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Topic: What do you use to wash raw wool?  (Read 4338 times)
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2010 08:33:32 PM »

For really greasy males I use dawn and the "simmer not boil" method I guess you would call it on the stove. I put the skirted fleece on an old pillow case and roll it up then soak in some cool water to get just dirt out. Then on a medium heat I heat water with dawn on the stove top in an old roasting pan. Once hot I turn off the flame and unroll the pillow case and lay it in letting it soak a good 30min-hour as long as the water stays hot.  Check the water once it's discolored like rusty water to a dirty rain puddle, remove the fleece, dump the water and start again. I do this until the water is not so dirty. Then on the last dump when I have clean water and possibly more dawn I heat it up to a simmer and put the fleece back in, I keep the flame on just gentling lifting the sides of the pillow case to ensure waters always under the pillow case and I keep heating for about 20 min, you should see the water becoming very discolored. After that repeat if the fleece still smells, feels tacky or anything, if not place the fleece in a warm water solution and let it rinse out.

For girls, lambs, alpaca and lama it depends on how much time I have to devote to cleaning the fleece if I can only do it in small batches I use one of those kitty litter pans with the removable strainer, an old pillow case and very hot water, if theres little grease or soil thats all I use I don't even both with soap. That strainer is nice for removing the flece to refresh the water then I use it as a drying rack.  If I want to do the whole fleece its the claw foot tub or top loading washer inside lingerie bags and/or old pillowcases but I find my water isn't hot enough in the washer to do the trick.

Most important thing I have found is just not letting the water get too cool while getting the lanolin out or the lanolin goes back into the wool and you keep repeating the process.

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