Caring For Wool
Wool is a highly recommended item to use as a cover over your diapers (prefolds or fitteds) because of its resistance to odor & rash causing bacteria. Wool is not 100% waterproof like plastic, however wool is a natural fiber and absorbs 30% of moisture that comes in contact with it and it slowly evaporates. Wool must be lanolized before any use!
Never wash your wool in a washing machine or tumble dry in the dryer - it will cause them to felt and shrink!
How to Wash Wool – BY HAND ONLY!
Fill your sink with enough lukewarm water to sufficiently cover your wool. Add a bit of wool-wash to your running sink water - baby shampoo can be used if wool wash is not readily available. Let your wool sit for at least 30 minutes. Do not wring or twist your wool! Drain water and gently squeeze wool, then lay wool in between 2 bath towels and roll to remove excess water. Reshape, and lay flat to dry away from direct heat or sun. It will take 24-36 hours to completely dry!
Wool wash bars can be used prior to soaking to help remove tough stains. There is no need to rinse as most wool washes are formulated! Woolite is NOT wool wash!
It is not necessary to wash your wool after every use. If fact it is recommended that you only wash your wool cover after several times of wearing unless it gets soiled. Always allow the cover to air dry in between wearings. Wool will not develop a smell after several washes but you may want to give it a treatment with lanolin to help in the performance & lifespan of your wool cover.
How to Lanolize Wool
Again, fill your sink with enough lukewarm water to sufficiently cover your wool. In a cup or jar with lid measure approx. ½ cup of very hot or boiling water and add to it a pea sized amount of lanolin along with a drop of baby shampoo. Mix or shake to dissolve the lanolin completely and so it is evenly dispersed. Add this lanolin mixture to your sink of lukewarm water and mix. Add the wool cover and let sit about 30 minutes. Make sure water remains relatively warm to keep the lanolin suspended properly and from forming lanolin spots. Drain and dry as mentioned above.
- After washing you may notice that your wool has a faint wet sheep like smell. This does happen sometimes, especially with organic, untreated, or virgin wools. However, the smell is only noticeable when the cover is wet and once it is dry it should not have any smell at all.
- If your cover leaks, it is possible that you are not using an absorbent enough diaper. Try using a doubler for heavy wetters, and also consider changing your baby more often. This is also sometimes a sign that it is time to re-lanolize.
- While it is possible to use too much lanolin, this will not harm your cover. It will feel normal again after some wear. If it bothers you, you can rewash the cover using very warm water and a tad bit Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. You should add very warm water to your sink, then add the Dawn, mix it around and then put your wool in the sink to soak (about 30 minutes). Never apply Dawn (or any wool wash) directly on your wool, as it can cause staining! Using Dawn will help to strip everything out (including any lanolin that has previously been used), so you will then need to re-lanolize your wool, only using a smaller amount of lanolin this time.
- If you have spots on your cover from uneven dispersement of lanolin, stripping your wool with Dawn is a good option (see above).
- Sometimes a dark wool cover can bleed onto a really wet diaper or into the wash water. To minimize this problem, you can give your cover a white vinegar bath. Allow it to soak in the pure vinegar for about an hour. Rinse well in lukewarm water and then wash & re-lanolize normally. It is best to avoid washing your dark covers with the lighter ones.
- I would also recommend that you not put anything, like cotton pants, on top of the wool cover, especially at bedtime. This tends to hold wetness in and it will sometimes wick through the wool making the pants wet (although usually the sheets will remain dry). The wool cover should be allowed to “breathe” so it can allow moisture to evaporate. Remember, a pair of longies or footies can be used as both your bedtime cover and your children’s pajama pants!