I try to pre-wash my fabric and get it neatly into my stash as soon as possible. On Friday, I got my first Patchwork City BOM kit, the rest of the fabric I need for my king sized ninja quilt, and I picked up some other odds and ends. As always, there was some other fabric around here that I hadn't yet pre-washed. So the last couple days have been spent pre-washing and ironing. The washing end is in sight (there's still a healthy pile of ironing left!) and this morning I put in one of the last groups of fabrics, including some Cotton & Steel Viewfinders, some lovely Alison Glass Sun Prints, and some solid purple yardage. Darks. So I threw in a couple color catchers. Then I started up the washer and went about my morning.
When I came back to move the fabric to the dryer I was a bit confused at first. I opened the washer and picked up the top piece of fabric, and three color catchers. Hm. I thought I only put in two. Perhaps there was one in there from the previous load. I started trimming the unraveled edges of the fabric and there was something on it. Crud, looks like a piece of paper or a tag somehow got into this load of fabric... ya know, like how a tissue disintegrates in the washer, little bits of brown on my fabric. :-P I dusted the fat quarter off a bit then threw it into the dryer. Then I picked up the next piece of fabric and it's covered in brown bits, and underneath it were about fifteen color catchers. In that moment I knew what had happened, I WASHED THE ENTIRE BOX OF COLOR CATCHERS! Well, at least none of the fabrics bled. ;-)
Now I'm pretty sure when a small cardboard box disintegrates into wet cardboard dust, it results in about a million little brown specks... so yeah, they weren't exactly coming off real easily. So I shook the fabric around and kinda dusted it off with my hand as best I could and start loading it into the dryer. Then I had to babysit the dryer so I could empty the lint trap when it filled up, about every 4 minutes. At least this mostly took care of the problem and a second wash and dry seems to have left all my fabric looking like new again. You non-pre-washers are pointing and laughing now, aren't you?
In summary, here's my pro tip: Don't put the entire box of Color Catchers in the wash.