Wool wash and surfactants

Discussion in 'Other Crafts and DIY Projects' started by SideDoorSoaps, Feb 12, 2020.

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  1. Feb 12, 2020 #1

    SideDoorSoaps

    SideDoorSoaps

    SideDoorSoaps

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    So I participate in a fiber festival every year and I’ve been asked a few times about wool wash. After doing some research on popular ones, Eucalan mostly, I noted the ingredients to be similar to shampoo bar ingredients. Particularly the Laundress wash with the listing saying plant based Anionic and Nonionic Surfactants and Eucalan’s
    • Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate (Vegetable-based soap)
    • Ammonium Chloride (Is a salt of ammonia; used as a thickener)
    • Cocamide MEA (Mild foaming agent and thickener derived from plant source)
    Would it be out of pocket to think I could make a liquid syndet with some of the ingredients I have from my shampoo bar buying?

    Would SLSa be too harsh for wools? Since I use it on my hair, why would it be too much for a knit hat or other knits? Or CAPB for cocomide MEA/DEA?

    I have looked up different animal fibers and the pH of them vary so I would image being pH neutral would be best for a detergent.



     
  2. Feb 12, 2020 #2

    lsg

    lsg

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    I suggest you take a look at Susan Swift's blog. She has a lot of good advice. If SLSa is not too harsh for your hair, then I think it would be OK for wool, as it is a natural fiber.
     
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  3. Feb 12, 2020 #3

    Kcryss

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    Based on a quick search, it seems wool has an acidic ph and recommendations are to use vinegar for both washing and softening. Strange but true. :)
    If you don't have any wool or natural fibers on hand, you could probably find some at a local yarn shop. Just buy a small amount and test it out.
     
  4. Feb 13, 2020 #4

    SideDoorSoaps

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    sheep’s wool does have a ph of 7-9 but alpaca has a lower pH, closer to our own hair.

    I have a ton of fiber that I am going to test on because my research also says that dyeing and different manufacturing of fibers can affect the pH as well.

    I think I will go talk to my fiber mill friends about this.
     
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  5. Feb 13, 2020 #5

    Kcryss

    Kcryss

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    That's awesome! Do you spin?
     
  6. Feb 17, 2020 #6

    SideDoorSoaps

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    I don’t spin yet lol I’m just an avid yarn and fiber lover. My next endeavor is to start weaving more to use stash before I start making my own yarn!
     
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  7. Feb 17, 2020 #7

    Ladka

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    I can't agree. I for example have rather strong hair not sensitive to the type of shampoo. I process wool from Slovenian native sheep breed with the dish washing detergent with no harm whatsoever. But I'm very prudent with fine merino fibres (18 microns and less) when I wash and dye it - it is far more sensitive to harsh treatment.
    So I think the type of wool and the sheep breed that produce it are the major factor in choosing the appropriate washing agent.
     
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  8. Feb 17, 2020 #8

    lsg

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    I was just guessing. It's great to have a venue for other opinions. Thanks for your input.:)
     
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  9. Feb 17, 2020 #9

    Kiti Williams

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    I use Orvus paste to wash my finer fleeces.
     
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  10. Feb 18, 2020 #10

    beckster51

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    Just a bit of practical experience to share, I have used a mild shampoo to wash hand knits for about 30 years. I was told by a fiber shop owner who taught me to knit that she had done that all her life with no problems, and I have not had any issues either. I only use a mild shampoo, not a specialty shampoo. I don't know if this would work washing anything other than hand knits.
     
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  11. Feb 20, 2020 #11

    SideDoorSoaps

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    I've never heard of this. Will check out.

    @beckster51 I have read that people have used baby shampoos for washing knits. I've thought about checking formulations for that as well.
     
  12. Feb 20, 2020 #12

    Kiti Williams

    Kiti Williams

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    I get mine at the local Farm Supply store, look for it in the horse section. Orvus leaves in the natural oils of the skin. It cleans a very dirty fleece in 2 hot washes. My first fleece was an uncoated one from Arizona, it was brick red with clay. 2 nice hot water dips and it was pure white with enough grease left to card and spin up wonderfully.
     
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  13. Feb 21, 2020 #13

    SideDoorSoaps

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    @Kiti Williams, I just looked up Orvus and it’s mostly sls. The reviews are pretty good. I’m gonna go see if there’s any at the Tractor Supply store! And I’m also gonna try my SLSa :)
     
  14. Feb 21, 2020 #14

    Kiti Williams

    Kiti Williams

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    @SideDoorSoaps, Yes it is mostly SLS, but man can it do the job! I use it to get rid of the dirt out of my fleece. As the yarn will be washed with a nice soap for sensitive skin (not mine), it does not matter about the if a bit of SLS remains in it. use 4 tablespoons of paste to 1 large sink of the hottest water you can get in your sink. I use a wire colander to hold the fleece, and just dunk it in after the paste has dissolved. I dunk the fleece in the colander a few times, you can see the junk run out of the fleece. I rinse with the same temp water, until the water runs clear, I pop the wet cool fleece into my washer for a spin, and put it in mesh bags on my laundry line to dry.
     
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  15. Feb 26, 2020 #15

    SideDoorSoaps

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