The following is an experiment I wanted to test out if it worked.
But I want to strongly advise if anyone tries this for them self, to test a lock or two and see if you are happy with the results on a test lock before doing an entire fleece.
I used Corriedale in my experiment with regular drug store hydrogen peroxide I checked at 10min and 24 hours. I didn’t experience any deterioration in the lock, but the science shows it can break down fibers. I don’t know how it would effect fine wool so make sure
Before trying this to test a lock first. Even 10min produced results so 24 hours may not be necessary. I didn’t dilute the hydrogen peroxide for my test, however it was a very low percentage. For instance, it wasn’t using a high peroxide strength that is used to professionally bleach your hair, we all know that damages no two ways about it.
My experiments on a medium wool came out with results I was very happy with. I wouldn’t do this on an entire fleece as personally I would rather dye it.
Where I would use this technique?
if in a finished yarn I had noticeable yellowing in a small portion and it was very apparent in contrast to the white I might try this to fix that.
If I had long locks that were very white and I had some stubborn dirt.
I would always test a lock first and use the minimum amount needed to get the job done.
Low concentration of hydrogen peroxide, maybe dilute with water if that was a concern and to check often if ten minutes is all it needs. I did take photos at 10 min and 24 hours to share my experience.
Again this was an experiment but only using one type of fleece that was a medium wool and I didn’t have any notable breakdown in strength when compared to my control lock.
I could have very different results with different fleece so if anyone decides to try this, I would say to make sure to test a lock and use the least amount of product and time required to achieve results.
Everyone knows the less we put our fiber through the better.
This experiment did work for me with no problems, but I would always test again were I to have stains I want to remove from fleece.
Remember this was an experiment that I tried and wanted to share my results.
It’s not necessary to do. I can always overdye stains. But it’s nice to know I have another option to try if I want to whiten fleece
Majority of my knowledge comes from the internet. That said, there is one person in particular I have learned a lot from . There are many fiber artists that teach and are wonderful. They show tried and true techniques and are famous for being leaders in our world of fiber arts. I have books from several of these people. This experiment I am trying I learned from Natalie Redding, of Namaste Farms.
She can be found at http://www.namastefarms.com, where it will lead you to a myriad of information. In addition to her own professional website, she has a YouTube channel, livestream account, a blog talk radio show that airs every Thursday night at 6pm PST, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, google plus, oh and a season of her own reality show on Nat Geo Wild called Shear Madness, with Springcast shows that followed each Shear Madness episode. I’m sure I’m forgetting more somewhere. She is truly inspiring when it comes to fiber arts.
It was, Namaste Farms YouTube videos, that inspired me to start spinning. She made high end handspun yarn, for http://www.yarnmarket.com, using rare breed wool and long locks from her prize winning flock of sheep and goats. Her yarn is gorgeous and fun, and she shared special techniques, like ways to make locks longer without having, the hard to find, expensive to purchase, extreme long locks that grow on the sheep only once in the their lifetime.
She shared lessons she learned, from the hard knocks only experience and mistakes can bring. Proprietary information, that made her gorgeous yarn, she willingly shares with the public. I soaked it all up, I watched over and over. She made everything look so easy, and for Natalie, after producing these yarns 100’s of times, I’m sure it was easy, but when I would try, I didn’t catch on to everything the first try.
She has a special touch. You should see her beat the side of her house with a skein of yarn, it’s insane looking, but the results are magical. That technique I got down pat, my husband usually tells me to “keep it down, what will the neighbors think”… And I respond, “they think you are my submissive and getting what you asked for, now kiss my feet, lol” he covers his face, shaking his head, saying “what am I going to do with this woman” anyways, on to stain removal.
She put out a little piece of info that I had to try. Hydrogen peroxide removes stains from your precious wool locks.
Ever have a fleece that is so gorgeous, so amazing, that you wash it lock by lock? I got some of that. A pound here, a pound there, different breeds of gorgeous raw locks, that I want kept in lock formation. After washing the locks, carefully, clean as usual, I was left with a very few that had these stubborn stains.
I decided to give this, hydrogen peroxide soak, a try with a few locks to see if it worked, and here are my results…
ok, as you see in the picture I have brown stained dirty tips, with my control sample, showing, what the aim is. I filled a small tub with hydrogen peroxide, and gently laid my precious, brown tip stained lock. Now to wait. I’d give it over night, but I couldn’t help but peaking in.
Something was already happening in the first few seconds.. I had a good feeling about this. But, my curiosity, had me look…. Again.
ok so this photo above, is only 10 minutes later and it’s all in. Now, I had to put it away, and wait. I put a lid on it, to prevent, rather, try to deter myself from being ridiculous about checking. The next day came, finally, and it was time to check my dirty tipped lock, and here is what it looked like.
Next, time to wash and dry, hydrogen peroxide treated lock. Again reminding readers, patience, is not my best quality, but good things come to those who wait. Hmm, maybe , I should work on that crochet blanket that got me into this yarn enslavement, and finish it. But if I keep it in UFO status (unfinished object)forever, it will still always be new, I love that blanket, look what it started. If I finished it, it might get used and ratty, or dirty…. Although, this is workin prettttty dang good, lol, so far.
This tested lock(the lock right next to the tub), after rinse and dry, is completely 100% white. And you can see the muck it took off in the bowl.
after a good rinse, and dry, the results are even more dramatic.
see picture below of results of that show completely dry, picture describes which lock is which. I’m not only pleased, I’m actually surprised.
i didn’t expect this much of a before and after
Seriously, these results speak volumes. I mean woah! I’m in awe here.
So I decide… Let’s see if it will clean that other lock, in the already used dirty tub.
Yep, I put that in too. Didn’t change the dirty liquid inside the tub, just left it in there, I’m testing this, how far can I go? Notice I’m using small samples. For those curious, Im reusing tubs that food come in. The experiment tub used to hold Trader Joes, fresh bruschetta sauce. It holds (14.5 oz or 411 grams of product). As you can see the tub is filled less than half way with hydrogen peroxide. I only wanted enough to cover a lock.
That liquid was already filled with nasty brown… Who knows, dirt, maybe poopy dirt, dirt mixes in the poo it’s possible. Our best soil is manure based. It was gross, but let’s fast forward 24 hours, and see how that lock ends up. Time to give it a good rinse, let it dry and see what results I have.
Here they are. All three locks, clean as a whistle, two started out with stains. Clearly, the hydrogen peroxide works on dirty brown stained tips. You can even see there is some yellowing that is gone from the initial picture.
Lets see though how it does with urine stains, or yellowing that’s notorious, for being difficult to come out in a regular wash or scouring. If it doesn’t work, no problem, wool can be dyed. Really, there aren’t too many problems that can not be solved, if one puts there mind to it. However I really adore this fleece and most of it is stark white, there are very very few areas with urine stains, or dirty tips, it’s just beautiful. Unbelievable this came from an animal the amount of how really clean it was. However, if possible, I’d love to make the yellow disappear. Lol, can you imagine leaving it in, and someone asks, “oh this is beautiful, what’s that yellowish right there, in that part of the hat? Does it have some significance?”
oh, that? No, That’s just a sheep urine stain… Here is your hat. Look it’s clean, urine stains are just hard to remove. Just put it on, I want to see if it fits. Stop being so weird about it, it’s clean, just put it on your head, I worked really hard on this. Whatever, ya ingrate, Your welcome!
Ok that conversation, would not happen, more than likely. But it could, no? More than likely, we dye the yellowing, and don’t add it to the stark white project, but should it get missed, guess what, if this technique works, and you see yellow blaring in your all white project, you could still give it some time in the hydrogen peroxide. Below, we have a few yellow stained samples next to the white, for contrast.
I’m emptying my test tub, cleaning it, and starting with a fresh batch of my special potion, and again I’m adding my yellow stained locks, holding back one for comparisons sake.
Ok, did I mention I am not a fan of the waiting? Yea, so here is 10 minutes later. It’s still yellow, big surprise there. Mind you, during these tests, I just put the lock in, no moving around, no scrubbing, or rubbing between my fingers… Just get the lock in, submerged, and wait.
I put the lid back on and waited. I must say, now this was turning into a days long event, why I didn’t do several tubs at once is beyond me. Except to say maybe, I’m frugal, and I didn’t want to use a lot of hydrogen peroxide? Nope, not really, just didn’t think to do it.
Ok so 24 hours later, I open my tubs lid to unveil the yellow stains Houdini disappearance….. This is what I saw
Let’s get the locks out of the tub, give them a good rinse, let them dry, and see what we really have here.
The above picture shows you my results of this experiment. Again, this couldn’t have been more easy. No scrubbing, no heating to such and such temperature, careful not to let this or that happen…. Nothing hard at all.
I literally dropped my stained locks, into a tub of hydrogen peroxide, and the next day, took them out, rinsed them with cool water from the tap, pat dried them in a towel to help remove excess water (so they would dry faster, you could probably even skip that step if you wanted, but then again, if they take too long to dry, mold can be a factor, and then you have another issue on your locks, so actually, don’t skip that step and just pat dry locks in a towel… Lol how’s that for a run on sentence, sorry about that, I was thinking out loud) so yes, pat dry rinsed locks in a towel and let them dry completely, either in the sun or on a sweater dryer rack (wherever you dry your locks/fleece)
I actually made my own dryer rack, out of PVC pipe, screen material, and zip ties. Before I made the PVC version, I’d just remove a screen off my window, hose it down, give it a quick towel off to dry and BAM! An aerated screen propped up on whatever is handy, and you have a place to dry locks of wool. Not to mention, it has a place to be put away, right where it belongs, back on the window.
A lot of my fiber tools are homemade ourself. By being able to save money on these fiber tools, leaves extra money for the wool we use on them. I promise, another blog on those tools later.
In the meantime, back to my hydrogen peroxide experiment. It works. I am now wondering, how big bottles of this stain removing gem, come in. I will have to do some research on that. The bottle I used, was 16fl oz, or 1pint, and was 3% hydrogen peroxide and purified water. It cost around $1 a maybe $1.99. Next, I will look to see if it comes in higher percentages and bigger bottles, and where I can find it. Surely, it must. With these results, even what I thought looked already white, in my control sample, the stained samples, came out even more white. It’s tempting to use hydrogen peroxide as one of the last rinse waters in my regular routine fleece washing of white fleeces.
i had excellent results on the samples I tried. There may come along a stain one of these days that will not disappear 100%, in that case, you can dye it, or maybe blend it with other fibers to disguise its whereabouts. This is why I love fiber arts. Bad wool for a perfect spin? Felt it. Stubborn stains, over dye or blend. No one will ever be the wiser they have sheep piss stains in the gift, I have lovingly, blood sweat and stitched for them, lol, speaking of, I wonder if hydrogen peroxide removes blood stains? Well, next time I bleed on a white lock, no doubt using those prime evil wolverine combs….new testing will commence, until then… Hydrogen peroxide is a winner. It really works. The results above are miraculous considering how easy it is. My gorgeous white locks, buuuuuuuh, I’m seriously, in love.
This experiment gave me another idea to try. I’m cutting very small, dirty tips from clean fleece, with the plan to soak in hydrogen peroxide, and make my own wool nepps. I’ve never seen a tutorial on making wool nepps…
we will see if I can make it work. I’m hopeful.