Caring for Wool Diaper Covers

Why Wool Diaper Covers?

Many families choose wool diaper covers for their children as wool is pretty much bulletproof when it comes to wetness protection and leakage.  Especially lanolized wool.  Almost all wool needs to be hand washed.  If your wool is “felted” then it can be machine washed however it will last longer if you do hand wash it.  Interlock wool such as the wool in Fussy Butt pads can be machine washed and machine dried.  Even this type of wool can not go through the sanitary cycle of the HE washers though.


Washing Wool

Handwashing should be done in room temp water.  Some people make the mistake of thinking wool needs to be washed in COLD, but it needs to be washed in room temperature water.  It is the temperature changes and agitation that can cause wool shrinkage.  If you are in a hot climate and throw your wool into a freezing cold sink — your wool will felt — just as much as if you threw it in hot water.  Room temperature is best.


We strongly recommend your woolies be washed in a lanolin rich soap such as Kookaburra or Sheepish Grins.  We do not recommend commercial laundry detergents.  The lanolin soap helps the wool retain its waterproof nature.  Lanolin is the wax like substance found produced by wool bearing animals.  It’s purpose is to wick moisture away and therefore was nature-made to keep your woolies waterproof.  


In order to wash the garment, fill your sink with room temperature water.  Add lanolin rich soap and swirl around to evenly distribute the soap throughout the water.  Add your wool products and swirl around, gently scrubbing any soiled areas.  Rinse lightly as you actually do want the lanolin to stay on your wool.

Pat dry (do not wring) and lay out to dry in a draft free area.  Do not place under an air conditioning unit or near a heating vent (the hot and/or cold air blowing on the wool can cause shrinkage).  


How often do I was the wool items? 

Wash your woolies when they are soiled, or whenever they start having an odor   It really depends on how often they are being used.   Depending on the type of lanolin product you use, you may be able to go longer periods between lanolin treatments.  


How often do I lanolize?

As wool diaper covers do not tend to need to be washed that often, we recommend only lanolizing when they are washed.  However, if you notice that they are starting to wick moisture, it is time to do another lanolizing.  Also, brand new wool covers should be lanolized before first use as they are often not sufficiently lanolized to use as diaper covers. 


How do I lanolize? 

We recommend that the first lanolin treatment for a newly purchased woolie should be with solid or liquid lanolin.  We find that lanolin sprays and wool buddies don’t do the trick for lanolizing the first time.


If using solid lanolin take a teaspoon or so of the solid lanolin and put it in a microwave safe dish with some water and melt it in the microwave — 20-40 seconds or so (keep your eye on it).  After it has melted, put a few drops of soap in the dish in order to emulsify the lanolin.  This step is very important in order to prevent against lanolin streaks or clumps.  The soap you use is entirely up to you.  We generally use Sheepish Grins or Kookaburra, but have found that dish soap, baby soap or hand soap work well. Whatever you feel comfortable using.  Only a couple drops are needed to emulsify the lanolin.  Stir the mixture and then add to your room temperature water sink.


Do not place the wool products into the water until the lanolin has been added.  Once again, pouring hot water on top of the wool will cause shrinkage.  Wait until the sink water has returned to room temperature and then add the wool.  Swirl the water around and let the items soak for 30 minutes.  Do not rinse or wring.  Pat the items to remove excess water and then lay flat to dry.  


We find that newly purchased wool occasionally requires two lanolin treatments to become fully waterproof, especially if being used for a heavy or nighttime wetter.  


If you are using liquid lanolin, follow the same procedure as above with the exception of the melting phase.  We still recommend emulsifying the lanolin.  


What about Wool Buddies?

Wool Buddies are a terrific solution for applying lanolin.  Wool buddies are scented lanolin balls.  They can easily be melted in the sink water prior to lanolizing and they come in wonderful scents such as lavendar or peppermint.  We do not recommend wool buddies for the first lanolization but we do for all subsequent treatments.


What about lanolin spray?

Lanolin spray is another great option for your wool products.  After washing your wool, spritz lanolin on the woolie and massage into the product.  Focus on the bum portion of the product while spraying.  Apply the spray evenly to assure that all key portions of the garment are covered.  Lay the woolie out flat to dry.  The spray also works for quick touch ups of the item when there is no time or real need to do a wash.  Once again, we do not recommend this product for the initial lanolizing treatment.  


I breast feed and have Lansinoh, can I use that?

Yes, if you have Lansinoh available, it can be used to lanolize your wool garments.  Follow the instructions for solid lanolin.