Why Wool

When I considered using wool on my daughter, my first thoughts were, “Wool? Wouldn’t that be itchy and uncomfortable on my baby’s delicate skin?” After using wool diaper covers for only a short time, I could easily see why so many were crazy about using wool. PUL diaper covers left red marks on her thighs from the gussets, didn’t let her skin breath, got smelly right away, and needed to be washed daily. Wool had none of these problems, doubled as clothing AND was incredibly soft.

I did a little research to find out more about wool:

Absorbs 30% of its own weight before even feeling wet
Naturally anti-bacterial so it will not harbor bad smells
Has microscopic fibers structured as to make it waterproof
Contains natural lanolin which also acts as a waterproofing agent and is healthy for the skin
Allows baby’s bottom to breath thereby reducing diaper rash
Has excellent temperature regulation to keep your baby warm in winter and cool in summer
Made of a natural organic fiber
A renewable resource that is also biodegradable
Available in endless designs and colors, making cloth diapering with wool fun

So, if you haven’t already, I invite you to join the rest of us in falling in love with wool!

Who doesn't love wool?

Wool Care

Caring for wool diaper covers is surprisingly easy once you get the basics down. The following methods are what I have found work best for washing and lanolizing my wool.

Supplies

Wool Washing and Lanolizing Supplies 1 Gallon Jug – To measure water into sink.

Glass Jar – I use a baby food jar to microwave and dissolve my lanolin/water/wash mixture but any small microwavable glass container should work well.

Lanolin – Only 100% pure lanolin should be used. I use NOW Foods lanolin I purchase online in 7 oz containers.

Wool Wash – I have always used Eucalan wool wash and like it. Eucalan preserves the natural lanolin already present in the wool, but does not add sufficient lanolin to waterproof by itself. Their lavender scent is very pleasant, not overpowering, and has the added benefit of discouraging moths. It is also available in unscented, grapefruit and eucalyptus.

Towels – Used to press extra water from wool diaper covers after they are squeezed out by hand.

Drying Rack – This is optional, but will greatly decrease the drying time of your wool vs. drying on a flat surface. If you have an extra panel of playpen gating, this can be flipped on its side and propped up to allow air underneath. Pointing a fan at the wool also speeds drying time. Line drying certain wool types may pull at the fibers and stretch/warp the fabric.

Washing

Wool should be washed when it becomes soiled and does not require the frequent washings of other cover types. If wool is no longer waterproof or quickly becomes smelly after using, you need to lanolize and wash your diaper covers.

Step 1: Prepare by cleaning your kitchen or bathroom sink, or use a clean bucket

Step 2: Turn all wool diaper covers inside out and gently pre-rinse with lukewarm water to remove most of the “dirt”.

Step 3: Stop up and fill the sink with 1-3 gallons of lukewarm water – more for more diaper covers. Use enough water to fully submerge all the wool.

Step 4: Add 1 teaspoon of Eucalan Wool Wash per gallon of water and swish around to mix. I have heard wool wash bars may be used if extra scrubbing is required to remove stains but never found this necessary myself.

Step 5: Submerge wool diaper covers in water and gently massage out air bubbles from between the fibers.

Step 6: Set timer and allow wool diaper covers to soak for 30 minutes.

Step 7: Drain sink and remove wool diaper covers, being careful not to let any part sag too much or the fabric may warp. Fold and gently squeeze out water but do not wring or stretch.

Step 8: Turn wool diaper covers right side out and lay flat between two towel layers. Press firmly to remove even more water.

Step 9: Lay flat to dry. If you have a fan you can point it at your drying wool diaper covers to speed up drying time dramatically.

Washing + Lanolizing

Wool should be lanolized when it begins to lose its waterproofing, or seems to become smelly more quickly than usual.

Step 1: Prepare by cleaning your kitchen or bathroom sink, or use a clean bucket.

Step 2: Turn all wool diaper covers inside out and gently pre-rinse with lukewarm water to remove most of the “dirt”.

Step 3: Stop up and fill the sink with 1-3 gallons of lukewarm water – more for more diaper covers. Use enough water to fully submerge all the wool.

Step 4: Lanolin must be dissolved before it is added to the sink water or else it will stay solid and stick to the wool in clumps rather than evenly coating the wool fibers. To do this: Fill a baby food jar about half full with water from the sink. Microwave jar and stop as soon as the water begins to boil. Carefully remove the jar, using a towel or hot mitt. For every gallon of water in the sink, add ˝ teaspoon of lanolin, and 1 teaspoon of wool wash to the water in the jar. Gently stir the contents until there are no more lumps of lanolin visible from the bottom of the jar. The finished mixture should look somewhat like milk.

Step 5: Add dissolved lanolin and wool wash mixture to sink water and swish around to ensure your wool diaper covers get an even coating. I gently drop in the jar holding it with a towel and then retrieve it after the glass has had a few seconds to cool down.

Step 6: Submerge wool diaper covers in water and gently massage out air bubbles from between the fibers.

Step 7: Set timer and allow wool diaper covers to soak for 30 minutes.

Step 8: Drain sink and remove wool diaper covers, being careful not to let any part sag too much or the fabric may warp. Fold and gently squeeze out water but do not wring or stretch.

Step 9: Turn wool diaper covers right side out and lay flat between two towel layers. Press firmly to remove even more water.

Step 10: Lay flat to dry. If you have a fan you can point it at your drying wool diaper covers to speed up drying time dramatically.

Soak woolies for 30 minutes in wool wash.

Drain them and squeeze them without stretching the wool.

Lay woolies between a towel.

Press firmly to remove even more water.