Monthly Archives: October 2011

Wool Care Part 3: Lanolizing a Wool Cloth Diaper Cover

You should lanolize your wool cover if:

  1. You purchase a brand new wool cover (Lanolizing is an important part of the “prepping” process and should be done up to two or three times with brand new wool covers); OR
  2. You notice that your wool cover is no longer keeping your baby dry and has begun to quickly soak through each time your baby is wet (you do NOT need to lanolize every single time you wash your wool cover, especially if you use a wool wash that contains lanolin)

To lanolize, you will need the following items:

  1. Lanolin (we recommend any type of solid, pure lanolin- many women use the same pure lanolin they used on their breasts during the early days of breastfeeding)
  2. Very hot water, either in the sink, heated up in a bowl in the microwave, or poured into a glass jar
  3. Wool wash (this helps break up the lanolin when you melt it)
  4. A sink or basin filled with lukewarm water
  5. One or two clean towels
  6. Some sort of flat drying rack or surface that allows for air circulation

To lanolize, follow these steps:

  1. Heat up the water until it is very hot but not boiling. You can do this in the microwave, over the stove, or directly out of your tap if your water comes out hot enough. The water must be hot enough to melt the lanolin.
  2. Put a small amount (1 tsp- 1 tbsp) of pure lanolin + a small amount of wool wash or mild baby wash (about 1 tsp) into the hot water and stir or shake it until the lanolin is completely melted.   Make sure the lanolin is melted and that there are not bits still floating around.  (we like to do this inside of a water-tight container such as a glass jar, which we fill halfway with hot water, 1 tsp of lanolin, and a small amount of wool wash and shake vigorously)
  3. Add your hot water/lanolin/wool wash mixture to a sink or basin of lukewarm water (or, if you are using the tap water method, simply turn on your tap again and add some lukewarm water to the mixture).
  4. Turn your wool soaker inside out and gently press it under the water. Very gently, swish it around a bit under the water so that the lanolin will be evenly distributed over the wool.
  5. Let the wool soak for around fifteen minutes. Drain the water while supporting the wool.
  6. Lift the wool from the sink, supporting it with both hands, and gently press the excess water out . Do not wring the wool out.  Supporting the wool, gently lay it down on a clean towel. Reshape, and then slowly roll it between two layers of a clean dry towel. Repeat several times until excess water is removed.
  7. Lay wool flat to dry on a supportive, flat drying rack. The wool can take between 24 and 36 hours to dry, depending on how thick the wool is and how humid the climate is. Turn the wool inside out at least once during the drying process to speed it up a bit.
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Wool Care Part 2: Washing a Wool Diaper Cover in 5 Easy Steps

You should wash your wool diaper cover when: 

  1. You purchase a brand new wool cover (all wool covers should be washed prior to use, and then lanolized two or three times before reaching optimal performance); OR
  2. Your used wool cover needs to be washed (you do not need to wash your wool after each use- simply air dry between uses.  You will know it needs to be washed when it is stained or when it smells or urine; this may be every 2 or 3 weeks).

When your wool needs to be lanolized, follow these steps and then follow our instructions on lanolizing.   You do NOT need to re-lanolize each time you wash, especially if you use a wool wash that contains lanolin (e.g. Eucalan).   There is no need to dry between washing and lanolizing.

To wash wool, you will need the following items:

  1. A basin, sink or tub
  2. Lukewarm water
  3. Wool wash (ideally one that contains lanolin)
  4. One or two clean towels
  5. Flat surface or drying rack

Washing Wool:  

  1. Fill your basin or sink with lukewarm water.  Make sure the water is just slightly warmer than room temperature and is neither too hot nor too cold because extreme temperatures can shock the wool and cause it to felt and shrink.
  2. Add about a teaspoon of wool wash to the water.  Swish the water around to create suds.
  3. Gently press your wool cover under the water.  Swish the soapy water around the garment a bit to hand wash, but be careful not to wring or twist the wool while washing.  You can lightly press the wool while washing, and you can turn the cover inside out if you wish.  Let soak for 15 minutes.
  4. Drain the water out of the sink while gently supporting the wool.  Gently lift the wool out of the sink, pressing it between your hands a few times to remove excess water.  Do not wring the wool.
  5. Gently lay the wool onto the clean towel.  Reshape the garment.  Fold another layer of clean towel over the wool and gently roll the wool while pressing softly.  Repeat two or three times.  Lay the wool flat to dry on a flat drying surface, ideally one that allows air to circulate.  Wool typically takes 24 hours or more to completely dry; you can turn the garment inside out halfway through the drying process to speed things along.

Wool Care Part 1: The Basics (The DO’s and the DON’T’s)

Wool care is easy!  We promise.  Before we get into all the details, here are just a few basic things to remember when caring for your wool.

DO’s and DON’Ts when Caring for Wool

DO wash and lanolize all brand new wool covers and other garments before using them on your baby.

DO leave your woolens to soak for a bit when washing, but not for too long! (wool fibers can swell under prolonged soaking, causing wool to shrink & felt)

DO wash your wool from time to time, but only after it is either visibly soiled or very stinky (as opposed to never washing, which can be tempting, but which we do not advocate!)

DO use a good quality wool wash (ideally one that contains lanolin)

DO use solid lanolin as opposed to liquid lanolin when lanolizing your wool

DO spot clean your wool covers if they get a small poo stain; you can easily do this with a wool wash bar.

DO allow your wool cover to air out between uses …this will keep it smelling fresh and clean

DO wash wool by hand

DO lay your wool flat to dry

DO support your wet wool with both hands when transporting it (this will keep it from stretching)

DO expect a bit of shrinkage after washing a wool cover for the first time

DO expect some felting to occur after many uses on your baby (this is actually helpful in preventing leaks!)

DO lightly press your wool while hand washing, but DON’t rub or wring out

DO melt the lanolin with very hot water & add a little wool wash to prevent it from clumping when you lanolize your wool

…and the DON’Ts

DON’T wash your woolens with water that is very hot or very cold (extreme temperatures can shock the wool, causing it to shrink and become matted and hard)

DON’T wash your woolens in the washing machine, even if you have a “wool” setting  (this will cause extreme shrinkage)

DONT dry your wool in direct sunlight

DON’T wash your wool until it’s visibly soiled or stinky!  (unless, of course, you really love doing laundry and just can’t get enough of it!)

DONT wring, rub, or stretch your wool while it is wet; this can cause it to stretch and become misshapen.

DON’T use woolite on your wool

DON’T dry your wool in the dryer (even if you have a wool/delicate setting)

It’s not as complicated as you thought, right?   Washing wool is really a piece of cake… and once you start using wool on your baby and experience all of the benefits of wool, you won’t even bat an eye when it comes to caring for your wool.

 Next on the blog:  Wool Care Part 2:  Washing Wool