We lanolise all our items before sending it to you. A minority of mums, however, prefer not to add lanolin to their babies' wool because of sensitivity, or because they find that the wool works fine without it. This is a matter of individual taste and knowledge of what works for you. If you'd rather we didn't lanolise your wolly item, just let us know. We can also, at your request, wash it in a gentle, lanolin-free wool wash such as Ecover before I send it to you.
After each use:
After use all you need to do is let the wool air dry. It is a good idea to do this with the wool inside out. Once the wool is dry, any faint urine smell whilst the wool was damp will vanish as if by magic. If you get a small spot of dirt/ solids recently washed wool, you can just remove it with a damp cloth or sponge. Many mums find that they wash wool every two weeks or so, or sooner if it gets soiled, but this will depend on whether your baby is a heavy wetter, and other factors, such as the thickness and type of the yarn or how densely it is knitted. Some mums don't count weeks between washes, but simply wash the wool when they notice that it still smells even after it has air-dried. There are no strict rules, and you'll find a routine that works for you.
Washing your woolly items:
Always wash your item by by hand in lukewarm water, ideally with a wool-friendly detergent which will have the correct ph factor for wools.
The 'wool wash' program on your washing machine is designed specifically for machine washable wools. These are spun wools that are given a chemical coating to avoid felting, yet it has still been known for machine washable wools to felt, even with this washing program.
Gently wash your item and avoid excessive agitation - again, agitation can cause your wool to felt even in mild water temperatures.
Remove excess water by placing your wool item between clean, dry towels to remove larger quantities of water (use some old towels as your other half wont be impressed when your posh towels smell woolly LOL)
In the case of dye leakage, which occurs occasionally the first time a hand dyed item is washed, rinse after washing with cold water until the water runs clear. It is recommended to hand wash wool items separately, although this dye leakage should not stain other items.
If you feel your wool needs a conditioner, hair conditioner, particularly those for babies, is the best for your wool. Most commercial fabric conditioners are designed for cotton and synthetic items, to soften and remove static, and are not ideal for wool. Wool is a protein fibre similar to hair and thus can be conditioned similarly.
Always dry your wool item flat. This can be achieved on a clean, dry towel.
Reshape your item whilst damp - otherwise known as blocking. Wool has a memory, and will keep it's shape when dry if attention is paid during the drying process. To avoid creases occurring whilst drying, turn your item over or reposition carefully.
Store your woollen items carefully if they are not to be used for any amount of time.
Lanolising your woolly items:
Most people who use wool as covers for cloth nappies find that it works better if you lanolise it, or put back the natural oil that helps it to repel moisture. This should be done once every month or two, or if and when you find that your waterproof wool no longer seems so waterproof. Some wool washes contain lanolin, and therefore allow you to lengthen the time between lanolising. Lanolin can be bought as a spray that you apply directly to the outside of the wool. You can also dissolve a bit of lanolin from a tube or block in hot water, and use that. It is best to use high quality lanolin from sheep that haven't been chemically treated.
When is it time to lanolize?
It is probably time to lanolize if you start to notice your wool cover wicking moisture, developing an odor or getting wet to the touch between diaper changes (assuming that the diaper isn't completely saturated).
Its easy to lanolize your wool covers.
Heat one cup of water along with half a teaspoon of lanolin (I also use 1/4 teaspoon of 'wool wash' or our favourite baby shampoo)
Put the mixture in a small container and shake until the lanolin is completely dissolved (the liquid will appear milky)
Add the mixture to eight cups of warm water (in a bucket or sink).
Allow to soak for fifteen minutes or so.
Swish the cover gently through the water to make sure the lanolin is in the wool.
Do not rinse the lanolin out of the wool cover.
Roll in a towel to remove excess water and lay the cover flat to dry.
Please note that some wool washes/ baby shampoo's may encourage the dye in your woollies to run a small amount, this does not normally affect the woollies use.