- First I give all 2 or 3 drums a pass with an old flicker. I do it gently, knowing that I am +not+ getting down to scraping the carding cloth. This usually gets off about 80% of the fiber.
- I have a couple of hemostats that are great for pulling fiber off the axels and bearings. Make sure you get all of them, as that fiber binding up in those areas is what will damage your drum carder. I find the hemostat locking action is easier on my hands.
- Then, for my Supercarder, I use canned air to blow fiber off the motor. It’s located up under the carder, so it’s difficult to reach in there for the next step…
- …using the vacuum hose with the brush attachment. This is +such+ a time and aggravation saver. I have a small shop vac, but anything with the hose will do. The brush end is a must, as it protects the teeth on the drum. I get pretty scrubby with it on the drums and on the rest of the carder. This really pulls a lot of the remaining fiber off. It also brings the fiber trapped deep in the carding cloths closer to the surface. Don’t forget to vacuum underneath the carder too. By this time the carder is close to sparkling.
- I do one final pass over the drums with the flicker to get that last little bit of fiber.
- Voila! One clean carder.
- To be safe if I’m changing colors or fibers I run a light layer of neutral merino through the carder to pick up that last little bit of fiber and too-small-for-the- eye stuff. Misting the fiber very lightly as you card it on will help. Bombyx is notorious for hiding from the best cleaning ;)
My very best advice for keeping your carder sparkling is getting the batts off cleanly in the first place. It makes all the difference. See how clean this drum is? It’s just easier to keep fiber from building up on the drums in the first place.