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Login Name Post: Cleaning a wool blanket with snow        (Topic#306184)
Flint62Smoothie 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1427
Flint62Smoothie
01-08-18 02:03 PM - Post#1662086    


Most interesting concept ... using the ammonia in fresh snow to clean wool. I've heard of the ammonia trick before, as it dates back hundreds of years, as once when I was touring a medieval castle in Europe they showed us an internal chimney, at the bottom of which was a 'urine pit'. The clothes of the royalty would be hung out over wooden grates to sit in the ammonia drafting up the chimney. While yes, they'd smell of urine, it at least would clean the clothes and kill any critters in them. At least this method - using snow - should keep them smelling better, huh?

You don't want that fresh snowfall to go to waste, so here's the whole process for cleaning your wool blankets using snow ... as in freshly fallen snow that is. Shake out the blanket and hang it outside of a little while to let it acclimate to the cold. Find a nice, non-yellow patch of untouched powdery snow. Lay the blanket on top of it and cover it with some more snow using a broom. After about 20-minutes, flip it over and do the same thing. Then shake off as much snow as you can and hang it up outside.

The trace amounts of ammonia in the snow will cause dirt and grime to solidify and fall out of the blanket while any remaining snow will sublimate. After about half an hour, your wool blanket will be all clean and still be in great shape. Check out the link below for a more thorough explanation of each step:


Source = https://lifehacker.com/clean-wool-blankets-with-fresh-snow-1...
All my MZLs will shoot into a ragged ~1/2" hole ALL DAY LONG... it's just the 2nd & 3rd shots that open the group!


 
Black Hand 
Cannon
Posts: 7188
01-08-18 02:49 PM - Post#1662099    

    In response to Flint62Smoothie

Hang you blankets in the sun and fluff them in a dryer on low (or beat with a stick) to remove dirt.

 
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6845
01-08-18 03:22 PM - Post#1662110    

    In response to Flint62Smoothie

Color me skeptical.

Spence

 
Black Hand 
Cannon
Posts: 7188
01-08-18 03:40 PM - Post#1662112    

    In response to Spence10

I can understand hanging blankets in freezing conditions to kill fleas, ticks & lice, but I am also skeptical of ammonia in snow. Last time I checked, snow was frozen water (H2O) and not ammonia (NH3)...

 
Colorado Clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 14297
Colorado Clyde
01-08-18 06:27 PM - Post#1662161    

    In response to Black Hand

It takes a speck of dust to make a snow flake....And that is as clean as snow gets....From there is just gets dirtier...
I think it would be counter productive....
Besides other pollutants in the air probably neutralize the PH, High PH is what makes ammonia an effective cleaner....

Trace levels of ammonia are anecdotal at best. The real work horse is probably ice crystals, and their scrubbing action.


 
Colorado Clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 14297
Colorado Clyde
01-08-18 06:31 PM - Post#1662162    

    In response to Colorado Clyde

I wash all my wool in the washing machine....Cold water, gentle cycle, a touch of woolite...Line dry let hang for a few days....for the stink of woolite to evaporate.


 
Jaeger 
40 Cal.
Posts: 402
Jaeger
01-08-18 09:00 PM - Post#1662198    

    In response to Flint62Smoothie

The air pollution must be really bad in your area if you have even trace amounts of ammonia in your snow!

 
THE SAVAGE 
32 Cal.
Posts: 30
01-08-18 09:14 PM - Post#1662201    

    In response to Jaeger

Hu all depends on how much uall drunk in tee snow saw it yeller far quit a while boys

 
Loyalist Dave 
Cannon
Posts: 6612
Loyalist Dave
01-10-18 07:23 AM - Post#1662491    

    In response to Colorado Clyde

  • Quote:
I wash all my wool in the washing machine....Cold water, gentle cycle, a touch of woolite...Line dry let hang for a few days....for the stink of woolite to evaporate.



I use the machine, but I fill it up with hot water, the heat gets rid of the chlorine in the tap water. I let the water come to room temp (fill the machine at night; next morning good to go). I immerse my blankets, but don't agitate. I use Woolite or Dreft. After soaking for an hour, I spin dry, and hang up to air dry. I do the same for very expensive regimental coats. No worries.

LD

 
Flint62Smoothie 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1427
Flint62Smoothie
01-10-18 08:49 AM - Post#1662504    

    In response to Loyalist Dave

Lots of sources advise not using Woolite, but buying special ‘wool wash’ from outdoor sport places like REI, or use a mild children’s or baby shampoo, without dyes, perfumes or harsh cleaning agents.

Wool is a protein based product and the pH of Woolite really isn’t the best for natural/organic products. Products like Woolite are actually soaps, which means they are very alkaline (base) and that can open up the scales in the fiber and damage the wool. You want something with a lower pH than soap.

But good to hear it may be working OK for you ...
All my MZLs will shoot into a ragged ~1/2" hole ALL DAY LONG... it's just the 2nd & 3rd shots that open the group!


 
Colorado Clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 14297
Colorado Clyde
01-10-18 10:39 AM - Post#1662522    

    In response to Loyalist Dave

  • Loyalist Dave Said:
  • Quote:
I wash all my wool in the washing machine....Cold water, gentle cycle, a touch of woolite...Line dry let hang for a few days....for the stink of woolite to evaporate.



I use the machine, but I fill it up with hot water, the heat gets rid of the chlorine in the tap water. I let the water come to room temp (fill the machine at night; next morning good to go). I immerse my blankets, but don't agitate. I use Woolite or Dreft. After soaking for an hour, I spin dry, and hang up to air dry. I do the same for very expensive regimental coats. No worries.

LD


I don't have chlorine in my water....and I us an HE front loader.....Have you considered using a campden (potassium or sodium metabisulfate) tablet to remove the chlorine?
It would save on time and hot water...One tablet treats 20 gallons of water.


 
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6845
01-10-18 11:20 AM - Post#1662533    

    In response to Colorado Clyde

What's the problem with chlorine in the wash water?

Spence

 
Colorado Clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 14297
Colorado Clyde
01-10-18 05:10 PM - Post#1662608    

    In response to Spence10

  • Spence10 Said:
What's the problem with chlorine in the wash water?

Spence



That's a question for Dave...

But, it if harms your wool I wouldn't drink it..


 
Grumpa 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2029
01-11-18 12:46 PM - Post#1662802    

    In response to Spence10

I don't know that there is enough chlorine in tap water to be a problem. Chlorine bleach will dissolve wool fibers. Even diluted, it will cause permanent yellowing, loss of color, stiffening and weakening. This from a site (the Spruce) on cleaning wool.

Richard/Grumpa

 
Ringel05 
45 Cal.
Posts: 754
Ringel05
01-11-18 01:38 PM - Post#1662808    

    In response to Colorado Clyde

Same here but I use a sensitive skin soap like Purex that has no dyes, perfumes or other additives. Stretch the wool back out (reshape it) then hang it to dry on a drying rack.

 
SgtErv 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1338
01-13-18 04:43 PM - Post#1663192    

    In response to Loyalist Dave

And now I know how to clean my hand-sewn wool jacket. Good topic!

Anything I’ve made (most, see below), I’ve been sure to wash and dry the fabric twice with hot water to shrink it before seeing it up. This way I know it won’t get destroyed from a hand washing.

Most of the time...I just sewed a blanket coat that I didn’t wash beforehand

 
nhmoose 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2006
nhmoose
01-20-18 05:49 PM - Post#1664892    

    In response to SgtErv

I bet yellow snow will have ammonia in it!

 
Colorado Clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 14297
Colorado Clyde
01-24-18 12:57 PM - Post#1665582    

    In response to nhmoose

When researching soap making I came across a reference that said, soap was originally invented for cleaning wool...Not for washing people.


 
spudnut 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1299
spudnut
01-28-18 03:15 PM - Post#1666345    

    In response to Colorado Clyde

Isaw acouple youtube vids where they just soaked them in lukewarm water in the tub,slighty agitate by hand, drain, rinse in cold , drain then drape them over a couple saw horses in the shade,these were trekkers doing it and that water came out dirty!

 
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