Wool Care (Guest Post by Candice of iCandi Knits)

When to lanolize
One of the great things about wool is that it is antibacterial and therefore self-cleaning. Usually if it feels a bit damp and you air it out, it will no longer retain an odor. Depending on your rotation of wool you can use it for a couple weeks for daytime use (unless soiled).  When your wool covers start to retain a smell or are no longer as waterproof as they were it is time to relanolize.

How much lanolin?
This amount varies by soaker size and how heavy of a wetter you have. It is a bit of trial and error but you will get the hang of it! Remember soakers and newborn covers are smaller so therefore will require less, about a pea size amount for normal wetters. Size medium and up longies will require much more. The first lanolizing of any wool cover often takes quite a bit to quench the wool fibers but subsequent times should not take as much.

Washing Wool
Fill a sink or bowl in lukewarm water and add your wool wash or baby soap. Gently wash your wool so that they don’t felt or shrink. Drastic temperature changes or agitation are what shrinks wool. If you have a stain that needs to be treated, rub a wool wash bar on the spot. Drain the water off and rinse with the same temperature water to remove the dirt and soap residue.

Lanolizing Wool
Fill a sink or bowl with room temperature water. Fill a jar with hot water to melt your lanolin. If you are using solid lanolin you may need to boil or microwave the water. Add your lanolin to the jar followed by a few drops of your mild soap. Stir or carefully shake (with a lid) until it turns milky-white. If it is just cloudy and not white, then add a few more drops of soap. 

After you have added this mixture to the tepid water, turn your wool cover inside out and let it soak for 30 minutes. If you forget about it, a few hours or overnight will not hurt it.  Remove from water or drain it off , fold and gently squeeze remaining water out. 

Lay your wool cover flat on a towel, fold the towel over it, and roll it up tightly. Stepping on your towel rolled cover will remove the excess water out and make drying time quicker. Once this is done lay your cover out flat to dry.

Do not wash your soaker in the washing machine because it will felt. Do not dry your wool in the sun. The sun will fade your hand dyed items and break down the fibers faster.

Removing Pills
Sometimes wool gets fuzzy and there is two easy ways to remove the ‘pills’ , a sweater stone and a sweater shaver. The sweater stone is the cheapest but maybe hardest to find. The sweater shaver can be found at any craft store and even Wal-Mart. Both methods work well but the sweater shaver is faster. Remember not to be too rough while removing the pills.


If you plan to keep your wool covers for the next child and they need to go in storage you will need to put them in something breathable. One cotton pillowcase inside another case tied shut would be a good example. A plastic storage container will cause mildew and mold due to lack of circulation.  The safest thing to do would keep it stored inside your home but of course this is not always possible. If you do have to store them in your basement or outside then try to check on them a couple times a year to make sure there are no bugs or mildew.

About the Author
Candice of iCandi Knits has been a self taught knitter since she was a teenager. She started making woolies when she started cloth diapering her first two kids (Alyssa & Tyler) when they were 2 & 8 months old. She has also been cloth diapering her youngest, who is now 1, since birth. “I started my WAHM business in May of 2009. I stay busy balancing life & knitting :) I love knitting & my husband says they are attached to my hands with my computer also.  My nickname is Candi so that’s where my store name came from”. She does meticulous and creative work so be sure to check out her shop here and my review of her longies here. 
{If you enjoyed reading Wool Care (Guest Post by Candice of iCandi Knits) I would be tickled pink if you left a comment. To read more about my green(er) parenting aspirations, advice and adventures be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates via email.}


By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

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  1. Teresha@Marlie and Me says:

    I was given a wool cover, but never used it because I had no idea how to care for it. TFS

  2. I have a super heavy wetter, especially at night and I know wool is probably the best answer to stop our night time leaks, but the care still intimidates me! :o)

  3. The Carrolls says:

    Thanks – Just the info I was looking for – I just started using Woolies. I like the tip about storing them in a pillow case. Maybe that would save some of my husbands wool garments too!

  4. The Carrolls says:

    Don't fear wool care! I love it for overnight…. and since night is generally not a POOPY time for DD – I do not have to wash my woolies often. Washing & lanolizing is a breeze….(just account for up to 24 hours to dry on a rack.)

  5. Great tips for a newbie to wool!! Thanks!

  6. MamaSquirrel says:

    great post! am planning to sew my own wool cover and will definitely need this info to wash it

  7. Great tips! I'm going to be using some wool in our rotation for the first time with our newbie in March, and still had a lot of questions that you answered here. Thanks for posting!


  1. […] the towel again to get more water out and laid them flat to dry. This would also be a good time to lanolize the longies if […]

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