I avoided lanolizing wool cloth diapers for way too long. Had I known how easy lanolizing wool cloth diapers is, I would have done it much much sooner! Perhaps it’s the world lanolizing. It seems like something they would teach in school at NASA, or a task that requires showing your butter churning license and ability to start a fire with two sticks and a blade of grass. Alas, there is no complicated process, no rocket science needed and definitely no rubbing of sticks involved. It’s so easy that I would encourage everyone to give this a try. Had someone said “can you hand wash anything at all?” Yes, why yes I can! Then you can lanolize. It’s really that simple. Here are 5 easy steps for lanolizing wool cloth diaper covers.
I received the most well packed review kit from Lammie Bottoms with nearly everything needed to lanolize the wool shorts. The package included products from Botanical Baby; Emulsifying spheres and lanolin. In addition to the spheres and lanolin, the instructions also said to use a little baby soap, and I knew our Dr. Bronner’s unscented baby castile would be perfect with these products.
Why spheres? The emulsifying spheres work with the lanolin, or wool oil, to help the mixture become one with the water. ” Lanolin alone will not emulsify with water. It will melt. But it will just separate from the water just as a regular oil would. So it needs an “emulsifying agent” to assist. The Emulsifying Spheres are made from a mild detergent free glycerin soap. They act as that agent to assist the lanolin in emulsifying (or blending) with water without separation.” (The Soap Hut, 2016). The spheres contain:
The lanolin contains…well, lanolin. What’s lanolin? Lanolin is a naturally occurring product in sheep wool. This particular product is USP grade from Australia. Sheep produce the gook in order to help keep their coats water resistant and protect them from the elements. It’s removed from the wool when the fibers are processed and used for multiple purpouses. Due to the treatment of sheep with pesticides, some lanolin can be rich in chemicals and bug killers. It’s important to get a good and/or organic lanolin for your cloth diapers. While pesticide laced lanolin may help deter any bed bugs (insert sarcasm, I’m not sure if it really helps with bed bugs), it works against the natural lifestyle we strive for. So, let’s get to it.
- Place wool cover in an appropriate container for soaking. I used this enameled basin I found at TJ Maxx years ago, but a big pot, basin or a sink that holds water well would work too.
- Pour in enough luke warm water to cover the wool item.
- Mix together the emulsifying sphere, 1 tbsp lanolin, and 1-2 tsp baby wash and 1 cup of HOT water. I used hot tap water and ended up needing to microwave the mixture to get it to melt.
- Pour mixture over soaking diaper and leave to soak. Some recommendations I read are for 30m, some for a ‘few hours’ and some for overnight. I used 1-2 hours and it worked well.
- Remove excess water from diaper by squeezing it out, rolling into a towel and laying flat to dry. I dried ours overnight on a cookie drying rack and it was completely dry in the morning.
Lanolized wool covers can be used
multiple times before requiring a wash or re-lanolization. The process is as easy as hand-washing and after completing it once, I remember the steps and can re-do the process even faster and easier then before. It’s really simple and I hope seeing it’s simplicity has inspired you!
If you like the products seen here, you can visit Botanical Baby’s website and follow The Soap Hut on facebook for updates. For additional lanolizing resources you can visit some great articles from fellow reputable bloggers:
- Padded Tush Stats; The Quick and Easy Way to Lanolize Cloth Diapers
- Zephyr Hill Blog; Wool Diapering 01 (It’s not Hard or Scary)
- Wife, Mummy, Nurse; Washing Woolies
- All About Cloth Diapers; Cloth Diapers at Night Part 2; Wool Covers (Including How to Lanolize)