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I am so grateful to Emilie at Got ‘Em Covered Diapers who has provided this great tutorial for how to wash and lanolize wool cloth diaper covers. I am putting her instructions here and combining them with my own notes (in italics) and pictures from my experience lanolizing my covers.
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
It 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.
How To Wash Wool Cloth Diaper Covers
Run some clean lukewarm water into the basin (a little cooler than a baby bath).
Add a small squirt of the baby wash. I use Aveeno Baby, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
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.
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!
If there are any soiled spots on the cover you can gently rub them to get them out using your hand 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.
Note: If you decide to buy a special lanolizing wool wash, you will not need to lanolize your covers as often (as they will garner SOME degree of lanolization during the washing process). In that case, you may be able to skip the next step if your covers still seem water-resistant.
How To Lanolize Wool Cloth Diaper Covers
To prepare the lanolin put a pea sized (or small line) of the lanolin into your small container.
I use the Bee Green Naturals Lanolin 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.
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!
Put on the lid and shake until it is mixed well (no clumps of lanolin should be visible).
Here is what mine looked like once dissolved:
Add some very hot water to the basin (about 1/2-1″ deep).
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!
Add cold water to bring the temperature back down to cool/lukewarm again.
Add your washed, wet wool cover. Let it soak about 10-15 minutes then flip over and let it soak another 10-15 minutes.
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.
How To Dry Wool Cloth Diaper Covers
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, 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).
- Take your towel and lay it out on the ground (folded in half). Lay the cover 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.
Rolling them 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!)
Unroll and lay the cover flat to dry (do not hang 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
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.
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Tara moved on to other career endeavors in 2014 but can still be found online blogging about health and fitness at Fit Baby Steps.
Latest posts by Tara Porter (see all)
- Tara’s Farewell Post - August 1, 2014
- 10 Things I Wish I Would Have Known About Cloth Diapering Before I Started - July 31, 2014
- Tara & Carolyn’s Top Picks for 2014 – Covers (Part 1) - June 18, 2014