Wool Soaker Care Guide
How to Wash:
Since wool is naturally anti-bacterial, it does not need to be washed each time it is worn. Simply rotate two or three covers throughout the diaper changing day, allowing them to air out between changes, and they’ll stay fresh for many, many days. How long? Depends. Many report going a month or two between washes. You’ll know when it’s time to wash when the wool doesn’t smell fresh anymore.
Of course, if poo escapes the confines of your diaper for a wool field trip, that’s another story, since poo doesn’t turn to vapor. Relax, cleaning it will still be a lot easier than you think.
Remember, lanolin has natural cleansing properties, which make it very easy to rinse soil deposits off of your wool with lukewarm water. Once the poo has rinsed away, you’ll need to wash the cover.
There are many ways to wash wool. Some people use baby shampoo, bar soap, or specialty commercial wool washes, like Eucalan. All are fine, but DO NOT use Woolite. It is not compatible with diapering because it strips the precious lanolin from the wool.
A sample wash regime:
For many people, using a lanolin-rich wool wash is enough to maintain stability in the lanolin content of their diaper covers, and therefore the performance. Some, though, may find that their covers’ ability to act as a wetness barrier decreases over time and needs a boost. This is where lanolization comes in. Again, not so scary as it sounds; read on.
To lanolize a cover, basically all you need to do is dissolve some pure lanolin, like Lansinoh brand nipple ointment for nursing moms, in water and soak. Spin in washer and air dry as above.
How much lanolin to use? If squeezing out of a tube, like Lansinoh , then squeeze a line of lanolin about ¼ inch long.
How to make it dissolve in the water evenly? Start with about a cup of hot water, either hot from your tap, or boiled and cooled slightly. The heat will help the lanolin soften up and dissolve. Then add that small amount of hot water/dissolved lanolin mixture to your sink/pan/bucket of lukewarm water. Adding a small squirt of your lanolin-rich wool wash in this step would also be helpful, as it will keep the pure lanolin from clumping and staining your cover.
How long to soak? About 20 minutes should do it. Spin it out in your washing machine, just like you would if you were washing the wool, and air dry.
Felting is simply the shrinkage of wool fibers. Contrary to popular belief, hot water alone does not shrink wool. Wool can actually be boiled without shrinking!
What, then, does cause wool to shrink? Abrupt temperature changes and agitation. The trick to boiling wool without shrinking it is to heat and cool it slowly, and not to disturb it during the process.
Let’s take a moment to discuss what felting does to the wool. Obviously, it shrinks the wool, making the garment slightly thicker and denser. Often, it can cause the cover to lose a bit of stretchiness. It also blurs the individual stitches together, which is referred to as loss of stitch definition.
Felting may occur accidentally, from being too rough with the wool while handwashing (this would yield very minor felting), or by accidentally dropping it into the machine with its diaper friends (major felting). Alternatively, felting may be the desired result; for instance, buying a cover one or two sizes too large and washing and drying on hot a few times to thicken it
So, is felting good or bad?. It depends if these results are desirable or not. If you're purchasing a hand-knitted, hand-painted work of art, you probably don't want the stitches to become blurred, because they are key to the beauty of the garment. If you're shopping for a nighttime cover that will withstand your child's Niagara Falls bladder, then a felted garment might be just what the doctor ordered.
All closeknit diaper soakers come slightly felted. This means we have gently washed and dried them on low heat to soften and slightly thicken them. When we were in the testing stage for this product we tried many different things to it and this produced the best finished product (in our humble opinion). You may felt your soaker more if you prefer....just remember you can't ‘unfelt' something once you've taken the plunge!
The above information was taken from the e-bay guide - Wool Cloth Diaper Covers: The Comprehensive Guide, written by Goodwoolies