How To Wash Wool

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. Wool care information is also found on the last pages of the How-To Booklet.  

Never machine wash or dry a wool diaper cover. 

Why wool?

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 diaper covers need to be washed  you do not need to lanolize.  Lanolizing is infrequent.

Complete written instructions are included with your order.

How does wool work? See it demonstrated:

The video shows the Disana Leggings but the wool cover works 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.

how to wash a wool diaper cover

Never machine wash or dry a wool diaper cover. 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 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 a wool wash product such as Eucalan that contains lanolin, then you might not need to lanolize, or at least not often.  Please use a good wool wash such as Babee Greens Wool Wash, Eucalan,  Unicorn Fibre Wash (not Woolite or Ecover) or a bar soap such as Papoutsanis Olive Oil Soap, Sheepish Greens Unscented Lanolin Bar Soap or other gentle bar soap. Choose fragrance free products as much as possible for all products. Bar soap is usually less expensive than liquid. Bar soap lasts a long time because a little goes a long way. Bar soap is easy to use for spot cleaning, too. Dr. Bronners or even Ivory bar soap will work fine. Do not use Woolite or other commercial wool detergents on wool diaper covers.  If you want to rinse the cover in water with a tablespoon or more of vinegar added to it that is ok. Wool, like human hair, is OK with 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 lanolin in hot tap water. Add your soap or wool wash to the hot water. Emulsify the lanolin, which means break up and mix in the lanolin so it is creamy not greasy. The soap is needed to break up the lanolin so it mixes in and doesn't glop. Fill sink. The water should be room temperature to a little warm - not ice cold, and not too hot. Place wool cover inside out in sink and gently push cover under the water. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes. See video below with blue Disana Wool Pull On.

Please note that it is possible but unlikely that you will ever need to add lanolin to a wool blanket or clothing. The lanolizing information is for diaper covers, not for clothing or blankets.

After soaking, gently squeeze excess water out. Do not wring it because wringing will stretch it out of shape. Be gentle.  Then roll it between two towels to get even more moisture out. Let it dry for about 24 hours. Open up layers and turn it over now and then to help it dry. Help the wool keep its shape while drying it.



Here is an image of the Lana handwashing and care instructions, which offers more information about wool and it's care and use. Below is a short video to show prepping, washing and lanolizing a new Disana Wool Pull On diaper cover. You do not need to lanolize a new wool cover, but when you do need or want to lanolize, this video shows you how: 

For Disana wool pull on covers only, you can do a recommended 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.