Frugal alternatives to expensive store-bought dye magnets

Homemade Dye Magnets

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Homemade Dye Magnets

I recently purchased a Carbona Dye Magnet, which was recommended by a friend as a product that really works. It really does prevent the colors in the wash from running on to other clothes. I continue to separate my clothes, but the whites are truly whiter and the darks are uninfluenced by their washer mates. So all is well (better) except that one dye magnet, which looks like an elongated terry washcloth costs $7-8. Would love to be able to prolong the looks and life of my washables for less money. Can you help?
Vivian W.

Try a Wash Cloth

I also have bought the dye magnet and it works great. Due to the cost I have found an alternative. I use plain white wash cloths, it picks up all the extra dye.

Salt Solution

I, too, purchased a dye magnet after seeing the local news do a test on it. I don't know of anything to make products brighter, but I do have a recipe for colorfasting a new garment/fabric that I have used in the past and it worked well. Place 1 tsp. Epsom salt in 1 gal. water. Soak item to be "colorfasted" in this overnight (or at least for quite a few hours). Rinse thoroughly in 1/4 cup vinegar to 1 gal water. Works well for me.
Lisa L.

New Clothes Treatment

Put your brand new clothes, one item at a time, in a bucket. Pour vinegar, undiluted, over the garment. I usually add water too. It locks the color in. After submerging, stirring around, and soaking for a period of time, wash in cold water. This locks the color into your clothes and keeps them sharp looking.

I took two identical receiving blankets I received as a shower gift and did this to only one. After I washed and dried them I compared. The one I did not use vinegar on was faded. It looked o.k. until you placed its twin beside it. The one I "vinegared" had sharp contrasts between colors, and was remarkably more new looking. If I have many new clothes to do at once, I soak the lightest colored ones first, and then progressively get darker, that way I can reuse the same vinegar/water mixture. One thing to watch for is clothes, or material, which has extremely runny dye, because if it does run right out of the clothes so freely, the second it gets wet, it could lock into another part of the garment. Just keep this in mind as you do it. I did t his with all the new baby clothes I received for both of my children. This keeps the clothes in good condition, and able to be resold at a consignment shop after I am done with them.

Keep It Simple

To keep colors from running in the wash, use 1/2 to 1 cup of salt (yes, regular table salt) or 1 cup of vinegar (which does double duty as it will reduce static cling - no need for liquid softener or sheets).

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