The peroxide (or Oxyclean) will damage the protein in the wool. To find out how long will take the smell out but not eat the wool try small samples before you "eat" the entire fleece.
An alkali will neutralize the acid. Chlorine Bleach is alkali. It will fade the color and possibly felt your fleece. Again, try a lock in a small jar first if this is what you are considering.
What I ended up doing to my fleece is washing the thing in Kookaburra Wool Scour. I smell the wool scour rather than the "perm" smell. I would only use this with the left overs of the icky, greasy fleece. I still have vm in my fleece as well.
This was a "nice" experiment (I am being generous). If there is anyone out there who has had wonderful success, pleas speak up. Maybe you have different bacteria. I know when I "brew" my wine we usually kill off the native yeasts and introduce cultured ones.
I'm now combing up the fleece from FSM with my English combs. It doesn't appear to have suffered any ill effects.
I did rewash it in Kookaburra Wool Scour. It still had lanolin in it that interfered with processing (gummy feeling).
I take 2 passes with the combs (I spritz with an oil/water mix). I am not overly concerned with fiber direction because it got jostled around so much I have trouble getting enough locks. I plank (there is a discussion on this), reload the combs, and do 2 more passes. I have very clean sliver. The leavings I card to make ugly woolen yarn.
I tried to wash a fleece with the fermented suint method several years ago. At the time, I thought this might be the way to go. Since I have sheep and about 50 fleeces, I bagged up the dry fleece cleaned with this method, put it in a pillow case and labeled to store away until the snow is blowing and I had time to spin it into yarn. The next winter when I took out the fleece, it was gummy. I then tried to wash it the usual way with Dawn and hot water, no luck. Someone told me to wash the fleece using dentured alcohol....still no luck. That fleece was stuffed into a large pillow for the dog to lay in out in the garage....live and learn. Has anyone else had this experience?
Washing wool can be very expensive so I make sure I have my wool heavily skirted, no manure at all, remove as much VM and burrs as possible, shake, skirt out the belly wool, around the neck, and I cringe at times thinking of the wool that I am discarding but if you leave the manure and fleece heavy with vm in then the whole fleece becomes contaminated. So I suck it up and bite the bullet and go back to what I know works.
I have many nylon net bags used for nylons and sweaters and as I am skirting and sorting the wool I sort small amounts into these bags. I use about 20 bags on a fleece. I then have six 5 gallon buckets of water (rain water is best) and I drop these bags down into these buckets and let them set a day or at least over night. (I live in the country and I do this under my clothes line) I think I have some pictures on my blog of this step, so when I pull the bags out of the brown water, I hang them on the clothes line to drain...not to dry. I do spin out the water left in this wool and then I start with the hot almost to a boil water, buckets and Dawn and again drop the wool in the buckets. I never let the wool sit to cool in this water, the lanolin settles back on the wool. I then spin in an old washer only to get as dry as possible and I always take the wool out of the bags, shake and fluff the wool and lots of vm falls out each time, put the wool back into the bags and if needed wash again or rinse following the same steps.
Another thing I have learned along the way is to store the wool in cardboard boxes, label well, and every month or so put my hands in each box of wool and if my hands come out shiny or , burrs they feel greasy in any way, wash that wool again ASAP. PS: A small cloth tyed up with lavender placed in the bottom of the box keeps the wool smelling clean.
Unless we are missing something in this method, I don't like it. FSM didn't take care of the lanolin. It never left the wool. After a week, I had things growing, but not eating the grease. I had to re-wash everything. I rinsed with vinegar thinking that the alkali would neutralize. It seemed to do so. I am combing to remove any weak and short parts. I'm spinning up just fine.
I don't live in a desert. I don't need to haul my water.
I do pre-rinse my fleece over night to get out the salts, dirt and such. Washing goes faster.
I have had a problem of grease being left in the fleece when I first started spinning nearly 30 years ago. In my ignorance I finished spinning and crocheting a nice sweater only to never be able to get the tackyness out of the garment. I never let that happen again. But here in Southern California keeping fleece for any period of time in a cardboard box just invites moths no matter where you store it. Moths and carpet beatles along with termites are in the air here. No escape. So my fleece are packed in cotton pillowcases that moths cannot permeate readily and stored in plastic bins (not the best thing for a fleece, can't breath) with Mable Grey pelargonium to keep the insects at bay. I try to always wash my fleeces before storage. I try not to get too ahead of myself on fiber (only about 10 years worth on hand right now ;)
In Los Angels area I find the most efficient way to was fleece is about 1/2 pound in the kitchen sink at a time with scalding tap water and Dawn, Ivory, shampoo or Unicorn Soak. One 15 minutes wash, one 10 minute rinse. If it takes more than that, it goes into the flower beds to mulch or to a processor to deal with. I love the process but am so limited on time.
Gwen, I guess I was lucky that I had not made a sweater...
I did keep all my wool in cotton pillow case like bags and someone told me or I read somewhere that moths won't bother your wool in cardboard boxes or sacks. So I switched and repacked all my wool in boxes and a packet of lavendar. I have been very lucky to not have any moths so far....but now ????
I, too, was having problems with moths, etc., getting into my wool when I was living in southern Florida (now live in Alabama). Someone from another group suggested using these "breathable plastic" bags to store wool. Two sides and the top of the bags are a "breathable" fiber. The bags are zippered and come in several sizes. I think the bags are probably designed to be used for storing comforters, quilts, clothes, etc., but so far (fingers crossed!) they have been fabulous for storing fleece! I get my bags from Cleaner's Supply http://www.cleanersupply.com/products/product.cfm?pID=4493
(I am in no way affiliated with Cleaner's Supply)
Started off thinking that this method sounded good but as I read further I changed my mind. I dont want to damage any of my precious fiber and the thought of the smell puts me off as well, but it was a good exercise to try. Sue.
I know I came to this discussion late and am from the U.K. but what does FSM mean.Sue.
FSM = Fermented Suint Method (for cleansing wool)
If you live in the desert or have a serious water shortage, then consider it. Other than that, re-use what water you have in washing the "regular" way.
My fleece is coming along fine. It just smells when the yarn is washed. With more washings, that will dissipate, but still...
pvfan, my guess is that the galvanized tub had something to do with the chemical content of your wash water and thus, the demise of your plants. If I were you, I'd use something like a plastic tub for washing my fleece...
I wonder if the fleece might have had some kind of chemical on it. I have soaked a fleece for a day before washing it, and it came out a lot better than one that I didn't soak. But that probably had more to do with the fact that the first fleece wasn't as nice as the second.
This fleece didn't have any chemicals. Lisa's fleeces are Certified Organic by the State of Montana. There are several arduous steps she goes through to get and keep this certification each year.
I prefer to either rinse my fleece or to soak overnight to remove the sweat salts and blown in dirt. The FSM did nothing to remove the lanolin, as it was purported to do.
Experimentation to find out what works best for an individual is key. Understanding why it works is the next step. With my fleece, I basically made an ammonia bath. If I put in some detergent, it would have been fantastic at eating away the wax. However, I didn't want that. If I want to experiment further, I could rinse the fleece further and then soak for days on end. What saves the most water.
I was wondering about Cady May's fleece that killed the plants.