Wool is not scary I promise!
Learn how to wash and lanolize your wool with these easy steps!
Washing and lanolizing wool can seem intimidating but is actually very simple. Once you learn the process, keeping your wool clean and lanolized will be as simple as dirty diaper laundry.
How often do you need to wash and lanolize your wool? Most wool needs to be lanolized before the first use. Otherwise, wool covers, shorties, and longies only need to be washed when they are visibly soiled or smell of urine even after they have dried. It is usually recommended that you lanolize your wool at the same time you wash it. However, if you notice your wool isn’t preventing leaks as well as it should be, you may need to lanolize sooner.
I was going to just write out step by step instructions on how to wash and lanolize your wool, but if you are anything like me, you could benefit from some visuals to go along with written instructions! So here goes!
Assemble your supplies. You will need wool wash or baby soap, liquid or solid lanolin, a small jar or container, a sink or small tub, a towel, and your wool. What wool wash and lanolin product you use is a matter of personal preference; I used Nature’s Baby Organics baby soap and Lanisoh tube lanolin in this tutorial. Be sure to rinse your wool with cool water before starting to make sure any residual urine is removed.
Fill your sink/tub with lukewarm water. If the water is too hot or too cold, you could end up felting your wool. Water that is right around room temperature is perfect. I use my sink for washing and lanolizing wool because it is the most convenient for me and encourages me to deep clean the bathroom sink occasionally. ;) As the sink/tub is filling, add a small amount of your wool wash or baby soap. Turn your wool inside out and add to the water, making sure your items are fully submerged. Let soak for around 15-20 minutes. Remove from sink/tub and drain the water.
Now comes the lanolin! If you are using liquid lanolin, squeeze out about an inch.
If you are using solid lanolin, measure out approximately 1 teaspoon. Add your lanolin to your small jar or container, along with a drop or two of wool or baby wash and very hot water. Place the lid on tight and shake well until the lanolin is completely melted. The water will look cloudy.
Refill your sink/tub with lukewarm water and add your container of melted lanolin. Stir to distribute evenly and then add your wool. You can see the sheen of the lanolin in the water. Let soak for 30 minutes.
Remove your wool and GENTLY squeeze as much water as you can from your wool. DO NOT WRING! Lay wool flat on your towel and roll up.
Either press or step on your towel to remove more excess water.
Unroll and lay flat to dry.
There are many techniques for washing and lanolizing wool but this one has served me well. I hope it makes the process of caring for your wool a little less overwhelming!
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I’m Julie, a former cloth diaper retailer who discovered a passion for the industry. Now, instead of selling cloth diapers, I advocate them and promote small businesses I love who sell and manufacture them.
I’m the wife of a fireman and mother of three. I have a daughter and identical twin sons.