I wash my recycled wool in normal temperature in industrial washers. They are tumble dried on low heat. For Woolie Wraps, the organic inner layer is NOT washed/felted. For soakers/longies, the organic wool/wool interlock is washed and partially felted. Partially felted means that if the wool is washed on hot in a machine, it will felt and shrink!!
If you wash your wool items on hot or warm in your home machine, you WILL experience shrinkage and damage! I recommend washing by hand as described below.
Nifty Nappy™ Rebourne Woolie Wraps, Rebourne Wool Diaper Cover Soakers/Longies/Overalls:
Wool works wonderfully as a diaper cover. The odor does not get trapped in it, like it does with plastics, and you don’t need to wash it after each wear: simply hang it to dry while you use your alternate wool cover. It should be ready to go for your next diaper change!
If it is soiled or is retaining a urine odor, hand wash with tepid water and natural wool wash that contains lanolin. I prefer Eucalan liquid wool wash or my wool wash soap which can be purchased here.
Here is the video on washing and lanolizing:
-Fill the sink or pan with tepid water (between warm and cool). Either run your bar soap under the water while you fill, or add your liquid soap (just a few drops) and add your woolies. Remove solids and gently massage the soap in. Don’t over-squeeze or stretch.
-If you will be lanolizing, move on to “lanolizing” below
-Allow the woolies to soak in the Eucalan/soap, as detailed on the bottle. This is not necessary but will help condition the wool.
-Remove the wool and remove excess water: Roll the wool in a towel and gently squeeze the excess water out (or spin out excess water in your machine if you can set your machine to “spin” only).
-Lay flat to dry on a drying rack.
-Heat 1-3 cups of water in a bowl for a few minutes (it doesn’t need to be boiling, but needs to be hot)
-pour an equal amount of wool wash and lanolin into the hot water and stir (use about pea to a dime amount per cover)
-add soap if the lanolin is not incorporating (there are oil circles on top of the water). add one drop at a time.
-fill a basin or bucket with tepid water.
-add the lanolin mixture slowly, incorporating it and mixing it thoroughly, check to make sure the temperature is still lukewarm. If it is too warm, allow it to cool.
-add the woolies, inside out
-gently massaging the lanolin into the woolies, again avoiding twisting/squeezing/rubbing too much
-allow to sit for 15 minutes to 24 hours, keeping children away from the basin/bucket. weigh the woolies down with a heavy item to keep them submerged.
-gently remove the wool and squeeze between towels as explained above or use your washing machine to spin excess water out
-lay flat to dry on a drying rack or hang to dry. hanging will cause stretching, which is why I recommend laying them flat. laying on a drying rack to allow full air movement to the woolies will help them dry in much less time!
Blocking or Stretching Woolie Wraps to Maintain Rise Length:
Woolie wraps have an inner layer of merino wool interlock. This fabric has not been washed prior to sewing. The wool will want to shrink, mainly on the lengthwise grain (along the rise) when washed and lanolized. To keep the cover in the correct shape, you will need to follow these directions:
Repairing Holes in Woolies:
Holes are very common in wool, especially recycled wool. They can develop around snaps or in random spots, seemingly unexpectedly. If you have a needle and thread, you can easily fix them. If you’d prefer me to fix a hole, I am more than happy to at no charge if you cover shipping expenses. Just email me!
Here is a great video on how to fix holes:
The changing pad can be washed with your regular wash on COLD, but it will perform ideally when washed on delicate or by hand. Periodically lanolize it when you lanolize your wool diaper covers! That will keep the wool soft, smelling great, and performing beautifully.
For urine: simply let your pad dry outdoors if possible. The lanolin should neutralize the odor and convert the urine to soap. If your pad isn’t working well or is retaining a urine odor, or has been soiled:
These can be washed in your washing machine on ‘delicate’ cycle, with COLD water. Use Eucalan soap or similar lanolin-enriched wool wash. Fill the machine and add the Eucalan. Turn off the machine, then add the wool. Squeeze the wool and move it around to be sure that it is completely wet and the lanolin is reaching all of the surface. Allow the wool to soak in the Eucalan for about 30 minutes. Turn dial to ‘spin’ (bypass the rinse cycle, you do not want to rinse the soap out) and let the machine remove the water from the pad. Hang to dry, or lay flat. I have also dried these on low heat without too much trouble, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that every time you wash it.
To lanolize, follow the instructions here:
If you have a thinner pad that needs more lanolin, consider a spray style lanolin that will give you the ability to apply more.
Hand wash in cool or tepid water with gentle soap. Rinse and squeeze excess water; hang to dry or lay flat. These can be washed in your machine on delicate with extreme caution: use cold water and put them in a lingerie bag so that you don’t forget about them! Periodically lanolize these, following the instructions above under ‘wool diaper covers’.
For the all-wool nursing pads, this care video explains how to wash them and sanitize them:
Did you (or a loved one) accidentally wash your woolies in the washing machine? Check out this article on tips for trying to save your items:
Don’t hesitate to email me with any questions or concerns. I want your move from plastic to wool to be as smooth and successful as possible!
-Marni at Rebourne Clothing