I allow them to steam for about an hour. I remove the whole bundle, lay it aside, change my water and resubmerge the bundle. I let it steam for however long I feel is good. ; )
I do this twice with a wool soap or Dawn dish liquid. Then I do two steaming rinses on the stove. I lay the bundle aside to allow it to cool. When the bundle is cool enough for me to handle I gently squeeze the excess water out of the locks.
This is what they look like after they've had a bath. I lay them on a drying rack until they are fully dry. I prefer outside but that's not always possible so then I lay them all over the kitchen table. Mmmmm what's for dinner!?