I’ve found the love for wool covers… just like everyone says! They are soft and squishy, cute, and super easy to care for! Plus, I can make them for crazy cheap! In fact, three of my five diaper covers are made by yours truly!
So, how to take care of them is the question most asked. Well, it’s simple!
1. Prep the wool covers – lanolize
When you first get the covers, they are likely not lanolized, but that’s easy to fix. I have tried the lanolin you use when nursing and I don’t like how hard it is to get out of the tube, so I’ve opted for a liquid lanolin. I really like the Sheepish Grins liquid lanolin, but I admit it’s the only liquid lanolin I’ve tried so far.
Just add the necessary lanolin (1 tsp per gallon of water is fine) to a small dish of hot water, stir to mix together until the water looks cloudy, then add to tepid water in the sink or bucket of some sort. Let the covers soak for at least 15 minutes. Some people soak their covers overnight, and I’ve typically let them soak for about an hour.
Don’t wring out a wool cover, but do squeeze out the excess. You can roll them in a towel and roll it to get more water out, or I lay it flat on a towel, fold the towel over to cover it, and walk on it to get more water out. Take the covers out of the towel and let them air dry overnight laying flat. Don’t hang a sopping wet wool cover, especially a knit one, or it can lose it’s shape and stretch out.
Put your ultra cute wool cover on your little one and enjoy all the benefits of wool! The cover may feel a little sticky the first time or two it is worn, which is normal; it’s just the lanolin at work and it will fade. You can use a wool cover over many different types of diapers: fitted, prefolds, flats, or an insert from an AI2 or pocket diaper.
After the cover is worn, wash away anything that would stain (the lanolin will hold in a stain if it is left to set), and let it air dry. Wool is naturally anti-microbial so it doesn’t need to be washed after each use. If there are no stains from solid waste, just put it up to air out without washing it.
I wash my covers when I re-lanolize them and use Eucalan Wash as the soap. It is a no-rinse wool wash, and can be added to the tepid water with the lanolin. If something is particularly dirty, I will wash it alone, but it is rarely necessary. Remember, the more you wash a knit cover, the more it will felt. Felting isn’t necessarily bad, but it will shrink the cover and become more stiff.
You will know you need to re-lanolize a wool cover when it doesn’t seem to be water resistent any longer. Depending on how often a cover is used, you can expect to re-lanolize every couple weeks or so.