As I said in my cloth diapering post, I mostly use this method of lanolizing. Well, at least I started off there. I decided that my methods have changed enough that it would be a good idea for me to do my own post. I’ve taken that original method and added some other tips I’ve come across. Altered things so they work better for me. Clarified things. Stuff like that. So, here is my picture tutorial for lanolizing wool diaper covers:
First things first, how often to lanolize? It’s largely up to your personal preference. For me, it’s pretty dang infrequently. I would like to be able to tell you I have some sort of special schedule or something, but honestly I just lanolize when the covers are overly stinky/getting really wet easily. I’d say it’s generally about once a month for each cover. If I were a smarter person though, or possibly just a less lazy one, I’d create some sort of schedule where I’m lanolizing one cover per week or something along those lines. Instead, I end up spending a few days doing one cover each day. I currently have 4 covers, which means those few days are slightly annoying, but not unbearable. When Twig was tiny though and still regularly getting poop on a cover, it was more than a little annoying.
Also with poop, you obviously want to wash the diaper (I don’t bother with the washing part when there’s no poop on the diaper, as pee is sterile). I use a wool wash bar (I’m actually still working on some samples that a friend gave me before Twig was born, which is nice). You just get as much of the poop off as possible, rub the soap on it (gently, because more agitation means more risk of felting/pilling), and wash it off. You don’t need to get the whole diaper wet in this process or soak it, unless you decide that you might as well lanolize it at the same time. If it’s a stubborn stain, use an old toothbrush to scrub the soap in a bit. The wool wash bar I use has lanolin in it, so it’s lanolizing at the same time, which is nice. After you get it out of the water, follow the same drying steps as below and you’re golden. Now on to regular ole’ lanolizing.
Fill the sink with tepid tap water. What is tepid, you ask? Tepid=body temperature. So when you old your wrist under the water, as shown in the photo above, it should feel neither cold nor hot. It’s alright if it’s not perfectly tepid, just get as close as you can.
Stick your cover in the water! Alright, it’s probably best if you wait until the sink is done filling (remember, more agitation=more felting!), but I was just too excited I suppose. You see that cute cover! I just made it for a friend who had her baby. I’ll be sharing a post about it in the near future.
Stick that diaper down in the water. Generally when you need to lanolize, it shouldn’t be difficult to get all of the parts of the diaper saturated (hence needing to lanolize in the first place), but if you’re just lanolizing because you’re cleaning it anyway (or in my case, lanolizing a new diaper), mix it around a bit to make sure all parts of the diaper are thoroughly wet.
Take a water-proof container (I use a canning jar) and put a tiny drop of lanolin on the edge. This stuff is sticky, so I kind of use the edge of the jar to get it to separate from the tube of lanolin. In case you’re wondering, I’ve just been using Lansinoh brand (the one you use for nipple soreness with breastfeeding, found in the baby items isle) because it’s what was at the store and I wasn’t willing to wait for shipping. From what I’ve heard, you can get lanolin a lot cheaper online, but I haven’t needed to yet.
Go to another sink and turn up the water as hot as you can get it. Use the water stream to push the lanolin down into your container. Fill ‘er up and put the lid on.
Shake it baby! The hotter you get your water, the less you’ll need to shake.
When you’re done shaking, it should look like this. You can kind of see the separation of the lanolin from the water, but it’s as homogenized as you’re going to get barring large lab equipment. If you’re unsure that you’ve mixed enough, go ahead and put the lid back on and shake it some more. No harm in over shaking.
These next two steps are performed simultaneously, but since I only have two hands, it’s two separate pictures. Take a finger and use it to spin your cover in a circle, creating a whirlpool in your sink.
Slowly pour the water/lanolin mixture out of your container into the sink on the opposite side of the twirling diaper. Don’t touch the stream of lanolin to the diaper. Keep that diaper spinning for a few seconds longer than you’re pouring, just to make sure it’s all thoroughly mixed.
Let the diaper sit in the sink for at least 20 minutes. In my case, it ended up being overnight (oops!), which is perfectly fine. You’re not going to injure your diaper over-lanolizing it.
Empty the water out of the sink.
Fold the cover in half one way…
and then the other way.
With a fist, push as much water as you can out of the water. Push all over the little square to keep getting water out.
Lay out a dry towel (notice that I say dry and not fresh, I like to use my current getting dry towel one last time for this before I throw it in the wash. Yay for less laundry!) and lay the diaper out on top.
Roll up that diaper like you would cinnamon rolls. Do it as tight as you can.
Step all over the towel roll. Probably best to do this without socks, as they could potentially get wet. I use thick bath towels though so this has never been an issue for me.
Lay the diaper out to dry the rest of the way. I like to hang ours on top of our towel rack because A. It’s somewhere that I don’t mind getting wet. B. It’s right on top of a heating vent, which means it dries faster. Felting takes three things, agitation, moisture, and heat. Diaper is wet, heating vent is hot, but the diaper is sitting still, hence the lack of shrinking. In the summer time, when the hot air isn’t blowing out of the vent, I like to hang my covers out on the line. In the winter they’re dry overnight, in the summer it’s within a few hours.
So, I hope that helps anyone out there trying to figure out how to lanolize their diapers. Quite a few people have asked me how I do it and I’m thinking that I’ve provided a pretty detailed explanation. If anyone has any further questions or thinks I’m doing something wrong, please let me know!