The Wonders of (Washing) Wool

More about the “how” and “seriously I have to handwash it?”

The second part of that sentence was a big reason I steered clear of wool for so long. I hate hand washing dishes for crying out loud, laundry was definately a no go for anything handwashed. I just don’t own or allow the kids to own anything that is delicate enough to need it~
Wool is really very easy to care for, I am going to outline my very easy, no fuss wool care washing system. I do ours maybe once a month, Lucy is a very light night wetter now, and her wool rarely gets wet, when she was a very heavy wetter, once a week I would do this routine.

-First, do all of your wool washing outside of your sink. You don’t want lanolin in your pipes, look at it in the cooled version, and imagine it sitting in your drain. Use a rubbermaid basin, an old pitcher with a wide opening, a metal baking tin, sometimes I used a cake pan, easy to wash and it wouldn’t absorb the wool care products.
-Fill your container with warm water, and about a tablespoon of liquid wool wash (We sell a fantastic brand, you can use Eucalan, in a pinch liquid dish soap will do, but on a regular basis this can really wear on the wool fibers). If you are using a bar, you will scrub the wool lightly all over after you wet it. Compress the soaker into the solution, and let sit for about a minute, swishing it with your hand to work the water/soap into the soaker.
-Have an old towel nearby, take the soaker out and lay it in the towel. Roll the towel up, and press on it, don’t wring it, but press it to compress the water out.
-Dump your first basin outside, and refill with new warm water
-Take a coffee mug, microwave it full of water for about a minute
-When you take it out, squirt about 2 pea sized drops of lanolin in it, we sell some great stuff by Face of the Wave, you can use lansinoh as well), and mix it up quickly with a fork or knife. This is really the only part that you have to move quickly, you have to dissolve the lanolin and use it fast, or it will reclump back up as it cools.
-Pour the coffee mug into the basin, and quickly press your soaker down into it. Gently swish it around in the basin, then let it sit a minute
-Repeat the towel trick, compress the water out, and hang to dry.
-Toss the basin water/lanolin outside, and allow the soaker to dry a day or two.

During the winter, I have mine in my laundry room so it doesn’t freeze, if you have a really large soaker, or longies, lay them flat to dry instead of hanging to preserve their shape. If you need a wool soaker overnight, get two so one can dry while you use the second.

This whole process takes maybe 5 minutes to do, and is really very easy to get the hang of. Truthfully as Lucy became a lighter wetter at night, I can’t remember the last time I lanolized, the small amount of lanolin in our Face of the Wave liquid wool wash is enough to have the soaker work. Wool is super absorbent on its own, so you can see if you really need to lanolize your wool if you have good absorbency underneath.


June 1, 2010. cloth diapers, Diaper Chatter, Q & A, Wash routines, Wool.


  1. Let’s Talk About Wool, Baby! - musings from a mom replied:

    […] was most worried about the prepping of them, but I found a great instruction guide on washing wool and just a couple days later, I won some wool wash on a blog I […]

  2. Youthful One replied:

    Oooh – I’m hoping you can help me.

    My friend gave me all of her wool wraps – they aren’t soakers, they are felted wool made into wraps with velcro closures. They are made from different types of wool, but the style is the same and my problem with them remains the same.

    All but one of these wraps were accidentally stripped.

    They were washed with detergent in cold water in the washing machine. Because it was cold water, and they were hung dry, there was no shrinkage (thankfully!). However, as I mentioned, they were stripped of their waterproofing properties.

    At the time, I had a wool wash bar, and used it up attempting to reinstall lanolin. Since then, I have used lasinoh. After repeated treatments, it appears we are becoming more and more successful at working lanolin in. However, the wraps now stink. We are not successful at getting the urine smell out.

    Any helpful advice?

  3. sophieandmomma replied:

    So even if our child does a blow up we just use Eucalan? No other cloth friendly detergents right? I have a wool diaper….and truthfully have been afraid to use it until I found these posts!

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