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How To Wash Wool

The GMD 16 page How-To Booklet is available with your order when you add it to your cart from here or from the How-To Info link in the left navigation bar. The Booklet is more detailed than this page is but this will give you a great start.

When you order wool from us, you will automatically receive a 2 page Wool Page information sheet with complete and detailed wool washing and wool information free with your order even if you don't request the complete How-To Booklet.   

Lanolin is the natural waterproofing on sheep's wool. This natural lanolin is what makes the wool "waterproof". Wool absorbs about 30% of it's weight without feeling wet, which means "overspill" gets absorbed by the wool and, ta da! No leaks! Just let the wool air dry between uses.  With a young baby you can go for weeks between washings. Wool doesn't get smelly like synthetics do. After a while you will need to restore lanolin to the cover to maintain the cover's effectiveness. Getting lanolin back onto the wool is call lanolizing. Start with a clean cover when it is time to lanolize. It can be wet from just being hand washed.

Most of the time when the wool needs to be washed  you do not need to lanolize.  Lanolizing is infrequent.

To wash a wool cover, make sure your container, bucket or sink bottom is smooth so nothing will snag the wool. Don't snag the wool on your rings or long fingernails either. Use warm water that is comfortable on your hands. Gently push the wool under the water and let it soak a while to get fully it wet. If the cover is really stinky of ammonia, then add a tablespoon or two of vinegar to bring the pH down to cut through that ammonia so it rinses out. Drain the water and gently squeeze some water from the wool. Refill the basin and add a little Eucalan Wool Wash and gently wash the cover. You can let it soak for a bit again if you have time. Drain and rinse out any excess soap. If you use Eucalan, then you might not need to lanolize, or at least not often, since the Eucalan contains lanolin, but I like to lanolize every few washes also because it seems to keep the wool working better. If you don't have Eucalan,use some olive oil bar soap (Kiss My Face makes some) or other gentle soap such as Dr. Bronners or even Ivory bar soap will work fine. Do not use Woolite or other commercial wool detergents on wool diaper covers.  Eucalan is is a wonderful wool wash and is recommended.  If you want to rinse the cover in water with a tablespoon of vinegar added to it that is ok, but optional. Wool, like human hair, is ok some vinegar which is low pH and a slightly lower pH is also comfortable for skin and helps keep ammonia smells away. 

Melt 1/4 inch of Lansinoh Lanolin in hot tap water. Add 1/2 capful of Eucalan Woolwash to the hot water. Mix to break up and mix in the Lanolin. Fill sink. The water should be room temperature. Not ice cold, and not too hot. Place wool cover in sink and gently push cover under the water. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes.

After soaking, gently squeeze excess water out, then roll it between two towels to get even more moisture out. Let it dry for about 24 hours.

How wool works for cloth diapers

This video is 2 minutes long. Thus you see, it only takes 2 minutes of doing something to lanolize a wool cover. It's easy!

Complete written instructions are included with your order in the How To Booklet.

How does wool work? See it demonstrated:

The video shows the Disana Leggings but the wool cover works the in the same manner but even better because it is 2 layers. Wool resists moisture but the cotton absorbs moisture quickly. Then when the diaper is soaked and pressed onto the wool cover, the wool will become damp. That is great! The wool will take up the extra moisture INSTEAD of the moisture coming out and leaking. Then, just air out the wool and let it dry. It will be ready to use again soon and will air out to fresh. After a while (usually 1 week or several weeks or more depending on use, age of baby and how wet you let them get between diaper changes,) you hand wash it gently. It's easy.

Here is an image of the Lana handwashing and care instructions, which offers more information about wool and it's care and use.

For Disana wool pull on covers only, you can do a ONE-TIME hand felting of JUST the wet-zone to help break in the wool a little faster for better initial performance (felting = shrinking). They will naturally felt in the wet zone on their own, but hand-felting does help tighten up the wet zone to minimize leaks while the cover is still new. Do not felt the body of the cover because you need to keep that stretchy to pull it on and off easily. Denser wool in the wet zone is nice though.

This video is about felting a new Disana wool diaper cover

After the one-time hand felting, don't do this again. Be gentle with your wool to prevent it from felting (shrinking) too much.