Using wool covers for you child is easy, although it may look difficult at first glance if you have never used it before.
Are you curious? Do you want to use natural materials for your child? The e-book gives you all information needed: how to wash and grease wool covers, tips for stain treatment, but also how to store wool covers after use and many more insights. If you still have questions, there are many people out there who love to share their experience and who are happy to help – and so am I.
“Trust yourself. The rest will come with time.”
The wash-grease-dry cycle
Changing with wool nappies is much less complicated than you may think, because washing and greasing is done once a month as a routine. Otherwise the wool cover is aired-out after use. This is possible because of the self-cleaning effect of wool. If the wool covers gets dirty or leaky in one place, there are little tricks to get it back up and running quickly.
How to wash wool covers
Wool is traditionally aired-out and rarely washed: as seldom as possible, as often as strictly necessary. Wool covers can be washed either by hand or by using the wool-washing program of your washing machine at maximum 40 degree celsius. However, washing wool covers by hand removes dirt and residuals more thoroughly than the washing machine, especially on the long-term.
There are different reasons why a wool cover has to be partially or completely washed:
- When faeces got in contact with the wool
- When yellow traces of urine stone occur
- When the wool starts to smell
- When the wool cover leaks
- When you think it’s time again
“Which method you choose for cleaning depends primarily on the intensity of pollution”
General cleaning with wool detergent
Wool covers should be washed as a routine every 3-4 weeks (depends on how many wool covers you use). You can do that either by hand or by using the wool-washing program of your washing machine at maximum 40 degree celsius. Therefore you can use a conventional wool detergent. However, from time to time deep cleaning with olive soap is needed because wool detergent is not designed to clean wool thoroughly from urine and faeces.
Refreshing with wool washing soap
Wool washing soap (also called lanolin soap) is a wonderful invention. It washes and simultaneously re-grease the wool. You can use it in two ways for minor contamination: Locally to remove stains and as a full bath to wash the entire cover. The latter is recommended if the wool cover leaks at one point but not yet needs to be greased in a full lanolin bath.
Deep cleaning with olive (curd) soap
If the wool cover still smells after washing or if yellow traces of urine stone occur it has to be deeply cleaned. Therefore, soapy water (e.g., from green soap flakes) is used to remove the coarsest dirt. This method gently cleans the wool without stressing it too much. An olive curd soap bar is particularly suitable for removing stains in a targeted manner.
Intensive cleaning with baking soda
Wool covers that are still dirty after deep cleaning with olive soap or that are over-greased need to be intensively cleaned. The team from Stoffwindelguru in Germany developed a method that removes stubborn dirt where the wool covers are treated in hot water with baking soda. However, the method stresses the wool and should applied occasionally only. It is therefore important to find the cause of the heavy pollution.
How to grease wool covers
For many, this is sure to be the scary part and questions like “isn’t it time consuming” and “how does it work at all” are certainly omnipresent. As with many things that are new, the same applies here: With each application you learn something new, gain more knowledge and thus more self-confidence.
There are different ways of greasing wool, but they all have one thing in common: lanolin (also called wool wax or wool fat), which is needed to get the wool water repellent.
“One distinguishes between a full bath with pure lanolin or wool washing soap and local treatment of stains and leaking spots.”
Full bath with pure lanolin
A full lanolin bath is applied for new wool covers and after that every 3-4 weeks (depending on how many wool covers you use). All you need is a bucket or large bowl, warm water, lanolin and an emulsifier (e.g., green soap flakes or olive curd soap). In a first step you create the emulsion by mixing a bit of lanolin with boiling water, grease droplets and lumps will occur. With the addition of soap, these are transformed into a milky liquid. Give the emulsion together with warm water in the bucket/bowl. Now the wool covers can soak over night or for at least a couple of hours.
Re-greasing with lanolin soap
Re-greasing with wool washing soap (lanolin soap) is applied for wool covers with minor contaminations or when the cover leaks at one specific spot. Therefore, rub the soap gently in warm water by hand until the water becomes milky. The more soap you dissolve, the richer the solution becomes. Then wash the cover by hand. You can also directly treat stains without washing the entire cover. For both option, you can dry the cover and use it again without applying a full lanolin bath.
Local treatment with lanolin
Residual amounts of the lanolin emulsion can be kept in a small bottle for later use:
New wool covers have to be greased at least twice to get watertight. It is an option to pour some of the lanolin emulsion over the entire wool cover instead of a full bath.
Stains can be treated locally with olive soap, however it may not be necessary to wash and grease the entire wool cover. Hence, lanolin emulsion can be applied to locally re-grease the wool cover. Dry and use.
- For new wool covers
- As a routine every 3-4 weeks
- When large areas get leaky
- Wash & grease in one step
- For minor contamination
- When punctual leakage occurs
- To grease new covers a second time
- After stain treatment
- When punctual leakage occurs
How to dry wool covers
Never wring wool covers out because the wool could get damaged or starts to felt. The best way to dry wool is rolled up or folded in a towel. Then lay it flat on the ground and trample on it. That way the water is gently pushed out of the wool without applying any friction.
Afterwards lay the wool covers on a drying rack to dry completely. Don’t hang them up by the leg elastic, otherwise they will permanently stretch out. You can also dry them outside in the sun if the sun is not too intense. Don’t leave them there for too long. Drying on a heater is not recommended. The wool would get dry and brittle.
Wool covers need approximately a day to dry.