or warm water would most likely have been better, but when dealing with cloths that were used for wiping the toilet hot is the only way to go. Also, the package clearly says that they “work in all water temperatures”.

By the way, for sorting my colors into whites, mediums and darks I use one of these 3 section laundry sorters and absolutely love it.

I’m honestly a little miffed that the manufacturer implies right on the box that these sheets will keep your whites white no matter what. It seems that a slightly more realistic approach would be better – for example, stating that using the Shout Color Catchers in mixed loads of colors can help keep colors bright would be more accurate.

Overall I think the Shout Color Catchers sheets have a place in the laundry room and I’m not disappointed that I purchased them. My primary use for these is going to be for clothes with bold  contrasting stripes – you know those types of shirts that have wide dark blue/red and white stripes? Every little bit helps in keeping the white parts looking decent on those! And I will be adding a sheet to my loads of colors if I have a new garment in there that I suspect might bleed. It’s also a pretty handy thing to take along on vacation – if you’re traveling light sometimes you have no choice but to take all your dirty clothes, stick them in a laundromat washer on warm (or even *gasp!* cold) and hope for the best. The Shout Color Catchers should increase your probability of success. And if you happen to be a person who for whatever reason does not want to sort your loads by color, please please please buy some of these.

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Have you tried the Shout Color Catchers? Do you think you’d have a use for them in your household? Do you agree with my Shout Color Catchers review like Consumer Reports does? Let me know in the comments!

The Shout Color Catchers were purchased by me for personal use. this blog post contains affiliate links that will give me a small commission on any purchases made through the links.

 

2 thoughts on “Shout Color Catchers Review: Can You REALLY Get Away Without Sorting your Laundry by Color?

  1. Kristina says:

    I like using the color catcher sheets anytime I wash new colorful / dark clothing- especially jeans. They catch a lot of dye during the first couple washes with new denim.

    • Olga says:

      Thanks for sharing Kristina. I like to add them to a load of colors if I have a new garment in there that might give off dye, or when I wash a lot of bright colored exercise clothes in one load.

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