Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to Lanolize Wool Covers and Longies

Let's talk about wool.  It is pretty much the be-all-end-all of night-time diapering (when paired with a nice thirsty fitted), and it has saved many a sheet from the dreaded night-leak.  But it's totally intimidating.  Am I right?  Most of you reading this right now are nodding your head with me.  The hand-washing, the lanolin, the general wool-iness of it all.  Some of you are even breaking out in a cold sweat just thinking about it!

Ok, take a deep breath mama, because we are going to walk you through some basic wool care.  If you have ever wondered how to lanolize wool, cozy up with a cup of coffee and get ready to learn.

So the great thing about wool is that it doesn't need to be washed after each use.  The nature of wool is that it will slowly absorb moisture that makes it's way through your fitted or prefold.  Once absorbed, it will then evaporate, and you'll have more area to soak up more liquid.  Wool is naturally anti-microbial, which is the wonderful reason that you really only need to wash it once every week or two.

You'll know it's time to wash and lanolize when your wool gets a little stinky or is having trouble with some slight leakage.  Washing and lanolizing is much less intimidating than you may think.  All you need is some good wool-wash like Sheepish Grins Foaming Wool Wash (which has lanolin in it, so you can do the heavy duty lanolizing less often), a sink, some luke-warm water, and a couple nice dry towels.

Fill your bathroom or kitchen sink up with some luke-warm water, adding some wool wash to the running water.  Put your wool into the water and let it soak for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain your sink and gently squeeze the water out of your wool.  To get as much water out as you can, simply sandwich the cover in between two towels, then roll the wool up in the towels.  Lay your wool flat to finish drying (my advice is to dry your wool somewhere where it is out of the way, because it can take a while for wool to dry completely).

When you wash your wool in wool-wash, it not only cleans it, but it also adds lanolin to the cover.  This should keep your cover in great shape for a few washes without having to add lanolin.  If you start to feel like your wool cover is not as leak-proof as it once was, go ahead lanolize it!

Using lanolin such as Sheepish Grins Liquid Lanolin or Sloomb Solid Lanolin, add a teaspoon to warm water that also has a little bit of baby shampoo mixed in.  Swirl it around to combine your ingredients, then turn your cover inside-out and soak for a minimum of about half an hour.  Dry your wool just like you did when washing it!

See, it's really not that bad!  Now your wool will be good to go for quite a while, and your baby will stay nice and dry.  And so will their sheets.  It's a little more involved than tossing your PUL covers in the washing machine, but you simply can't beat the reliability of wool.

Plus, it gives you some serious bragging rights with your cloth diapering friends.  They'll probably think you're a rock-star for being so knowledgeable and using such an intimidating diaper!

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