How do you know if your cover needs lanolizing?


When you wash it, press it into the water. Look for the following signs:

  • If wool sits on top of the water and has little pools of water gathering on top – it does not need lanolizing.
  • If wool sits on top of the water and has some pools and some areas that absorbed water without assistance – it could use a good lanolizing soon.
  • If wool sinks and saturates completely – it is time to lanolize.


Now here’s how to lanolize without those pesky lanolin spots. I’ve been very thorough, so there are quite a few pictures. Have fun!

Related Articles: Wool

Step 1: Locate wool and wash. I’ll be using Aveeno baby wash because Kellie has sensitive skin and I know this doesn’t bother her. We avoid any excess scents if possible. Wool-specific wash is available. But when this works, why pay extra?


Step 2: Fill the sink with tepid water. Test with wrist.


Step 3: Add baby wash.


Step 4: Add wool. Notice my wool soaked up water over it’s entire body. This cover has never been lanolized.


Step 5: Swish wool around a bit. Make some bubbles.


Step 6: Check the clock. Let wool sit for five minutes.


In that five minutes you could:

Unload the dishwasher.


Make a pot of coffee.


Feed the dog.


Ding! Five minutes are up. Go back to your wool.


Step 8: Swish it around a bit more.


Step 9: Massage gently. Using both hands. Hey, someone has to hold the camera!


Step 10: Turn wool inside out.


Step 11: Rinse thoroughly in tepid water.


Step 12: Squeeze out excess water. Set aside.


Step 13: Locate your wool wash, your lanolin, and your mixing container with lid. I’m using regular solid lanolin purchased from a local retailer. Liquid lanolin will work, also. But this stuff is cheaper and it lasts longer. Remember, we’re cloth diapering to save money.

Step 14: Add a pea-sized drop of lanolin to your mixing container.

Step 15: Add a pea-sized drop of wool wash to your container.

Step 16: : Fill halfway with HOT water. As hot as your tap will go.

Step 17: Shake like mad until everything mixes into a nice creamy colored liquid.

Step 18: Fill sink with tepid water. Continue shaking like mad.

Step 19: Check for nice creamy mixture. No blobs of lanolin left.

Step 20: Put wool into sink full of tepid water.

Step 21: Add lanolin mixture a little bit at a time. My container has a squeeze top. If you’re using a baby food jar or a tupperware, just try not to add it all in one spot.

Step 22: Rinse container with tepid water. Pour water into sink with the rest of the lanolin. Every bit counts!

All gone!

Step 23: Swish around your wool a bit. Turn wool over.

Step 24: Let wool sit for five to ten minutes. I chose five because I know Kellie is due to wake up from her nap any minute. If you have ten minutes, go for it.

In that five minutes you could:

Enjoy the cup of coffee you brewed earlier.

Make the dog move out of your chair so you can ‘Pin.

Check your posts.

Start a load of diaper laundry.

Ding! Five minutes are up!

Step 25: Drain the water. Hold onto wool so it doesn’t fall into your disposal. Believe me. It happens.

Step 26: Fold wool.

Step 27: Squeeze out excess water.

Step 28: Lay wool on towel.

Step 29 : Roll it up and squeeze out excess water. It’s amazing how much wool can absorb, isn’t it??

Step 30: Unroll.

Step 31: Relocate wool to a drying rack or some other well-ventilated area to dry. The drying process can take up to 48 hours. Good thing I didn’t take pictures of that, right?

And you’re done! You lanolized your wool and didn’t get a single lanolin spot! Give yourself a pat on the back. I’m off to get Kellie. She’ll be hungry by now.


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36 Comments on How To Lanolize Wool…Without Lanolin Spots!

  1. Carolyn Branch says:

    Where did the rest of this page go to?

  2. Thank you! I refer all my new customers who buy wool covers to this. It’s all so confusing to them at first and this makes it easy to understand. Not to mention I need to see it every time I prepare one for them. Thank you for providing this!

  3. Chrissy says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this! 😀

  4. Tina Prystup says:

    Thank you so much for your instructions on how to do this. I have never knitted or crocheted longies or soakers before; but I have been looking into how to for a charity I am in. Once you lanolize them do you have to re-do it every time you wash them?

  5. Great tutorial. I’ll add this to the information I provide to families who participate in my Cloth Diaper 101 Workshop.

  6. Meredith says:

    Yay! This makes it seem easy! I knit my own cover, it has been done for a few weeks now, I’ve just been trying to figure out how to wash it! Going to wash now. Thanks!

  7. Great post! We don’t yet carry any wool diaper covers in our store but we would like to so I’ve been researching them and I really enjoyed your post!

  8. Doris says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful step by step instructional. This will be helpful for an up and coming new mommy and teach this old dog new tricks

  9. GLMom says:

    Not only is this this extremely helpful, (we just ordered our first piece of wool this week!) but the pics are great too. And it is funny! Thanks so much for posting.

  10. JoyousButterfly says:

    Would it work to use any baby wash to wash the wool?

    Thanks so much for this great tutorial! I am getting ready to make my first wool cover this week!

    • Bectoria says:

      Pretty much any baby wash or mild shampoo will work just fine. You wouldn’t want to use something like Cetaphil as it is too mild of a cleanser. So glad you enjoyed the tutorial!

  11. Anna Wick says:

    So…. when you say to add the “wool wash” when adding the lanolin to the container, does that have to be specific wool wash, or can it be something like aveeno baby wash again?


  12. mamab says:

    Love this tutorial – looks like home — right down to the same dog in the chair. I make my own lye based soap. would you consider this an appropriate soap to use. All my soakers are hand knitted wool.

  13. Marra says:

    I love this tutorial! Just curious how much wool can I do at once? I am trying this on 4 newborn covers and am going to them each separately just to engrave the process in my mind but am wondering in next time when I do them together if I need to increase te amount of lanolin I use?

  14. […] wet in a sink, then add in warm water with melted lanolin to the sink water. Swirl and soak. This tutorial was helpful. You will of course need lanolin.  I used Lansinoh Lanolin which is also good for […]

  15. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for showing us how you wash your wool. Do you think castile soap is an acceptable replacement for baby wash? Also, how do you prevent felting?

    • Laurie says:

      I use liquid castile soap for ours. To prevent felting — don’t let your children change the baby’s diaper, because they will throw the soaker in the diaper pail and it will go through to washer!! Really, don’t wash in too hot water or handle too roughly.

  16. says:

    How often would you lanolize covers? I have 3 and I’m going to lanolize 2 of them today. I use them at night religiously so they get used frequently. Can I do two at once? I’m going to do one at a time this time, but just curious! Also I have been thinking of attempting to sew some wool covers but I’m a beginner at sewing. Would this be a good beginner project? Thanks for the input!!! Love the tutorial was super helpful! I’m a visual person so it was great!!

  17. Laurie says:

    I love your tutorial. Always a need for some friendly humor and great info. Thanks!

  18. Anita Kvasnak says:

    That was great and HILARIOUS!!!! Thank you!

  19. Elizabeth says:

    THANK YOU! This is the best most comprehensive tutorial I found, and I’ve been searching for a couple of days! LOVE THIS!

  20. sherry says:

    thanks for the advise do you know where i can buy lanoline

  21. […] This is a great site on how to lanolize! […]

  22. Caroline says:

    That is SO helpful!!! Thanks to you!

  23. Alice says:

    I need to lanolize my entire wool stash for my soon to be born twins. Do you just double the amount with each cover, or should I do them seperate? I think I have 8 wool cover in this size and 8 or so in the next.

    • Bectoria says:

      You’ll likely need to do them in batches unless your sink can hold everything you own. You won’t exactly double the amount of lanolin for each cover – that pea-sized amount is really the amount needed for roughly a quarter sink of water (she could have done 2-3 covers in that batch if she had wanted). So you’ll use a good glob of lanolin (roughly a tsp) for your full sink.

  24. […] woolen gear are not repelling water, you may need to re-lanolize them. I have used this method: It works GREAT! This would be a good method for a small article like socks, but probably would need […]

  25. irene says:

    I know absolutely nothing about wool lanolizing. Parts of this were somewhat confusing. Is the first step washing it prior to lanolizing? Also, what about this product that is a solid bar of “lanolin”, how would you use that? Still “confused” about the process.

    • Bectoria says:

      You would be washing and lanolizing at the same time, essentially. If you have a lanolin wool wash bar, the process is even easier. You’d fill your sink with warm water while sudsing up that wool wash bar into the sink at the same time. If you wash your hands with the wool wash bar and work up a good lather while doing it (letting the water you’re washing with fill the sink), you’ll be in good shape. You would also scrub the wool in the wetzones (between the legs and the bum area) with that sudsy bar. Then let the wool chill out in the warm water before you squeeze out the extra water.

  26. Erica says:

    Hi! Thanks for the tutorial :) I only have one question. Can I wash more than one diaper cover in the solution or do I need to make a new solution of lanolin, hot water, and wool wash for each diaper cover?

    • Bectoria says:

      You can absolutely wash more than one diaper cover at a time. That amount of water and lanolin will be enough to do 2-3 small covers. you’d just add a bit more water and lanolin if you’re doing a bigger batch.

      Fortunately, lanolizing your covers is a very forgiving process – you don’t need to follow a precise ratio.

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