Tag Archives: detergent

Items With Which To Wash Bulk Wool



1 – hot water
2- steel stock tank w galvanized grating 2″ off bottom
3 – drain plugs
4 – propane heater
5 – skirting / drying racks (4 x 4 or 2 x 2 wire w 2×4 frame on saw horses)
6 – detergent (Norwex / some report Tide does just as well?)


Skirt wool on skirting racks.  Pull into small pieces.  Discard any felted/too dirty wool and shorts.  Wool will clean itself in doing so – this procedure is critical in that it makes it much easier to wash if cleaned well.

Water needs to be between 150 – 160F (65 – 70C).  Detergent needs to be added before adding the wool o that it does not form suds.  Add wool to water.  Gently press down.  Maintain temperature of water.  Water at top will cool.  Gently press wool down every 5 minutes (approx.) in order to circulate water (note: consider how to achieve this without agitation).  Do not agitate at all during washing / rinse.  Drain.  Repeat.

Wash twice; rinse twice.

Set on racks to dry.

Lanolin extraction:

Lanolin can be commercially extracted from wool at 70C.  I wonder if instead of using detergent the first time (i.e. use instead 160F/70C water alone) if the drained water can then be processed for lanolin extraction by boiling?  Detergent can then be used as outlined above: two wash cycles and two rinse cycles.

(*Note: The principles behind this procedure was outlined to me by a commercial wool processor from the region.  While discussing the particulars of my own life here, it was thought that the above outline would work well.  I have not yet tried this, but hope to do so within a week or two.)