The Quick and Easy Way to Wash and Lanolize Wool Cloth Diaper Covers

I am so grateful to Emilie at Got ‘Em Covered Diapers who has provided this great tutorial for lanolizing cloth diapers. I am putting her instructions here and combining them with my own notes (in italics) and pictures from my experience lanolizing my covers.

The Quick and Easy Way To Wash and Lanolize Wool Cloth Diapers

You will need:

– Lanolin (the kind used for breastfeeding)

– Baby wash or mild soap

– a small container with a lid or a stirring stick (for mixing the lanolin)

– a towel (bath size is good)

– a basin/container (or you can just use the sink)

– wool cover

Work Time : 10 minutes

Total Time (minus drying):45-50 minutes

The Quick and Easy Way To Wash and Lanolize Wool Cloth Diapers - A TutorialIt may look like quite a few steps, but you are actually only doing about 10 minutes of work time (I’d even argue that it was only 5 minutes!). It’s SO fast. TRUST me, as a full-time graduate student, college instructor, and stay at home Mom, I don’t have TIME to do a bunch of stuff. This was easy-peasy. 

Technically most tutorials out there are QUICK and EASY. But I just put up the graphics here to make it clear to you all that it really is simple. Plus I found Emilie’s tutorial very easy to follow.

Run some clean lukewarm water in to the basin (a little cooler than a baby bath)

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Fill sink with lukewarm water

Add a small quirt of the baby wash. I use Aveeno Baby, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Add a drop of baby soap

Note: If your wool cover is soiled leave the soiled side out for easy cleaning

Put the cover into the water push it down into the water, you will see that it resists the water a bit, flip it over and push it down again:

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Add covers

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Submerge covers Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Covers fully submerged in water

Let the cover soak for about 20 minutes. I just set my timer and made a goal to clean a room in my house while waiting. It was perfect!

 

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Let covers soak for 20 minutes

If there are any soiled spots on the cover you can gently rub them to get the out using your hang and the mild soap if needed

Rinse the cover out in the basin water and set to the side, dump the basin water. I used an old storage bin, but I’ve seen people do a sink. The heebee geebee part of doing it in the sink is the covers had pee in them and that’s probably not sanitary…but maybe it’s OK if you clean the sink well afterwards? I don’t know, depends on your threshold for ick.

To prepare the lanolin put a pea sized (or small line) of the lanolin into your small container:

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Apply a pea-sized amount of lanolin

I use the Bee Green Naturals Lanolin Stick that was given to me by Sew Crafty Baby. As I’ve told you before in a previous review, I REALLY like everything from this line. But you could easily just use Lansinoh Cream. I know when I was in the hospital right after labor that gave that to me to help with the “nerp” pain while breastfeeding.

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Bee Green Naturals lanolin

Add some very hot water to melt the lanolin and a squirt of the baby wash to emulsify. I initially did this without baby wash because I forgot and it was REALLY tough to get it to emulsify, so don’t miss that step!

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Add hot water and a squirt of baby wash

Put on the lid and shake until it is mixed well (no clumps of lanolin should be visible)

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Shake it until it dissolves

Here is what mine looked like once dissolved:


Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Emulsified lanolin

Add some very hot water to the basin (about 1/2-1″ deep)

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Add very hot water to sink/basin

Dump in the lanolin mixture and stir. Ack, if you look closely, you can still see small clumps of the lanolin because I didn’t add baby wash to help emulsify. That’s an important step!

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Dump in lanolin mixture and stir

Add cold water to bring the temperature back down to cool/lukewarm again

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Add cold water to get temperature back to lukewarm

Add your washed, wet wool cover. Let it soak about 10-15 minutes then flip over and let it soak another 10-15 minutes.

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Soak for 10 minutes on each side

You will see that the lanolin looks oily floating on the top of the water. You can put your hands under the cover and gently lift it up flat to pick up the lanolin off the top of the cover as the water falls through it. You can do this on each side and then pick it up open (like how your child wears it) a few times to get the lanolin through the crotch.

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Oily spots of lanolin in water

Now you do whatever you can to get as much water out of the covers. Here are some tips used by Emilie:

After the soaking time is done, take your towel and lay it out on the ground (folded in half). Gently pick up your lanolized cover and squeeze out the water, gently but firm enough to squeeze out the water (do not wring, pull or twist the cover). Lay it out flat on the towel, roll the towel up jelly roll style, and gently step onto the rolled towel to squeeze out the excess water (or get some little feet to help… kids always want to help with this part).

I did a few of these methods:

Patting dry:

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Patting dry

 

Rolling them up in a towel:
Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Rolling up in a towel

Standing on the towel to use my lovely post-baby weight to squeeze out as much as I could (Poor Cookie Monster!)

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Standing on rolled up towel

 

Unroll and lay the cover flat to dry (do not hang to dry!)

Washing wool cloth diapers tutorial - Lay flat to dry

Again, this entire process took 45 minutes (excluding drying time), but less than 10 minutes of my own actual labor. In fact, I had plenty of time to play on Facebook and Pinterest Clean My House.

What are your steps for washing/lanolizing wool covers? If you have any questions for us, please feel free to post! 

 

Other Helpful Tutorials

Cloth Diaper Geek’s

The Inquisitive Mom’s

Wife, Mummy, Nurse

 

The Blue Cover in this post was provided by Got ‘Em Covered Diapers. The Grey One is a Babee Greens Cover Provided by Kissed by the Moon. While these covers were provided, it did not affect any of the opinions in this post.

Tara Porter

Tara Porter began using cloth diapers in 2011 when she felt that using disposable diapers was costing too much money. The problem was, a lot of the highly recommended diapers weren’t working for her baby. What she finally discovered was that her baby was skinny and a heavy wetter, and that diapers worked differently for those baby types. Because of her professional work with survey design and statistics, she designed Padded Tush Stats as a way to determine how different cloth diapers worked on different babies.

Tara moved on to other career endeavors in 2014 but can still be found online blogging about health and fitness at Fit Baby Steps.