Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Verdict

I recently tested the product Power Scour. My fleeces weren't getting as clean as I wanted (I've never let them sit this long before washing), so some internet searching and recommendations from friends led me to the popular Unicorn products.

I called the company and ordered some free samples. They also carry leather cleaner and conditioner (which I'll be able to try as soon as I get my fleece washing caught up ;-). The representative I spoke with was very helpful and she rushed out a sample box and price sheet. In the meantime, a friend ordered a box set for me as well. What a nice gift (nicely packaged, too, I might add).

I washed a couple of fleeces. I was pretty happy with the results and will admit the wool house wash room smelled wonderful. I started doing the math to see how everything added up though and have to say there was some sticker shock. Is it worth that much extra money? Keep in mind we have 30 fleeces to wash each year. And even though you don't need nearly as much of the PS, that's still a lot of soap.

I decided to split a fleece in half and wash one half in Power Scour and the other half in my traditional Dawn. Peabody (Border Cheviot) was an ideal choice as his fleece is solid white. Well, as white as Peabody gets.

Spread out on the skirting table. How 'bout that for a lot of wool?

Heavily skirted, split down the middle and headed to the wash room.

I tried to get a picture of the two halves drying side by side, but couldn't figure the lighting out. There were two distinctly different halves though - one whiter than the other.

Which one is which?

Under natural light outside.

Surprisingly, the Dawn fleece was cleaner. I grabbed two separate chunks of each fleece to card and spin. Consistent throughout. In fact, even with the Fiber Rinse on the one half, there was no real difference in feel between the two.

I had enough left for one more test, so pulled out a nicer Jacob fleece for contrast - Billy Belly. Again, the whites were a bit whiter with Dawn. The Fiber Rinsed half might have been a hair nicer to work with, but honestly, the difference was slight.

Keep in mind though that these are only my results. I tried to be consistent between fleeces and even gave the Power Scour an extra soap bath soak (two washes and two rinses each). Also, remember I washed a Border Cheviot fleece and a Jacob fleece. I did not try any other fibers (I've got enough of my own to worry about ;-). Also, these fleeces had been sitting (dirty) for over four months.

So, the final verdict? For dirty fleeces, between 66 cents per ounce (not counting shipping) for the Power Scour (and not counting the cost of the fiber rinse either) and 9.6 cents per ounce for the Dawn I can get locally, I'm going to have to say I'm sticking with Dawn. However, it is a nice product and I love the smell. I wouldn't be too surprised to see it on my shelf for finished goods.


Lori Skoog said...

Smart! Good to experiment once in awhile. The wool is beautiful...can't believe how clean you can get it. Would love to know more about the process.

Christine said...

Well ain't that somethin'? That's good to know.

Michelle said...

Yes, good to know, although I'm too cheap to go with anything besides Dawn or Palmolive anyway. And if you want a nice scent, look around. The liquid dishsoaps come in quite a variety now. The one I used for the first skein of alpaca (can't remember what; I moved it to the camper) smelled wonderful and the alpaca owner noticed it, too.

Can't wait to see you in two months! (You are probably going to get VERY tired of me saying that!)

Alice said...

Interesting results! The fleece on the right does not look as bright as the fleece on the left. I don't think it's the lighting. Without comparison of one to the other, they both look soft and fluffy and very clean.

kristi said...

I have learned something tonight! Great informative post.....what would I do without blogs :)

~Tonia~ said...

Have you tried the Kookaburra Scour? I use it for all my yarns and fleeces. Not sure if you would get any better results than the dawn. You can order it by the gallon too. I use very little for the yarns and not too much for a fleece, but it depends on how dirty they are. ;) I will have some of the smaller containers with me at the wool fest.


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