The Wool Primer #3: Caring for Wool
Wool must be washed and lanolized for proper use. Because of the antibacterial properties of wool, wool covers only have to be washed about once every two weeks, unless they get soiled. Lanolin is the natural waterproofing on sheep's wool. This natural lanolin is what makes the wool "waterproof". The lanolin on the wool cover gets used up by the urine as the cover air dries, so after a while you will need to restore lanolin to the cover to maintain the cover's effectiveness. There are a lot of different wool wash products out there. And there are a lot of different routines for washing. It’s about finding a product and routine that works for you!
Sample Wash Routine:
1. Fill sink with lukewarm water and add wool wash (read bottle for amount to add) or rub with wool bar. If the cover is soiled, rinse first.
Liquid wool wash is just that…liquid. Some require rinsing, others don’t. Some contain lanolin, others don’t. Just read the directions on the bottle. Usually manufactures include a suggested wash routine for using their product. Liquids can be scented with either essential oils or fragrance oils.
Examples: Face of the Wave, Eucalan, Lamby Woolwash, Sudz'n Dudz, Imse Vimse wool shampoo, CJ’s.
Wool Wash Bar
Wool wash bars are essentially a bar of soap that is used for washing wool items. Washing with a bar requires rubbing wool VERY GENTLY with wool wash bar. Wool wash bars can also contain lanolin and scents.
Examples: Face of the Wave, Sudz’n Dudz, Sheepish Grins.
2. "Swoosh" the covers around lightly in the water and let sit for about 10-15 minutes.
3. Rinse. Some washes require a rinse and other do not. Most products will specify if they require a rinse.
4. Refill sink with lukewarm water. Add lanolin. You can either use liquid lanolin or add about a ¼ inch of lanolin (like lansinoh lanolin) to about 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the bowl in the microwave until the lanolin is dissolved.
5. Put covers in sink and let sit in water/lanolin mixture for 10-15 minutes. Lanolizing (steps 4 and 5) only needs to be done about once a month, not every wash.
6. Remove covers and squeeze out excess water. Roll in a dry fluffy towel. Lay flat to dry.
If you have any questions about wool please feel free to e-mail me, smmumma at gmail dot com and I will do my best to help you out!
Special thanks to Marah Mumma from Diary of a Devil Dog Wife for her expertise, and for taking the time to share it with Doable Diapers readers. Please stop in at Marah’s blog and tell her we sent you!