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  #1  
Old 02/17/07, 06:28 PM
 
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Washing a wool blanket?

I bought a very nice Pendelton wool blanket at an auction last week for $2.

I need to wash it, and don't want to buy Woolite...That stuff is expensive!!!

Someone on this forum said that shampoo could be used instead.

True?

How much shampoo do I use in the washing machine?

Any other tips on how to launder it?
clove

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  #2  
Old 02/17/07, 06:31 PM
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I have a Navajo blanket my sister bought me years (somewhere between ten and twenty) ago, and I've always washed it with regular detergent, delicate cycle, with cold water, and hung it to dry.

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  #3  
Old 02/17/07, 07:03 PM
 
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I washed a wool blanket that I bought at the thrift store. I filled the washer with cold water and then added half the amount of laundry soap I'd regularly use. I washed it on gentle, then put vinegar in the rinse cycle. I dried in on the line and it came out fine.

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Old 02/17/07, 07:09 PM
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I used dish soap for years, cold cycle.

Now I use homemade laundry detergent, cold cycle. Works fine.

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  #5  
Old 02/17/07, 07:10 PM
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I have never had a wool blanket much less cleaned one, but my grandpa was a great story teller and told us of cleaning the wool rugs and blankets in the snow. They apparently just spread them out on a nice fall of snow and walked all over them w/ clean boots; did the flip side on a new patch of snow and then shook the whole thing off and carried it back inside. He said the snow would be brown after that

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  #6  
Old 02/17/07, 07:25 PM
 
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No matter the cost of Woolite. To me it is worth it. Wool stuff is EXPENSIVE. Don't ruin it!

What I do is... wash it on Cold cycle in the washing machine with Woolite liquid...spin dry...

THEN, I get someone to help me "stretch it" VERY slowly and VERY carefully and VERY equally to correct dimensions.

THEN I hang it in a shady spot or indoors where it can dry SLOWLY......and I check it a couple of times while it's drying .......
in case it needs a minor "stretch" once again.

just my 2 centavos worth......that's how I've done my Pendleton shirts too, for over
30 years. I won't let someone else do my wool,...(1st wife ruined a pile of Pendleton shirts!)...except sometimes a reputable dry-cleaner. Smells lousy after that!

just my personal opinion and the experience that has worked well for me.
Bruce

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  #7  
Old 02/17/07, 10:14 PM
 
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Shampoo works fine. If you have a feed store close to you, get Orvus paste to use.

The gentlest cycle your machine will do, cold water. Put the blanket in after the machine has stopped filling. Stretch the blanket back out to it's proper dimensions and hang it to dry.

That's quite a find!

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  #8  
Old 02/17/07, 10:25 PM
 
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Washed wool blankets once- and my wool cabled fisherman's sweater dozens of times (gets dirty here in the winter)- on delicate cycle with smaller amount regular detergent in my front load washer.

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  #9  
Old 02/17/07, 10:40 PM
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Just remember that the more the wool is agitated the more it will be felted. It is much better to soak wool than to "scrub" it. If I have something made of wool that means a lot to me, I fill the tub with cold water, use just a little bit of any type of soap (you want the dirt to release), soak for 3 minutes maximum, rinse really good without rubbing the item too much and either block it and dry flat or hang it on a line to dry.... works every time.

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  #10  
Old 02/17/07, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen H
Shampoo works fine. If you have a feed store close to you, get Orvus paste to use.

The gentlest cycle your machine will do, cold water. Put the blanket in after the machine has stopped filling. Stretch the blanket back out to it's proper dimensions and hang it to dry.

That's quite a find!
We also use Orvus when washing wool blankets and quilts, but I do the washing in the bath tub, not in the washing machine.

We've bought quilts at auctions and old wool blankets on Ebay and I always was them by hand in the bath tub. Blankets & quilts have more open space in the bath tub so it is less stressful on the fibers, the tub allows me to gently agitate the wash as needed and lets me see how dirty the wash water has become. We purchased some wool blankets that were stored a long time that were so full of dust & dirt that I had to change the wash water 3 times before it stayed clear of silt!

We squeeze (not twist) the fabric to remove the excess rinse water and then if the fabric is in good shape we lay the article across the top of our 4
lines clothes line. Items in poorer shape are rolled up with several towels, squeezed then dried on a flat surface and turned over as needed.

We don't use regular clothes detergents on wool blankets and quilts as they usually contain "brightners" which affect the color of the fabric.

deb
in wi
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  #11  
Old 02/17/07, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasotami
Just remember that the more the wool is agitated the more it will be felted. It is much better to soak wool than to "scrub" it. ... either block it and dry flat or hang it on a line to dry.... works every time.
I did a cold-water wash on a wool blanket with cotton weft and after i washed it, it was pretty felted. eventually it started falling apart at the cotton.

Less agitation the next time i have the guts to wash wool, for sure. ... Next time I wash a sweater will be in about a month. We've had 5 weeks of really cold weather, and I've been wearing my one wool sweater an awful lot!

I was that wife who ruined 2-3 wool sweaters. On behalf of the ignorant, I apologise!

DON'T dry any wool in the dryer. .... please
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  #12  
Old 11/02/10, 09:24 PM
 
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Okay...I'm bumping my thread that is now over two and a half years old.

I went to another auction, and bought three wool blankets for just $2 for the lot. They were almost the last items to sell. One is a Pendleton, and the other two are super, duper nice.

Can anyone tell that I am a sucker for very nice, high quality wool blankets, especially when I can buy them cheap?

One reason is that we just washed my very favorite wool blanket that is circa 1950, and it is beginning to show some wear. How on earth will I ever replace that thing?

Here is my reason for bumping the thread: I need to get these blankets washed so we can start using them. While they appear to be very, very clean, I still don't like the thought of bringing someone else's bedding into my home for personal use.

1. I get really nervous when laundering wool. I bet you guessed that already.

2. I want these blankets to be clean...and germ free. Will the shampoo and washing it in a bath tub be sufficient for killing germs, and anything else that might be hiding there?

3. What in the world is Orvus?

4. My cousin owns a front loading washing machine. Would it be worth the time and trouble to wash them at her place?

5. Should I just pay a dry cleaner? The last wool blanket I took to a DC cost me $9, and that was years and years ago.

6. Should I spend the money for Woolite detergent if I launder these at home?

Signed,

Addicted to high quality wool blankets in Indiana

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  #13  
Old 11/02/10, 09:29 PM
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Bathtub.
Cool Water etc.. just like Deb said.
Slow and gentle is the way to go.

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  #14  
Old 11/02/10, 09:36 PM
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I use a front loader so the agitator won't felt the wool. Use woolite and I always add a little bit of fabric softener to the rinse water when I wash my "dry clean only" Hudson Bay blankets. It helps the blanket regain it's shape when I hang it on the line to dry. It's the only thing I use fabric softener for.
I hate the smell (and cost) of dry cleaning and my blankets are nice and clean.

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  #15  
Old 11/02/10, 10:20 PM
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"Orvus" is a tub of paste detergent; about a liter, with a wide-mouth screw-on cap! It is the consistancy of paste in school, lol, but is very pure and very effective. We used to wash the horses with it!

Get it at tractor supply or any larger feed/animal supply store. Ask for "orvus paste".

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  #16  
Old 11/02/10, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jill.costello View Post
"Orvus" is a tub of paste detergent; about a liter, with a wide-mouth screw-on cap! It is the consistancy of paste in school, lol, but is very pure and very effective. We used to wash the horses with it!

Get it at tractor supply or any larger feed/animal supply store. Ask for "orvus paste".
We used to bathe our sheep with it at fair. Seems to work well on wool.
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Old 11/02/10, 10:39 PM
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Prepare your cold water in the bathtub and mix a "cap" full of Lysol into the water "before" you add the wool blanket. Lysol will kill any germ!

Take the wool blanket outside and hang it on a sturdy line (or fence) and beat it with a broom. Then take it in and place it in the cold water. Let it soak only about 5 minutes at the most and "squeeze" the water out. (Don't need soap; but if want to use it, use one you know for sure has no "brighteners".)

Hang blanket back over sturdy line/fence (preferable in the shade) and let it dry leizurely.

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  #18  
Old 11/02/10, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by clovis View Post
Can anyone tell that I am a sucker for very nice, high quality wool blankets, especially when I can buy them cheap?
I am too.

I ONLY buy them when they are cheap!

I wash them in the washing machine, cold/cold, gentle cycle, Dawn dishwashing liquid.

This works very, very well for me.
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  #19  
Old 11/03/10, 12:18 AM
 
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I'd use a gentle soap in the bathtub rather than a washing machine tub.
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  #20  
Old 11/03/10, 12:48 AM
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I'd use a gentle soap in the bathtub rather than a washing machine tub.
That works if you have a bathtub. Just a shower stall here.
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  #21  
Old 11/03/10, 03:53 AM
 
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Is there a Dollar Tree Store near you ??? The wool wash there is only ..... $1.00 .
Also I would not use dish detergent on wool because they contain degreasers which strip the natural oils from the wool . I have used baby shampoo on wool before . That is plenty gentle .

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  #22  
Old 11/03/10, 04:19 AM
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I don't use anything special on wool blankets, just cold water in the washing machine and dry outside. I have wool blankets from Mexico that are almost 40 yrs old that have always been washed like that.

I do use Kookaburra wool cleaner on my fleece saddle pad and some other fleece tack accessories. It's great stuff. http://halcyonyarn.com/products.php?...gn=gb_products

Funny and I never thought about it, I have special soap for the horse stuff and reg. detergent for mine!

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  #23  
Old 11/03/10, 08:23 AM
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Signed,

Addicted to high quality wool blankets in Indiana
Someday you will discover Hudsons Bay Point blankets and all the other wool blankets you own will come in second place.
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  #24  
Old 11/03/10, 08:49 AM
 
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Thank you for all of the replies!!!!! Keep them coming!!!!!

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Old 11/03/10, 08:57 AM
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Also I would not use dish detergent on wool because they contain degreasers which strip the natural oils from the wool . I have used baby shampoo on wool before . That is plenty gentle .
Dawn Hand Renewal with Olay keeps them soft. Even after many washings, my wool blankets are still like new.
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  #26  
Old 11/03/10, 09:06 AM
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I have wanted to try a craft project using wool sweaters that have been felted because of being washed wrong. So I got some wool sweaters at the thrift store, washed them on HOT in my front loader, dried them in the dryer on HIGH, and they are barely felted.

I think a front loader is great for wools.

How about if you come over here and wash your blankets in my front loader, and I'll go to your place and shrink up my wool sweaters in your top loader?

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  #27  
Old 11/03/10, 09:37 AM
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Someday you will discover Hudsons Bay Point blankets and all the other wool blankets you own will come in second place.
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  #28  
Old 11/03/10, 02:35 PM
 
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For a new Pendleton Wool blanket you would probably pay between $100 and $200. You are in it for $2. A bottle of Woolite will last you for quite a few washes. I would not take the chance on ruining such a great find with something that you do know for certain will be safe to use.

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  #29  
Old 11/03/10, 03:40 PM
 
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The Hudson Bay blankets retail for beween 3 and 4 hundred. I took the cheaper route and purchased 2 of the Civil War blankets as toppers for our beds. The Civil War blankets are on sale for $82 right now. I don't like to buy bedding from other than new sources due to the chance that hidden bugs might have eggs ready to hatch out or something. I don't do bed bugs.

I'm really glad this thread was started so I'll know how to take care of the blankets. We typically only use down comforters, and they are lightweight and very warm but when it's frigid cold I like having the added weight/warmth of the wool blanket. And I figure this is the winter when wool is going to be really appreciated.

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Old 11/03/10, 06:20 PM
 
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For a new Pendleton Wool blanket you would probably pay between $100 and $200. You are in it for $2. A bottle of Woolite will last you for quite a few washes. I would not take the chance on ruining such a great find with something that you do know for certain will be safe to use.
Very good point!
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