My usual approach to fiber prep is as follows:
- I skirt the fleece and pick it over as best I can for VM or whatever other nasties are in there
- I handwash in small batches in the kitchen sink with water as hot as I can stand in Dawn dish detergent. It really does cut grease. I use an old dishpan or a bucket and throw the first wash outside, because it has the most lanolin, and I don't want to clog my sink.
- I alternate washing and rinsing until most of the lanolin is gone and the fleece is clean. I try to keep the water temp consistent and avoid agitation to keep from felting, but even if you do felt it, just pull it apart.
- When the fiber is clean, I spin it out in the washer, fluff it on the kitchen counter under the fan, and let it dry, turning occasionally.
- When the fleece is dry, I then run it through the drum carder, or comb it, depending on my needs.