Sunday, September 27, 2009

Caring for Your Wool Diaper Covers

Ok, so you just received your new wool covers or perhaps you made your own, now what? Wool covers need different care compared to other covers. Don't worry! It's easy and you will develop your own routine.

Almost all wool covers need to be hand washed. If your wool is felted or pre-shrunk (as is the case with some recycled sweater covers) then it can be machine washed, however, it will last longer if you do hand wash it. I always recommend hand washing wool covers for best results.
You should always handwash your wool in room temperature water. Don't make the common mistake of thinking you need to wash it in cold water. The water should be the same temperature as your wool. Any extreme temperature changes, as well as agitation can cause your wool to shrink. So, never wash your wool with your diapers! Gentle handwashing in room temperature water is best.
You can wash your woolies in a lanolin rich soap, or simply add solid or liquid lanolin to your soapy water. The lanolin helps the wool retain its water-repellant nature. Lanolin is a wax like substance found naturally in wool. Lanolin naturally wicks moisture away from the baby's diaper, and makes the wool almost water-proof.


What you will need:
  • Gentle soap (baby soap, baby shampoo, or olive oil soap work well)
  • large bowl or a sink that can be plugged for soaking
  • Lanolin (there are many different kinds out can use the breastfeeding lanolin Lansinoh or PureLan, or you may be able to find it at the pharmacy)
  • Jar with a tight fitting lid
  • Clean, dry towel

Step 1:

First, you need to melt your lanolin. Take your jar, put some hot (doesn't need to be boiling) water from the tap (if it gets hot enough) and add a pea-sized amount of lanolin. You will need more lanolin if you will be lanolizing more than one item.

Add 1-2 drops of baby shampoo or soap to the jar. Put the cover on tightly and shake. The water should melt the lanolin, and mix the soap into it. The water should look somewhat cloudy and there should not be any oily drops floating on the surface. If there are, it is the lanolin that has not melted properly. All you need to do is add more hot water, or heat it a few seconds in the microwave (without the cover).

Step 2:

Add this soapy mixture to your bowl or sink. Then you need to adjust the water temperature so you don't shock your wool. Add some room temperature or colder water to bring the mixture to almost room temperature. Turn your covers inside out and place in the water. You can gently squeeze the covers in the water to help the water soak in. Be gentle with your wool. Allow to soak at least 20 minutes or more (no more than 24 hours).

Step 3:

Once your woolies are finished soaking, gently squeeze out as much water as you can. Do NOT wring! Lay your towel down on a flat surface, and roll up your wool covers with the towel. You can place the rolled towel on the floor and step on it to get as much water out.

Step 4:

Lay your woolies flat to dry. You can occasionally turn them right side out/inside out to help them dry faster. Do not put them in direct sunlight, as this can heat them up and may cause shrinking. Drying time can take up to 2 days. If the only cover you are using is wool, it may take a bit of planning, so that you have some clean ones to use when the others are being washed.

If you have any questions I would be happy to help. Please visit my blog at . Or to purchase woolies, please visit me on Etsy at .


  1. Just wanted to add that Lansinoh and PureLan are EXPENSIVE to buy JUST for the sole purpose of lanolizing covers. If you already have some because you are/were breastfeeding, or have samples because you got them with something wool, that's all well and good.

    What I use, and it is UBER cheap and last FOREVER, is a 4 oz bottle of liqued lanolin. It is a little over $4/bottle, it's the Home Health brand, you can usually find in the health and beauty section at CVS/Wal-greens/Target/Health Food Store.

  2. Another option is to use a soap specifically designed for washing woolies. I got a lanolin-infused soap at and I use that to wash my woolies...just a sink full of cool water, scrub dirty spots with the soap bar, gently swish everything around in the now-soapy water.... Then I drain the water and rinse it all, then roll with a towel and dry. Every second or third time I wash them I also spray them with a spray-lanolin (also from bluehousesoaps) while they are still damp. They've been going strong for over a year. :)


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