Wool and Diaper Care.
Care and Use
WASHING INTERLOCK WOOL and HOW TO LANOLIZE
This guide is written specifically for HB interlock wool.
WASH YOUR WOOL! You must get all the dirt and urine out of the wool before lanolizing. Make sure your wool is CLEAN! Washing and lanolizing are two different steps.
Do not skip thoroughly washing your wool because it will cause damage over time. Urine salts and any soiling will become trapped on the wool fiber and sealed in by lanolin. This will cause unnecessary stress on the wool fibers by drying them out and making the fibers less stretchy and stiff over time, which can also lead to seam stretching, thinning, and color distortion. Urine is also acidic and when sealed into the wool can eat away at it.
Please read this blog post BEFORE buying and trying wool washes...
- Fill your washbasin with tepid water between 86 and 95F (35C). For very dirty wool choose a warmer temperature in this range. If you do not have access to a thermometer use a temperature that feels like warm bath water.
- Add Wool Wash while filling the basin. We recommend Unicorn Beyond Clean (unscented version) or Unicorn Power Scour (scented). Whatever products you choose, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When using Unicorn add about ½ teaspoon to your water basin and mix. This amount may vary according to your specific situation. Less is more -- Unicorn is VERY concentrated. Start with less and adjust as needed (more facts about washing wool below). Per Unicorn’s recommendation, soak for up to 15 minutes. Periodically while soaking, gently squeeze the item while submerged in the water to make sure water solution has penetrated throughout all the fibers.
- Rinse your wool until the water is clear. Either rinse under the faucet with similar temperature water as what you soaked in, or empty your bath water, refill with clean water that is a similar temperature and let your wool soak again. Remember to gently squeeze your wool again while rinsing to ensure the fibers are being rinsed out. In making sure that the wool is as clean as possible, you will also want to be sure that the wool wash is completely rinsed before lanolizing. Rinse until the water is clear.
*If stained, heavily soiled, or if your wash water is very dirty, repeat the above steps.
- Make lano milk. Take a cup of very hot water, add lanolin (Rule of thumb is one teaspoon per baby wool item. Please adjust according to size. For example, adult leggings need at least a tablespoon) and your emulsifying agent (e-cube, dish soap, baby soap), let dissolve and stir. The resulting mixture will look nice and milky. If your mixture forms a top layer that looks oily, you may need to add more emulsifier.
- Slowly stir in your lano milk to a warm bath of clean water. Your lano milk should be about the same temperature as your bath water. You can add a few ice cubes to your lano to gently cool it down prior to mixing with your bath water.
- If the lano mixture is not creating a beautiful white milk then you may need to add additional emulsifier.
- If you step away from the lano milk and it cools too much and separates adding hot water will melt it all back together.
- If the temperature of your lano milk and bath water are too different that may “shock” the mixture and solidify some of the lanolin on the surface of the water. Adding very hot water and/or soap MAY fix this situation.
- Turn your damp wool inside out and add it to the lano bath.
- Soak for 20 -30 minutes. Take out the wool and gently squish out the water (never wring out wool!). You can then give them a quick spin in your washing machine (on wool cycle or gentle cycle only) to remove excess water and hang or lay flat to dry. Another method is laying your wool on a towel and rolling it up while pressing it as you go to press out the water, then laying flat to dry.
You may speed up the drying process by placing a box fan near the wool. It is not recommended to lay your wool out in direct sunlight.
Wool care does not need to be complicated or confusing. Please reach out to one of the admins or post in the Facebook group if you need any help or clarification.
Machine washing interlock wool requires the wool or delicate cycle on your washing machine. Unicorn recommends warm water and 1 ounce of Unicorn for normal loads. Use less for lighter soil levels or smaller loads. Again, less is more!
Lanolin. Any solid lanolin will do. You will find that some brands smell more “sheepy” than others but it will work just as well.
Here are some brands that HumBird customers like and recommend:
NOW Lanolin (Amazon Prime)
Chemisty Connection (Etsy)
Yooki Wool ($5 flat rate shipping)
Wool Wash. We recommend Unicorn wool washing products. Why? Because we get consistent and great results.
It is a small, family run business out of the US, started because they have an alpaca farm. Unicorn is earth friendly, biodegradable, septic safe, and for use in hard or soft water. Unicorn DOES NOT contain bleach additives, phosphates, enzymes, brighteners, petroleum, stripping agents or dyes.
They are very responsive and excited to answer any and all questions, offer samples, and have great customer service.
also available at:
Unicorn @ Yooki Wool ($5 flat rate shipping)
Unicorn @ Nicki’s Diapers (free shipping on orders over $10 *subject to change)
The Fun Stuff! HumBird has collaborated with Yooki Wool to create an exclusive HumBird scent called HumFird, which carries you into an alpine forest that is rich with fir trees and mountain herbs. There are two versions of this scent: original and Hippie Edition which includes a touch of patchouli essential oil. HumFird and HumFird Hippie Edition are made with a blend of All Natural Fragrance Oils (AN) and Essential Oils (EO). HumFird and Hippie Edition are derived entirely from natural sources and are phthalate free.
Yooki Wool carries emulsifying cubes (e-cubes), solid lanolin, lavender sachets and Unicorn products. They also have a $5 flat rate shipping (within the US & it’s territories) which is awesome.
Fels-Naptha-please spot test first. It has been shown in another group to cause colour washout.
Unicorn Beyond Clean or Power Scour (same except PS is lightly scented)
HumBird wants your wool to last!
That is why we do not recommend using mainstream laundry detergents. Common household laundry detergents are not appropriate for wool especially if it contains enzymes. Enzymes are in laundry detergents to eat protein stains. Wool is made of protein. This can cause accelerated wear by breaking down the weakened fibers.
We also no longer recommend lanolin rich wool washes. The biggest thing to remember is that washing and lanolizing are two different steps. Lano-rich wool washes contain lanolin and can impede proper washing. It is our (and other wool makers’) opinion that the lanolin in it is enough to hold on to some of the soil on the wool but not enough of it to be useful towards moisture protection for diaper cover use.
Tips and Tricks from the Admin
- Don't be afraid to rewash. If your wash water is really dirty, give them additional baths to get all the gunk out. This is especially true if you have a piece of wool that may have several layers of lano and soil. Don’t fret! You can get them clean!
- Always lanolize inside out. Sometimes you can get a lano spot, this will not hurt your wool and will quickly wear off after a few wears.
- Washing in a white or light colored basin will really allow you to see if the wool is getting clean. It can be difficult to see if your water is still dirty or if there is still wool wash in a dark colored basin, like a metal sink. A white plastic dish basin works great.
- A baby bath tub is also good for washing. It's big enough to lay the wool flat in the water, allow agitation, but also small enough to maintain control over the water and soap amounts that are needed.
- To temper the lano milk so there is less risk of separation, add some of the water from the basin to the lano milk and stir before pouring into the basin and stirring to mix.
European wool diaper covers
Handwashing should be done in room temp water, not cold. Wash using lanolin rich or baby soap. Fill your sink with room temperature water. Add the lanolin rich soap (or baby soap) and swirl to distribute. Add your wool products and swirl, gently scrubbing any soiled areas. Rinse lightly. To dry, lay the wool in a towel and roll it up pressing firmly to remove as much moisture as possible. Unroll and lay flat to air dry.
Begin with clean wool and lanolize inside out. Fill your sink with lukewarm water. In a small glass fill partway with hot water and add ½ tsp of lanolin per cover plus a few drops of an emulsifier such as blue Dawn or baby wash. Stir until solution is milky and there is no appearance of oil on top of the water. Add the solution to the sink of lukewarm water. Place your wool (inside out) into the sink and press down to submerge it. Swirl the wool around and let it soak for a minimum of 15 minutes (if you have the time do 2 hours). Do not rinse. To dry the wool lay the cover in a towel and roll it up pressing firmly to remove the moister. Unroll and lay flat to air dry. Never ever wring out your wooli.
All diapers are made from materials that have been pre-washed and dried to ensure minimal shrinking. Embroidered diapers should be cared for like all other diapers. Do NOT iron any diapers or inserts.
Any blue, purple, yellow, or white sewing markings will wash off in the first wash. They are evidence of the individual care and attention I use to ensure a consistent product.
I recommend for you to use low to warm settings to prolong the life of the fabrics and resist fading and shrinking. Remember, never ever pull on elastic when coming out of the dryer or washer, wait until the diaper is again at room temperature, this will prolong the life of the elastic. High-quality Prym super elastic is used on all diapers, a step above "high quality braided elastic". Please allow up to 10 washes of the inserts and fitted diapers for full absorbency. There is no need to dry between prep washes. After the first prep wash feel free to throw in with your normal diapers. As these are natural materials, even though I washed them once there still may be some residual natural oils which could affect the absorbency of your other diapers, that is why I recommend one extra wash alone, after that, feel free to throw in your normal diaper wash.
Inserts need to be washed 8 to 10x to reach maximum absorbency. Please wash the first prep was alone and afterwards, you can combine with your already prepped and in use diapers. There is no need to dry between prep washes.
Merino Jersey and Merino-Tencel-Jersey
For the longest life handwashing your clothing using wool wash and laying flat to dry is prefered. Clothes can also be washed at 40C and dried on low in the dryer. Colours do tend to bleed the first few washes so please wash with like colours.