How to Lanolize Wool Cloth Diaper Covers in 5 Easy Steps

I avoided lanolizing wool cloth diapers for way too long. If I knew how easy it is to lanolize wool cloth diapers, I would have done it much much sooner! Perhaps it’s the word 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.

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How to lanolize wool. Lanolizing wool cloth diaper covers is easy. Here are 5 simple steps to lanolizing that will have your diaper waterproof, soft and clean in no time!

     Overnight cloth diapering has always been a challenge. My babies are EBF and eat throughout the night, meaning they often pee and poop throughout the night too. While baby has stopped waking (most nights) for a poopy diaper change, wet ones are another story. As a cosleeping Mom, I have woken up to the sensation of a wet shirt, or a puddle in the bed. While we use washable mattress pads to protect the sheet, I hate to think that my baby is wet while he rests. I knew it was time to venture into wool for my 2+ month old baby and lanolizing here we come! (amazon affiliate banner below)

I received the most well packed review kit with nearly everything needed to lanolize the wool. 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. However, there are many brands of lanolin available, washes and emulsifiers.

Why emulsifying spheres with lanolin?

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:

Ingredients:  Sodium Cocoate, Porpylene Glycol, Sodium Stearate, Glycerin, Water, Sorbitol, Lavender Essential Oil, Titanium Dioxide.
The lanolin
     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.
How to Lanolize Wool Cloth Diaper Covers in 5 Easy Steps 
  1. 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.
  2. Pour in enough luke warm water to cover the wool item.
  3. Mix together the emulsifying sphere, 1 tbsp lanolin, and 1-2 tsp baby wash (some people skip the cube, I like to use it) and 1 cup of HOT water. I used hot tap water and ended up needing to microwave the mixture to get it to melt. Mixture will appear whitish when emulsified.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

how to lanolize wool cloth diaper covers

how to lanolize wool cloth diaper covers


how to lanolize wool cloth diaper covers


how to lanolize wool cloth diaper covers


how to lanolize wool cloth diaper covers


Lanolizing does not need to be done often
Lanolizing wool allows it to be used multiple times before requiring a wash or re-lanolization. Often times the wool is completely untouched by pee from my son’s overnight and day fitted diapers and does not need to be relanolized often. 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!

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