Jump to content

Wool Soap Wash


Recommended Posts

I’m back with a new question! As I was doing some wool washing, I noticed my bottle of wool wash was getting low and I happened to look at the ingredients. I stopped in my tacks when I read Sodium Hydroxide. All of other ingredients are normal soaping oils and so with the addition of lye how is it liquid and can I figure out how to make a batch for myself?

 

ingredients: coconut oil, palm kernel oil, mountain spring water, usp lanolin, sodium hydroxide, castor oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil,  hemp seed oil, essential oils.

B8B60CFF-0FCC-467A-AB81-B21E65B7FD98.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sodium Hydroxide, also known as lye, is commonly used in soap making to saponify oils and create soap. In the case of wool wash, it is likely used as a pH adjuster to make the product more effective at cleaning wool fibers. If you're interested in making your own wool wash, I recommend doing some research on soap making and experimenting with different recipes until you find one that works well for you. Just make sure to take the necessary safety precautions when working with lye!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/16/2023 at 4:54 PM, TallTayl said:

It could be as simple as a bar soap that has been diluted into lots of water.

 

what type of wool are you washing? Raw fleece for spinning? Wool clothing?

That’s what I was wondering but didn’t know if that was actually a thing. It would be for my wool sweaters… because of course that is also one of my other hobbies. 

 

10 minutes ago, olivebaneweb said:

Just make sure to take the necessary safety precautions when working with lye!

Lol yes, I’m familiar with lye (both kinds) and have been making soap for about a year and half. Still learning but very familiar with the safety requirements.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You knit? I bow to you.  
 

do you spin too? 

I would think bar soap would be rather hard on the wool fibers.  Maybe it is so diluted that isn’t an issue for that bottle? You can make a small batch of your bar soap using those oils and see if you come close.  Bar soap diluted for laundry can get a weird slimy/snotty consistency.  You might be able to dilute enough that it will have a better feel.

 

the ingredient list, if all ingredients are listed in correct order, show it has quite a bit of lanolin in it. The lanolin is higher in the list than lye, so that gives you a starting point for your formula. Coconut oil is very cleansing, as i palm kernel. From a fatty acid profile, both coconut and palm kernel are interchangeable. You could use one, the other or both and achieve a similar end product.

if that is a liquid, then the water in the list is for the bar soap, not a liquid.  The other oils are minimal likely 3-5% or less. Probably label appeal moreso than functional.  You can easily make small batches of single oils, then grate them into water at different proportions to test them in different combinations. I can picture you as a mad scientist 👩‍🔬
 

We use different cleansers for prepping our raw fleeces for spinning.  bar soap can sometimes clean too well, leaving  the fibers in rough shape or sticky.  Plain old coconut oil bar soap cleans up some filthy tips!

 

Orvus paste is often used on natural fibers.  It’s a shampoo for live stock that is primarily sodium laurel sulfate. Not sure why people think it is “gentle”, but quilters seem to love it too. it’s not too much different than Dawn blue original in cleansing abilities. Used very sparingly I bet either can gently cleanse a garment.  We all use oo much detergent, don’t we? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
On 4/20/2023 at 9:18 PM, TallTayl said:

You knit? I bow to you.  
 

do you spin too? 

I would think bar soap would be rather hard on the wool fibers.  Maybe it is so diluted that isn’t an issue for that bottle? You can make a small batch of your bar soap using those oils and see if you come close.  Bar soap diluted for laundry can get a weird slimy/snotty consistency.  You might be able to dilute enough that it will have a better feel.

 

the ingredient list, if all ingredients are listed in correct order, show it has quite a bit of lanolin in it. The lanolin is higher in the list than lye, so that gives you a starting point for your formula. Coconut oil is very cleansing, as i palm kernel. From a fatty acid profile, both coconut and palm kernel are interchangeable. You could use one, the other or both and achieve a similar end product.

if that is a liquid, then the water in the list is for the bar soap, not a liquid.  The other oils are minimal likely 3-5% or less. Probably label appeal moreso than functional.  You can easily make small batches of single oils, then grate them into water at different proportions to test them in different combinations. I can picture you as a mad scientist 👩‍🔬
 

We use different cleansers for prepping our raw fleeces for spinning.  bar soap can sometimes clean too well, leaving  the fibers in rough shape or sticky.  Plain old coconut oil bar soap cleans up some filthy tips!

 

Orvus paste is often used on natural fibers.  It’s a shampoo for live stock that is primarily sodium laurel sulfate. Not sure why people think it is “gentle”, but quilters seem to love it too. it’s not too much different than Dawn blue original in cleansing abilities. Used very sparingly I bet either can gently cleanse a garment.  We all use oo much detergent, don’t we? 

Ooof, for some reason I never saw this reply. 😔 I also almost to the end of my purchased bottle of wool wash. It’s really time to start thinking ahead.

 

I went back to Twig & Horn site today and saw they now have wool soap in bar form. 💡💡with the thought of I can totally do that! Instructions say to fill a basin, lather your hands and then gently squeeze into suds through your garment. Add more soap as needed. Soak for 15 min. Rinse lightly, if desired (rinse not necessary. Block. Dry. Enjoy. Okay easy enough so I looked at the ingredient list for the bar…


Sodium palmate, sodium cocoate, water, glycerin, lanolin, salt, olive fruit oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil, citric acid. 

🤔At first wondered why only two were listed as saponified. Then it dawned on me, are they using a melt and pour base and then adding in the extra oils? 

 

It also looks like they reformulated their liquid wool soap and are using KOH but I think I’d much rather use a bar form.

 

I do knit (even though it’s been a minute) but I don’t spin but that sounds like it would be really fun! Lol a mad 👩🏻‍🔬with no background in science 🤪. Maybe it’s time to change that as I really want to understand the whys. 🤔

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...