What is Lanolin and How Does it Work?
Lanolin is a wax that is extracted from the wool of sheep, and is often used as a treatment for wool nappy covers. When applied to a wool cover, lanolin helps to make the fabric water-resistant, which helps to keep babies feeling nice and dry. It also helps to keep the wool soft and supple, preventing it from becoming stiff and scratchy. In addition, lanolin is a natural lubricant, which helps to keep the fibres in the wool from becoming damaged and worn. Overall, applying lanolin to a wool nappy cover can help to prolong its life, and make it a more comfortable and effective option.
How To Apply Lanolin To A Wool Nappy Cover
Start by washing your wool nappy cover. You can use a gentle wool-specific detergent, or a mild, fragrance-free baby shampoo. Make sure to rinse the cover thoroughly to remove any soap residue. See our full washing guide here.
Next, you'll need to prepare your lanolin. Lanolin is a waxy substance that is derived from sheep's wool and is commonly used to waterproof and condition woolen items. You can purchase lanolin in a liquid or solid form. Either form is fine, it comes down to personal preference.
Once your lanolin is prepared, you can begin applying it to your wool nappy cover. You can use a paintbrush, a spray bottle, or even your hands to apply the lanolin. Make sure to coat the entire cover evenly, paying special attention to areas that may be more prone to wear and tear, such as the legs and the back.
Once you've covered the entire cover in lanolin, you'll need to let it sit for a few hours to allow the lanolin to fully absorb into the wool fibres. Lay the cover flat to dry and keep away from direct sunlight and heat sources allowing to dry naturally.
After a few hours, take a dry towel and gently press it against the cover to remove any excess lanolin, your nappy cover is ready to use!
When using lanolin to waterproof wool covers, it is important to note that lanolin does not provide a completely waterproof barrier. The covers will still be breathable but will not get wet as fast and will dry faster after an accident.
My Wool Cover is New. Should I Apply Lanolin Before Using It?
While some brands of wool nappy covers are pre-lanolised during manufacturing, we and our customers both agree that you should apply lanolin before first use at least once if not twice. Follow the directions above and allow the nappy cover to completely dry. Apply the lanolin a second time after a few days and then wear as normal.
How Often Will I Need to Apply Lanolin?
It is recommended to lanolise wool covers every 4 weeks or as necessary, depending on the frequency of use, to ensure that the covers stay in good condition and continue to provide protection.
If you notice that your baby's bedding or clothing is a bit damp, this is a good sign that you will need to apply lanolin again as it needs to be made waterproof again before your child wears it again.
How Do I Use Liquid Lanolin Treatment?
If you've opted for a liquid lanolin, such as our Disana lanolin, You need about one teaspoon or 15mL of lanolin to 1 litre of water (cool or lukewarm/25-30*C). Soak the wool cover in the mixture overnight if possible as 8 hours is preferable. You may also spray the mixture onto the nappy cover. No need to rinse, just dry as we've outlined above.
How Do I Use Solid Lanolin Treatment?
The solid form of lanolin requires an extra step or two, but is overall a bit more affordable.
You should start by getting 1-2 litres of lukewarm water (again no more than 30*C) and add a drop of soap to help the lanolin dissolve. You'll want enough to be able to lather in the water and on your hands ever so slightly. Add a pea size of solid lanolin and heat in the microwave until fully melted. Pour this into your bowl of soapy water and it will turn the bowl cloudy. Soak your wool cover overnight as 8 hours is preferable. Again, dry as mentioned above.
Frequently Asked Questions
My wool cover feels a bit sticky, what happened?
- Nothing to worry about! It just means that there was a bit too much lanolin used. It won't harm the cover or your baby. Just remember next time to use a wee bit less.
Can I wash my wool cover in the washing machine?
- You can, but it is not recommended as you cannot guarantee the settings to be wool friendly. We recommend hand washing only.
Do I have to wash the wool cover if it feels wet?
- No! Simply hang to dry fully as wool naturally evaporates the liquids that have been absorbed.