5.02.2012

Washing Woolies

Using wool diaper covers is awesome... until it is time to wash and lanolize them.   I am hand washing today as practice for the Flats & Handwashing Challenge, might as well.  I use Northern Essence wool wash and solid lanolin.  All of my wool is upcycled from sweaters, so it is a bit tougher than knit woolies, you won't want to do as much squeezing on your knits.

I don't use my sink to wash my wool, because that would require doing the dishes first and well... I would prefer not.  So I have a baby tub and a random toy bin.  I use two because I prefer separating my light colors and dark colors.

First fill both buckets with warm water.  Add your liquid wool wash.  
Place each woolie in the water and squeeze until fully saturated.
If you have any areas that need to be spot cleaned, now is the time to do that.
Just rub the soiled area with a wool wash bar.



Make sure all your wool is submerged
Let soak for 15-30 minutes


Gently wring out all of the wool and rinse, 
you can see above why I separate color.
Squeeze out as much water as you can.


 Now prepare your lanolin bath.
Fill one of your buckets/buns/tubs with warm water again.


 
In a mug heat up some water, 
hot enough to make tea.
In another mug break up some wool wash bar and a spoonful of lanolin.
Stir in the hot water until smooth milky white with no floating bits.  If the surface looks oily add a little more wool wash to help emulsify the lanolin. 
Now add your lanolin mixture to your warm water bath.  The water should be cloudy with no visible lanolin bits.

You will want to turn your wool inside out for the next step.



Take your wool and individually dunk each piece in the lanolin bath
once all of the wool is in, weight the top to keep everything submerged,
let sit for another 15-30 minutes.


Once your wool is all lanolized you will want to get it all dry.
This can take 24-48 hours depending on weight and how well you squeeze out the water.

 
Take all your wool and squeeze out all the extra water.


Then take some clean dry towels and roll up each one and press out any additional moisture
Now lay flat to dry.  I use a gate section for some of them and have some suspended wire shelving for the soakers, anything that helps airflow reduces drying time.  Open some windows, turn on a fan.






 


















Always lay wet wool flat to dry. The wool I have hanging on clips is just airing out between uses.

I wash half of my wool stash every week, so I have enough dry to use and 
everything gets washed at least once every two weeks. 

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