Wool Questions


I Am New To Wool.... How Does It Work? TOP

In a nutshell, Woollybottoms is a natural alternative to plastic, non-breathable diaper covers.  When properly lanolized, the wool will repel moisture and will keep your little one dry.  Wool covers  are designed to work as a team with an absorbent fitted diaper or prefold underneath. The diaper you use underneath your wool cover is the foundation for successful diapering.  Please read through our blog for more detailed information on cloth diapers. 

How to Use & Care For Your Wool: TOP

We recommend washing your cover when it begins to seem not so fresh.  Trust me, you will know when it is time.  Due to wool's naturally anti-microbial nature, wool covers do not need to be washed after every use.  Just allow the cover to air dry in between uses.  If you notice the cover is not as leak proof as before, it may be time to lanolize (instructions below). Never wash your cover in a machine or tumble dry, they shrink!

How to Wash Your Cover TOP

Fill your sink with enough lukewarm water to sufficiently cover your wool. Add a bit of woolwash (do not use Woolite, only use a lanolin rich wash specifically designed for diaper covers) to your running sink water. Wool wash bars can be used to help remove tough stains as well. Most wool washes are formulated so there is no need to rinse. A bit of baby shampoo can be used if wool wash is not readily available. With liquid wool wash, let your wool sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain water and gently squeeze wool. Lay in between 2 bath towels and roll to remove excess water. Or if you are doing several covers, put them in your washing machine and run the spin cycled (no water) to quickly and efficiently spin out the excess water. Reshape, and lay flat to dry away from direct heat or sun. Liquid wool wash is good if your cover needs a gentle cleaning. If your child is like mine though, they like to abuse their wool with food, dirt, and grime. A good wool wash bar is good for these times. Fill up a sink full of warm water, wet your wool, and then lather the bar right into the wool to get out those tough stains.   Some soap makers may use certain scent oils that can react with dye in wool so be sure to always test a hidden spot to ensure colorfastness.  Then rinse immediately and remove right away and dry as listed above. Interlock wool can also be safely machine washed on a gentle wash/rinse cool cycle for a really deep clean. Hand washing will extend the life of your interlock, but a good machine wash will really get the fibers clean. Machine drying is never recommended.

How to Lanolize TOP

Lanolizing is not as hard as you may think.  There are 2 methods that are each just as effective.... the wet and dry methods.

Dry Method: Make sure your cover is clean and dry.  Turn inside out and work a pea sized amount of lanolin into your hands.  Gently touch the wetzone with a light hand.  Once the lanolin is distributed, work deep into the fibers.  This puts the lanolin right where it is needed.

Wet Method: Prepare your sink with warm water and wool wash.  Take a small jar and add a pea sized amount of lanolin, drop of baby shampoo, and very hot water.  Shake to completely dissolve the lanolin and add this to your sink, swish to mix, then add your wool cover inside out.  Allow the wool to soak for about 15-20 minutes, then drain allowing the lanolin rich water to run through the cover.  Make sure your wash water remains relatively warm to prevent lanolin from pooling and forming spots.

My Cover Seems Wet & Leaks TOP
Wool is not 100% waterproof like plastic. Wool is a natural fiber and absorbs 30% of moisture that comes in contact with it and it slowly evaporates. If your cover leaks, it is possible that you are not using an absorbent enough diaper. The diaper is the foundation and it is very important that you have enough absorbent layers to handle urine outflow.  Diaper doublers added for overnight use is helpful for heavy wetters. If a wool cover that you have been using successfully begins to leak, that could indicate that it is time to re-lanolize your wool. Some wool covers may not have quite enough thickness to keep up with your baby and a heavier wool may be needed.  Cashmere for example tends to be a lighter weight fiber and may not be the best option for a heavy wetter.  And lastly, try changing baby's diaper more frequently. 

I Lanolized, but My Cover Seems Sticky Feeling. TOP
While it is possible to use too much lanolin, this will not harm your cover. It will feel normal again after some wear. If it bothers you, you can rewash the cover using warm water and small amount of dishwashing liquid like Dawn to help strip it back out, but you will need to lanolize again, using a smaller amount. This method will also work if you happen to get lanolin spots from uneven disbursement of lanolin in the wash.

I Have a Super Duper Heavy Night Wetter! What do I do? TOP

Are you a cloth diaper user by day and disposables by night user? I can't stress how important it is that you use one of your most absorbent diapers (I seem to say that a lot on this page!).  The cloth diaper you use is the foundation and will determine success. Now that you have that diaper, add extra layers also known as doublers. Doublers will give a little extra oomph right in the wetzone.  Then top it off with your heaviest wool cover.  You may get done and look at the size of the booty and think this is overkill.  I assure you it is not and everyone will be happy in the morning.  The sheets should be perfectly dry in the morning. One little trick I learned from trial  error is to not put anything on top of the wool cover like cotton pants at nighttime.  This tends to hold wetness in and it will sometimes wick through the wool making the pants wet. The wool cover should be allowed to "breathe"; so it can allow moisture to evaporate. It is normal for the wool cover to feel slightly damp in the morning, but you should not have any wet sheets. If you are still having problems with leaks, let me know and we can together work on finding a solution to fit you and your baby.

My Wool is Pilly, What do I do? TOP

Some wools tend to look shabby after some wear. I have tried all sorts of things and here is what I have found.... the cheaper, the better. I invested in an expensive battery operated shaver. It was loud, and didn't pick up a thing. It went to the yard sale pile. Picking by hand is excellent. It goes surprisingly quick and your wool will look like new. Another tool (and my personal favorite) is a pumice stone. You know, one of those things you find in the cosmetic are of the store used to make the bottom of your feet nice and smooth. Just rub vigorously downward and the pill balls and other things that don't belong will come right off. We even devoted an entire blog post to the pumice stone!

Help! I Shrunk My Cover!!! TOP

Sometimes  wool can be shrunk beyond hope. It happens to even the most seasoned cloth diaper users out there.  A wool cover accidentally ends up in with the diapers, or grandma "helps" do the laundry.  If the wool is hard and no longer stretchy at all, it is best to just accept it and let it go.  Sometime wool will survive the battle though and has hope. If you shrink you cover, as a last effort to save it, soak the cover again in lukewarm water. Work lots of hair conditioner into the cover. This will make your wool softer and will help make the wool easier to work with. Rinse the cover really well and remove the excess water with towels. Pull the cover back into shape. You can "stuff"; the cover with hand towels  to help hold the shape while it is drying. That should work! You can also stuff your wool to hold a desired shape. Rolled towels placed inside your wool while it dries can help reshape the wool.

Do you do any custom orders? TOP
We have had to make the difficult decision to close to custom orders due to an overwhelming demand.  We stock new items several times a week or please feel free to check with our list of retailers as well.

Where can I learn more about cloth diapering? TOP

This is an EXCELLENT resource!

Also poke around our blog...