Step 2: Preparing the steel wool
When you buy steel wool it will usually have a coating of oils (or something) to prevent oxidization. Since oxidization is our goal, we will want to remove the oils from the surface of our steel.
I use regular non-scented dish soap and water and just wash and rinse it several times. You can also use Acetone, if you have any, for the final rinse.
Let the steel wool dry well before moving on. I use my kitchen oven to dry it. If you decide to use your oven, BE CAREFUL, especially if you used Acetone to rinse. As counter-intuitive as it may be, steel wool ignites pretty easily and burns pretty hot. In fact, a 9V battery will ignite it almost instantly.