10 Tips for Lanolising Your Wool Nappy Covers

Using lanolin to waterproof wool nappy wraps is an effective, non-toxic baby-safe way to give your cloth nappies a natural cover.  Lanolin is an oily wax from sheeps' wool that is simply pressed out of the wool and cleaned - a very natural skin-friendly wax that helps with chapped nipples and nappy rash as well as increasing the water-resistance of wool. Disana's knitted organic wool nappy cover - lanolise with lanolin Here are Cambridge Baby's Top 10 tips for lanolising wool nappy wraps and longies - no stress, no fuss, effective waterproofing with lanolin.

Tip 1:  Relax when using lanolin

  • I used to get a bit stressed at all the instructions on how to lanolise wool - but just relax. Lanolin is a lovely, natural oily fat and it really doesn't matter if you don't follow any instructions to the letter - it all works out!   Lanolin loves wool, your wool loves lanolin, and it's going to be easy to get your wool nappy wraps or wool longies more waterproofed... so just relax 🙂

Tip 2:  Dilute the lanolin in a little hot water first.

Whether you are using "wool cure" lanolin solution or hard lanolin fat, it's easier if you dilute it in hot water first so that it dilutes easily.  (Just don't put your wool in the hot water.)

  • So dilute say 3 tablespoons of wool cure (or as per instructions) in a mug of very hot water.
  • Pour into a bowl and dilute with cooler water until it's luke-warm or tepid.  Or cold if you prefer.

Wool cure or lanolin solution to lanolise your wool nappy wraps

Tip 3:  Enjoy the lanolin bath!

  • Add your wool wraps to the lanolin bath.  Enjoy swishing them around.  Enjoy the smell of sheepy lanolin.  Enjoy the happiness of your wool covers as they are blessed by the sheepy fatty oil.
  • If you enjoy it, you'll do it more often, and you will need to do it every couple of months or so to keep waterproofed.  Lanolin is good for the skin, so if you are really loving it, be tempted to climb in yourself.

Disana Knitted Organic Wool Nappy Cover

Tip 4:  Squeeze the wool

  • After swishing a bit, gently squeeze the wool so that you feel that each wool fibre is getting wettened.  This is the key to thorough waterpoofing of your woollens.

Tip 5:  No need to soak, no need to rinse!

  • Personally, once all the fibres have been wetted, I don't see any point in leaving your wool wraps hanging around in the lanolin bath so I recommend lifting them out, giving them a final gentle squeeze and drying them.
  • Do not rinse, simply lift out and gently squish the water out.

Tip 6: Use a towel to remove excess water

  • This is a good tip when hand-washing all woollens.  Wrap a towel around them and gently squeeze out the water.  The towel protects the delicate wool fibres from damage and makes your clothes easier to re-shape too.
  • Cambridge Baby customers Tracey and Donna have commented on Facebook that wool longies and Disana knitted nappy covers can be put in on gentle spin cycle too.  I also gently spin my woollens - as low a spin cycle as possible and not more than 800.   Disana's organic Merino wool is very soft, so take care using your machine.

Tip 7:  Re-shape your nappy wraps while damp

I never knew what this meant until a few years ago, but I'll tell you what it means. It means making them the shape you want them to be and if your nappy wraps are lovely and felted, it may mean pulling them around quite a lot....  this is the only time I am ever harsh with wool but sometimes a very felted nappy cover (which is much more waterproof) needs a little help to stay the right shape!

Tip 8:  Dry your wool naturally

  • Just as sheep don't lie on radiators but pootle about on a sunny hillside, so your wool wraps shouldn't lie on a radiator but be outside happily in the sun.  Or over your bath.  Or on a drying rack - anywhere surrounded by air and away from direct heat.  Gardens are good for your wool.

  • Hanging your woollens outside can stretch them, especially if they are very wet and heavy, but if you've squeezed most of the water out, hanging wool outers and wool longies out on your washing line should be just fine.  Even if it's not sunny, if it's not raining, and it's above freezing, they will dry out there (and if it's been very cold and damp you can finish them off over the back of a chair).

Tip 9:  Lanolise your nappy covers 3 times

  • If you lanolinise your nappy outer 3 times before use, you'll have pretty good protection.  But to be honest, not many people actually do this.  I'm just recommending it as "best practice" - it will make a difference.

Tip 10:   Re-lanolise when you want to

  • Wool is breathable, and wicks moisture away from the body.  You'll find that when the nappy is very wet and needs changing, your wool wrap will feel damp to the touch.  Don't wash it but hang it to dry and put another one on.

Our baby in Disana's organic knitted wool nappy outer

  • At some point, you'll find the water starts coming through too quickly for your liking.  It's time to lanolise your wool again - but now you know it's easy and enjoyable.  Here is a summary:

Summary: how to waterproof wool nappy covers with lanolin

  • Dilute a few spoons of lanolin in a mug of hot water
  • Put in a bowl and add cold water to make a lanolin bath
  • Add your wool wraps, enjoy the feel and the smells, stir and squeeze through
  • Dry naturally using a towel first, then air-dry
  • Repeat 3 times for optimum waterproofing
  • And then repeat when necessary (probably every month).

Disana's knitted wool leggings can be used as nappy covers too

Extra Tip!  Try lanolinising wool pyjamas and trousers too.

  • You can also try lanolising pyjamas and sleeping bags to continue the night-time nappy breathing process, and you can lanolise wool baby-bodies and then close them over the wrap (just like with a disposable nappy) to help keep everything in place. Brilliant!
  • Customers of ours have had great success lanolising Disana leggings, and using them as "longies" - ie trousers that continue the wicking / breathing process worn directly over the nappy.

Here is some feedback from Cambridge Baby customer Claire Ashbourne:

"Just wanted to let you know how I am getting along with the merino leggings as longies. They work! I have only given them one lanolin treatment so far but they work fine during the day for this purpose.

"A tighter weave of wool I think is needed at night or double layer, but for day time they make superb wool nappy pants. After another couple of lanolin treatments and more wear they will work fabulously I think."

And more feedback on the same subject from another customer:

"I wanted to let you know that I have used the Disana leggins as "nappy covers" at home, and they work really well! They still fit and they are brilliant."

Let us know how you get on.

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