How to Clean and Maintain your Louët Drum Carder (+ video)

After repeated use, fiber can build up in the crevices of your drum carder. To ensure the highest-quality functioning of your equipment, you’ll want to regularly clean your drum carder to remove this build-up.

Fortunately, basic cleaning isn’t hard to do! We’ll tell you the steps for giving your drum carder a thorough cleaning, and we’ve also recorded a video for you at the end, so you can see the entire process, start to finish.

How to clean your Louet Drum Carder

Here is how to clean your drum carder:

1)      Position the drum carder with the handle facing downwards (it will need to be on the edge of a table) and remove the 4 screws on the non-handle side, using the enclosed screwdriver.

2)      Remove any excess fiber from the black/brown plastic gear system on the drum carder’s removed side. If there is a lot of build-up, use soap and water to completely clean the surface.

Remove the non-handle side of the drum carder. Here, you can see the black plastic gear system.

3)      If you washed the side completely, use Vaseline on the gears – outer 1” of both circles to re-lubricate.

4)      The licker drum is removable, remove it to clean out any excess fiber or gathered debris, particularly surrounding the handle-crank axel.

How to clean your louet drum carder: remove the licker drum to fully clean any excess fiber build-up
Remove the licker drum to fully clean any excess fiber build-up.

Replace the licker drum on its axel, so that the edge of the spool is under the main drum. This ensures the tines intermesh smoothly.

Make sure that the spool edge of the licker drum is positioned below the main drum.

5)      Remove any collected fiber from the sides of the gear drum. To access the handle-side of the gear drum, you can lift the drum from the 2nd side. It will only lift by an inch or so (it will not come completely out), but this is sufficient space for you to remove any gathered debris.

How to Clean your Louet Drum Carder: lift the main drum to remove any trapped fiber
The main drum lifts by about an inch, allowing you to remove any trapped fiber.

6)      Replace the cleaned and lubricated sideboard. You may need to rotate the drum into a position where the gears click into place. Re-insert the 4 screws, putting them in by hand at first to ensure the proper position before using a screwdriver.

If you regularly card greasy wool and have build-up on the drum itself, you can also clean the drum. Remove any fiber from the drum, and then use a brush to brush the surface of the drum to clean, using soap and water. Once clean, place your carder in a dry place to allow it to dry thoroughly. 

Video Tutorial: How to Clean Your Drum Carder