Care of Wool Soakers/Longies-
Always hand wash your woolies and hang to dry.
Your woolie should only need to be washed and lanolized once a month. If they get soiled with food, dirt, or baby poo then they will need to be washed and relanolized. If they get wet you replace them with another and hang out to dry. The lanolin in the wool will turn the urea in urine into salt water. Your woolies should smell fresh after dry. When they start to smell like urine when dry you should wash and relanolize them.
Wool is a natural anti-bacterial. No bacteria, no bad smells!
Wool wicks the moisture away from the diaper and then holds it there it doesn't leak out unless it becomes saturated. The saying goes that the wool is only as good as what is underneath. Wool is amazing, but you have to have a good absorbent diaper on under the wool for the wool to really work like it should. Don't let this scare you away though. My daughter easily goes through the night and an hour in the morning before I get too worried about changing her. We haven't had any leaks since I discovered wool! Yeah for wool!
Wool is very breathable and this is how it can be warm in cold weather, yet cool in hot weather. Wool both absorbs while resisting moisture. Keeping skin temperature regulated. It allows moisture to evaporate helping to alleviate diaper rashes. Wool is far better because of this for babies bottoms than plastic conventional covers or disposable diapers.
The protein in the wool also makes the woolies naturally flame retardant also. (As an added bonus!)
When you lanolIze a brand new woolie, be it a crocheted, knitted or sewn one you definitely want to lanolize. You will probably want to do what is called Super-Lanolizing. When I super-lanolize I use about a tablespoon of lanolin per woolie. I also make sure I soak them for at least 8 hrs. Then I let then dry for 8-12 hrs. This way you can apply all the natural lanolin that was stripped away in manufacturing. After the first initial Super-lanolizing you will only need to reapply so it doesn't need to be as much.
Lanolin is the natural oil that comes from the sheep. Manufacturers strip the lanolin out of wool when they get it ready for use. Lanolin can be bought in a two forms; solid, and a liquid.
The solid form of lanolin is my choice of lanolin. I buy it in bulk on ebay and then dissolve it into the water.
The liquid kind comes in plain liquid and sprayable.
The liquid lanolin you just add to the water for soaking. You can also do a dry method where you rub the liquid lanolin in your hands and then rub it directly onto the soaker. This would be great for your hands too. This is great to be used as a booster!
The sprayable is mainly used as a lanolin booster to be put on the woolie throughout the month. This you just spray and rub on as needed. Lanolin is best applied to the inside of the woolies as this is where it is needed. The problem with spray liquid is that they have to add something to it to make it sprayable. I don't care for it, it can sometimes not spray very well either so you may get spots.
Washing and Lanolizing-
1- Wash the woolie in lukewarm water and a few squirts of liquid baby soap or wool wash. Ring the water out.
2- Fill a bowl, not your sink, (the wool fibers might clog your drain) with lukewarm water. -this step can also be done in your top load washer.
3- Add 1 tsp. (per woolie) to a cup of very hot, almost boiling water. Add in an equal amount of liquid baby soap to help emulsify the lanolin. When the lanolin is dissolved the water will be milky white.
4- Add dissolved lanolin to your bowl, or washer, of water and stir in.
5- Place the woolie in the water and massage the lanolin in. (inside out works best, it puts the lanolin where it is needed) Leave to soak for between 4-8 hrs. (over night works great!)
6- Ring the water out. Now you have to get the most water out for faster drying. There are two ways to do this:
a- You can roll it up in a towel and squeeze the water out. I don't like this method; I think the towel wicks away too much of the lanolin.
b- You can throw them in the washer and run them through the spin cycle to spin all the water out.
* I don't advise using this method for hand spun yarns and perhaps hand knit or crocheted woolies.
7- Now you hang them out to dry, inside-for at least 12 hrs.; outside 6-8 hrs.
*If you are lanolizing a pair of longies you can always drape the legs up out of the bowl so they don't get lanolin on them. They don't need the lanolin and the lanolin will attract dirt as the kiddos are playing. You want the whole item to be wet before you start lanolizing though, so that the dry wool doesn't try to soak up the water and the lanolin.