Introduction: Wash Dog Fur for Spinning

About: I'm one of those people who just can't seem to stop learning - my never-ending list of interests include gardening, spinning yarn, fiber arts, high-fired porcelain ceramics, baking, cooking and woodworking. A…
Turn that smelly fur into soft gorgeous spinning fiber - without felting or matting it too much!

Step 1: Bag It Up!

Place the fur into nylon mesh lingerie bags (or any netting-type bag that can be secured closed). Don't put too much in, you're going to need to have some room for water and soap to circulate. Gather a bottle of dish detergent (Dawn works well, but I prefer the industrial size gallon bottle of cheapo stuff) and head to a laundry tub or a bathtub.

Step 2: Get Hot and Soapy!

Turn the temperature on your water heater up, if possible, and fill your tub up with some super-hot water - you're not going to want to put your hands in this!!! Be careful of course not to burn yourself or splash yourself with the hot hot water...

Fill the tub about 4-5" deep. Add a good amount of detergent, about 1/3 cup or so. You can see the water looks pale urine yellow in my picture, due to the orange soap.

Step 3: Add the Fur - Time to Get Smelly!

Add the bags of fur one at a time, gently letting them float onto the surface of the water. They will float on top - this is normal, let them sit for a minute, then use a gloved hand to gently turn the netting bags over, which should cause the fur to submerge into the soapy water.

Don't poke or prod or mess with the bags at all, if you can avoid it. Doing so will cause felting and matting, which is impossible to reverse.

Set a timer for 15 minutes and find something to do...

Step 4: Ta Da! Grossness!

When you return, the bags should be floating in a dirty icky smelly soapy water solution... and your laundry room or bathroom will smell like a wet dog that had a dishwashing habit. Don't panic...

Step 5: Drain, Rinse, Repeat!

Carefully move the bags of fur into one corner and pull the plug on the drain. If you're feeling like the nylon bags may not have caught all of the fur, use a nylon stocking to cover your drain opening and catch any stray hairs.

After the tub has emptied, gently (and I mean GENTLY) press down on the bags to squeeze some of the remaining soapy water out.

Step 6: Here's Where the Repeat Part Comes In...

Now, with the bags in one corner, far from the running water part of the tub, fill the tub with hot water once again, to about the same spot.

Add soap (about half as much as in the previous wash) and then float the bags gently out into the solution.

After 15 minutes, drain, and then repeat the process with a hot water rinse. If the water is still murky, repeat the soap and water process once more, and then rinse.

Step 7: Finally...

When done, gently press the bags against the wall of the tub to remove excess water. Blot the bags between bath towels to remove even more water, and then hang them up on the clothesline or near a source of heat to dry.

You may need to open the bags and 'fluff' the fiber to get it to dry more evenly.