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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