I recently received an email on Etsy that said, “I’m all for wool covers, but how do you deal with poopsplosions on wool diaper covers?”
Yes, newborns have a tendency to explode poop everywhere. If you’re not a parent yet, I’m sorry if you did not already know that. For me, the poopsplosions always occurred when we had to leave the house and be somewhere, requiring a total wardrobe change for baby and mom.
My approach was this: after baby and mom/dad/caregiver are put back together, (and before baby has to nurse/feed again because their entire stomach just emptied), take the cover and try to gently remove the solids from it before storing it. I had a special toothbrush for this job (marked with duct tape and stored away from regular toothbrushes), but you could also use a diaper sprayer (as long as the water isn’t too cold that it will shock the wool and shrink it) or lukewarm tap water. You are not removing the stain or doing a complete wash, just a quick solid rinse off.
Put the cover aside, NOT zipped up in a wet bag, potentially out in the open air so that it can breathe. Keep it away from helpful hands that may want to grab it and wash it with your cloth diapers (and shrink it).
When you have 60-75% of your wool diaper covers dirty and in need of washing, wash them all together and re-lanolize them all together. Leaving a few clean/dry covers to use until the dirty covers are clean and dry again, and you’ll save time and energy by cleaning in batches.
Follow the regular lanolizing instructions found here, making sure to use a bit more hot water and soap and lanolin. Use a pea to a dime sized amount PER cover, and add enough soap that the hot water is milky.
Use a basin (like a big plastic bin or a bucket) with enough water to submerge all of the covers, but not too much that the lanolin is not concentrated enough. Make sure to soak them long enough, and be sure to return and massage and rotate them so that all of the covers get enough attention.
Spin out the excess water in your washing machine (if you have a machine that can do ONLY a spin) or between towels, and lay flat to dry on a drying rack/sweater rack.
Poop stains on lighter wool can be attacked with a bit of diluted lemon water in a spray bottle (1/2 cup lemon water and 1/2 cup water), applied and let to sit. You can try a quick sunning of your cover indoors by laying it flat on a rack near a window. Don’t let it sit for too long in the sun to avoid shrinkage. Try a half hour and check on it. After lemon juice, repeat your normal wash and lanolize routine.