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Cleaning Wool hunting pants

Old 01-28-2011, 07:39 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,081

Originally Posted by Valentine View Post
Experiment: Washing in water of wool pants

Pants Origin Unknown. Certainly pants didn't fit me two years ago(waist)
Old dress wool pants I'll use for hunting. For all I know the wife might have found them at Goodwill.

Washed pants, alone, in cold water, in washer on the slow setting of knits gentle.

Used small amount of baking soda and borax; 2 to 1 ratio.

Hung pants to air dry.

Tested pants with black light. No ultra-violet effect on pants. No soap scent. Pluses for hunting clothes.

Measured dry pants before and after washing; no change in size noted. Dry pants fit on person, before and after washing.

verdict: Country club hunters will continue to dry clean wool hunting clothes. lord knows what they paid for those expensive wool hunting clothes. Us old experimenters can just save money.
I have a pair of L.L. Bean wool pants that I have always machiene washed in cold water, then hung out to air dry without any issues. When you hunt dont you get your pants wet? Water is not going to hurt them, just dont throw them in the drier, or you will have pants that will fit a small child.

Last edited by fritz1; 01-28-2011 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:40 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: PA.
Posts: 5,195

my sister uses woolite but i think there is smell.
you can get all kinds of NON SMELL detergents now.also FABRIC SOFTENERS that dont smell. i dont buy that expensive hunting wash stuff.

use cold setting and drier on low heat or no heat or line dry.i dry clean mine 1 time a year.then hang outside in air for week.i do this around june when its warm out.i like dry clean because it makes my clothes SOFT.THERE IS LITTLE SMELL BUT IT GOES AWAY AFTER A WEEK.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:47 AM
Dominant Buck
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Location: On an Island in Vermont
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I honestly don't wash mine. I wear them during rifle season only and it is always real cold/ snowy. I usually wear the pants out after about 5 years and just get another pair. Going through thickets, briers and the like will actually wear holes in them. I still hunt rather than stand hunt so all that walking takes a toll on them. Occasionally I will get the coat dry cleaned if it gets real dirty but usually I manage to keep it clean. When I gut a deer I usually take the coat off and wipe the blood off my hands with snow. I always get Johnson Wool but one of these days I might try Beagle Wear which is top of the line. Just waiting for an excuse to buy new since my existing pants are getting a bit threadbare. My Johnson wool hunting jacket is without a lining. I dress in layers to eliminate having to wear a heavy coat on those warmer days we get once in a while. Since I am always on the move a lot of insulation isnít important.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:49 AM
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Location: WC FL
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Premium wool by its nature self cleans. Mud cakes upon it, dries and falls away. Dirt shakes free in the natural course of use. However, all stains, such as blood spots, should be rinsed while fresh with cool water. On those occasions when your wool needs thorough cleaning, you can either dry clean or if you prefer hand washing we recommend that you attend to these three principles: 1. Hand wash. 2. Use the correct temperature water. 3. Dry slowly and naturally.

1) A simple water bath with baking soda is often sufficient to clean dirty wool. You can spot-treat soiled areas with a paste of gentle, pure soap, such as Lux, Ivory or Woolite prior to washing. Some of the modern day scent free soaps may also be used. Just make sure they are of a mild nature. You can wash these garments on the gentle wash cycle of automatic washers. HOWEVER, we highly recommend hand washing over machine washing. Even on the gentle cycle in modern washing machines, water-soaked wool becomes heavy and the mechanical agitation of a washing machine pulls unduly at sewn seams and at fabric weave, reducing garment life.

2) Avoid subjecting wool to sudden changes in temperature when washing. Throwing your wool into ice cold water, or of course hot water, can lead to excessive shrinkage. For best results, bring your wash water to room temperature or slightly cool to touch before washing. Again, hand washing gives you more control over water temperature.

3) Squeeze water from washed wool by blotting it dry between towels or gently squeezing the excess water out by hand. A good trick to get a lot of the water out of the garment is to throw it into the washing machine and run it through a spin cycle.

IMPORTANT!! Finish drying at room temperature, stretching and blocking the wool back into its original shape while it is still wet, especially along its length. It is very important that you allow wool to dry evenly and naturally.

If you dry wool over a clothesline, make sure it remains out of direct sunlight. If you dry it indoors over clothes racks, keep it away from hot air registers.

4) These wool garments can be dry cleaned but we do not recommend this type of cleaning as dry cleaning uses very harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals are the last things you want to use in a woolen product as it removes much of the natural oils and properties of wool. If you do have your wool dry cleaned, instruct the dry cleaner to use very little of the dry cleaning chemicals.

With a little extra care, this clothing will stand up to a lifetime of hard hunting. A few minutes spent hand washing in water brought to the correct temperature, followed by thoughtful drying methods, will preserve for your children hand-me-downs of the same quality you bought new.
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