Romney locks, before and after BioFiberSoak
Romney locks, before and after BioFiberSoak

My article “A New (yet Ancient) Way to Clean a Fleece” is now available in Spin•Off Winter 2013.

This is a method I developed to clean raw sheep fleece. It also works well on dog hair. BFS uses a lactic acid bacteria culture to ferment the wool clean instead of the traditional scouring with detergent and hot water.  This type of fermentation, also used to make yogurt and sauerkraut, smells about like sour dough bread rising. In fact, it is the lactobacillus in sour dough bread that give it that distinctive tangy flavor and smell.

The lactobacillus culture I use is called EM•1™ and can be bought from Teraganix.

Some of the advantages of this culture are:

  • It can be stored at room temperature.
  • The original product has a shelf life of a year.
  • It is usually less expensive than cultures sold for making yogurt or kefer.

Besides cleaning wool, EM•1 can be used to:

•  Compost kitchen food waste, including meat
•  Fertilize plants
•  Take the smell out of tennis shoes
•  Keep plumbing drains clear
•  Combat mildew wherever it is found
•  Stop kitty litter from smelling
•  Ferment food
•  Rinse your hair after washing
•  Rinse for a dog, cat, or horse
•  Keep a front load washer smelling good
•  While it doesn’t sharpen razor blades, it will take rust off steel.

Fiber Artist