Lanolizing Wool – Tutorial!!

As promised, I photographed my most recent lanolizing experience! First, let me remind you to turn your wool inside-out when lanolizing. I completely forgot to do this the first dozen or so times I lanolized. Oops! It seems to work fine either way, but I imagine it works even better if you lanolize the part that actually touches the skin. >Genius!<

Okay, so lets get to it:

What you need:
1. Lanolin – Some use their breastfeeding lanolin, which I normally use, but for a first time lanolizing of new wool, I tend to use Now Foods Pure Lanolin. I do this simply because, personally, I prefer to use a grape-sized blob instead of a pea-sized for the first time, and it hurts my heart a little less to get it out of a tub than a tiny tube.
2. Wash of some sort – Johnson’s original baby wash works great, but I use Eucalan.
3. Container of some sort – I use a baby food jar. You can also use a travel shampoo bottle or some other small container that will hold up well to heat.

1. Run a sink with about 2 inches of tepid water. The water MUST be tepid – no hot, as hot will cause the wool to shrink and ruin your hard work!  Put the wool in the sink, and squeeze it until it is fully saturated.

2.  You need your supplies!

3.  First, you’re going to add a tiny drop or two of your choice of wash to your container. Then, add a pea to grape sized ‘blob’ of lanolin. I use pea-sized for relanolizing, and grape-sized for an initial lanolizing.  Then, add HOT water…as hot as you can get it!
4. Shake, shake shake!  You want to shake until it turns foamy, and the lanolin has melted. The lanolin may not all melt the first time around, and that’s okay!
5. Slowly pour the lanolin over the wool, making sure to keep any solid pieces of lanolin in the container. You want to really cover the diaper area and upper legs the best.
6. Add more water, and shake, shake, shake!

7. Add the rest of the lanolin to the sink, and let it sit. Here is where the directions vary by user. Mama’s lanolize anywhere from fifteen minutes to overnight. Personally, I lanolize overnight (or from morning until dinner if I do it during the day) for first-time lanolizing, and then for about an hour for relanolizing. I find that this gets the wool nice and sticky. Don’t worry, though! The sticky-feeling soon goes away and leaves baby’s legs nice and smooth!

8. Once your time is up, drain the water, then fold the lanolin into a square, and press all of the water out. Press, don’t squeeze too much as we don’t want to distort the shape of the wool before it dries.

9. Done! All you have to do now is hang it up to dry. I dry mine over the towel rack in a bathroom – just remember to move it if someone takes a shower or the steam will make it wet again (speaking from experience!). It takes 24-48 hours to completely dry wool.

Voila! You’re done! It make take 2-3 times for new wool to be bulletproof, but even a single lanolizing makes it hard for water to penetrate. Once fully lanolized, you can go 3-6 weeks without lanolizing again!
If you have ANY questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below!
  • Becca

    Interesting! Thanks for posting this tutorial!