Washing the mohair
The first part making sure your fiber is really clean is the most important. Any lanolin left on your mohair will oxidize over time leaving the mohair to develop a stiff sticky feeling. Too much lanolin will cause dye to rinse off in hot water or rub off your hands as you work with it as the lanolin is melted. Lanolin contains a wax and requires very hot water and lots of PH neutral soap to remove it ,
( If you use laundry soap be sure to keep the temperature below 140 or add white vinegar to prevent alkaline conditions that damage mohair, alkaline conditions combined with heat cause mohair to become dry and brittle on the tips of the locks)
I recommend synthropol concentrate ( a detergent with out all the additives)1 tsp or Dawn 1/8 cup to 8-16 oz mohair, both are neutral ph . .I repeat the soap part several times. Then do the same with the rinse. Laundry soap can be used but keep the temperature below 135-140 as it will often make the water ph 8 or higher . I avoid using ammonia and dish washer type cleaners they are very ,very, alkaline and can easily make the fiber feel harsh at the tips.
I wash in small lots of 4 -16 oz and use up to 10 changes of almost boiling water when I am using a neutral detergent ( water must be above 130 to dissolve lanolin )and a set of plastic baskets that allow the dirty water to drain out quickly.( I can just lift them out of the hot water and not disturb the curls) Never let the fiber cool in the dirty water it causes the grease and wax to be redeposited on the fiber. If you have no plastic baskets I recommend you use a net delicates bag or an onion sack , this allows you to remove and drain while still hot with out felting.
Smaller batches are easier to get clean . Remember in hot weather and with time, lanolin oxidizes and is harder to remove . Solvents remove this oxidized wax and do not damage the mohair , a small amount of turpentine , mineral spirits or orange oil solvent ( my favorite to use) added to a hot soapy soak will loosen the waxes from the hair and leave a very silky feel to the fiber .( be sure to use good ventilation ) the petroleum based solvents will need a few extra washes and an airing to get rid of the smell. Which is why I use the orange solvent It smells wonderful and is made from citrus peel oil. I love the orange cleaner to get rid of the heavy unpleasant scent of buck and ram fleeces as well as the occasional fleeces that come in smelling of cigarette smoke .
Never use Chlorine bleach on mohair , it damages the hair and leaves it very harsh and too much will dissolve hair . ( drop a small lock into a cup with a bit of bleach and check it in a few hours !)
The oxygen bleaches that have no chlorine can be used to lighten stains