Merino Wool Diaper Cover Care
Merino Wool Diaper Cover Care
Caring for your felted merino wool diaper cover is pretty easy. With a few things to keep in mind, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how simple cloth diapering can be!
This amazing cover not only keeps everything in, but it is also totally breathable. Skin that can breathe, is happy skin!
What are your diaper covers made of?
Our covers are made of an organic merino wool that is sourced and milled all in the USA. It has a touch of spandex in it for much better recovery. We then felt it and dye it (if not Natural) using greener shades dyes. These dyes are metal free, and considered to be GOTS certified.
Since we felt and hand dye in house, each colour batch maybe slightly different and have some slight variation.
What does it mean to Lanolize the Wool Diaper Cover?
This is just the process of adding back in lanolin to the wool. I have found the easiest way to do this is after washing it, as the cover is wet anyways.
Why do you Lanolize Wool Diaper Covers?
Lanolin is naturally found in most wool (though not alpaca). We add lanolin back into the cover regularly because it is the thing that neutralizes urine. (One of the main reasons wool works so well as a cover!)
The reason why the wool diaper cover does not smell like urine all the time is because the lanolin reacts with urine, neutralizing it. It is kind of cool science! When the cover does start to smell like urine, you know that all the lanolin has been used (or at least in the major areas), and it is time to wash and add more lanolin in. This is called Lanolizing.
How do you use them?
Once lanolized, put the merino wool cover over top of a fitted or well folded prefold absorbent diaper on baby. The cover will soak up any excess urine. When it is time to change baby's diaper, take off the cover, and hang it up to dry. The cover should only be slightly damp, and should probably be dry in time for the next change. If it is soiled, put aside to wash.
Unlike other diaper covers, felted merino wool covers can be reused multiple times before they need to be washed. If the cover is starting to smell like urine, it is time to wash and relanolize. Typically you can reuse the cover for about 1-2 weeks before it needs a wash and lanolizing, if not soiled. This number depends on a wide variety of factors though, including how much the cover has to absorb, and how many covers you have in rotation, and how much lanolin was added when lanolizing.
How many do I need?
Typically you'd need about 2-3 merino wool covers. One in use, one hanging up from use, and another as backup. Depending on the frequency and output of your little one, you may find you want another 1 or 2.
Can I use other products as covers?
Yes, you can easily use a number of our products as covers as well, provided they get lanolized before use. This can include:
We have also had a number of customers use our merino wool dungarees, and merino pocket pants & merino pocket shorts as well with success. Though in these cases, I'd make sure to use a fitted diaper underneath, so everything stays in well.
What you want to look for is a bottom with approx 300gsm or higher weight and a content of at least 95% merino wool.
How to Wash & Lanolize
When the covers needs washing, simply put it in a bucket or small tub or sink filled with lukewarm water and a small amount of baby shampoo, or other very gentle soap. Hand wash, try to concentrate on areas that are well used. Just be gentle, squeezing, and light rubbing to get those harder areas clean. Do not wring it out, as this can misshape it.
Hand squeeze any excess water, rinse, and squeeze again.
Rinse out the bucket used, and fill with lukewarm water again. Add lanolin to the bath. If you have solid lanolin, or a tube, just melt a small amount (small pea sized for each cover) of lanolin in a glass with hot water, and slowly add it to the bath. Now place the wet covers in this lanolin bath. Move them up and down (I tend to poke mine and swish it around). What you are trying to do here is get all that melted lanolin into the covers. (it looks like a small film ontop of the water) Do this and leave it to soak for about 30min. You should find that all the lanolin has soaked up.
Hand squeeze the covers, use an old towel (one that you don't mind possibly having lanolin on) and roll the covers in the towel which gets more water out. unroll, and lie the cover flat to dry on a rack or somewhere where there is good air circulation to help dry. If you need to stretch out the cover in areas to fit better, do that step now. If you want to manually add a bit more lanolin to key areas, you'll want to do that now as well.
Q & A
Here are some of the more common questions we get with answers below.
My cover is too tight on baby and they are within the weight range
Quick answer: Block Stretch it out.
These covers are felted. As such they come to you snug fitting. You want them snug fitting to keep everything in. Over time they mold and shape to your little one, creating the perfect fit. Starting out, every little one is different. The beauty with using felted merino wool, is that you can shape it to fit them easily. After lanolizing, just put the wet cover around something solid to keep it that size. So for instance if your cover's legs are too tight, just stretch the wet cover over a water bottle or something the right diameter to dry. Once dry, the cover now stays that shape. (This is why you don't want to wring out wet covers, as that can change it's shape)
My cover is now too loose for my next child
Quick answer: Put it in the dryer.
Felted merino wool covers shape over time to your little one. By the time the baby or toddler is out grown the cover, it is alot different shape than when you first got it. By putting a wet cover in the dryer on high, you are effectively felting it back up. By doing this in small intervals, you control how much it felts and shrinks back. We suggest in the dryer on high for 10 min intervals. It may take a few of these intervals to get it back to where you want it.
My cover has a stubborn stain on it
Quick answer: Sunlight and Buncha farmers stain stick.
It may not seem like it, but it does really work. If you can't get the stain out by normal washing means, then try a natural stain stick rubbed onto the problem area, and put it out in the direct sunlight. It may take a few times.
My cover is leaking
Quick answer: Use more lanolin, double check absorbent diaper.
Your merino wool cover can soak up approximately 30% of it's weight in liquid - that's alot! When it is time for a change, the fitted diaper should just feel damp on the outside. If not, you probably need either more absorbency, or double check the fit of it. Covers won't be able to soak up all the liquid if baby is bypassing the absorbent diaper and eliminating through a leg opening! If the fitted is just damp, and fit is not the case, check how much lanolin you are using when lanolizing. You want to make sure all the lanolin is soaked up, and there is enough on the cover. To check, pour some water on a dry cover. It should bead off and not soak in, if it doesn't, it needs more lanolin.
My cover needs a boost
Quick answer: Merino Wool Diaper Liners
Sometimes, no matter what we do, our little ones are just heavy wetters. That's where our felted merino wool liners come in. Used inside the cover, but outside of the fitted diaper, these liners are thin, but can absorb alot. A quick and useful solution to night time. They are also the liner that is sewn into our covers, and into our trainers!
Do you sell reusable diaper liners?
Quick answer: Yes - Merino Wool Diaper Liners
These can be worn next to skin providing a layer of protection for the skin. The wool wicks away wetness into the absorbent diaper, keeping baby's skin feeling dry. It also helps that these liners when soiled, are much easier to clean off. Just don't lanolize these liners when using them this way, or the wicking won't happen as well.
My toddler has outgrown the covers, but still needs something at night
Quick answer: Merino Wool Kids Night time Shorts
These night time shorts are made for kids to wear as they transition out of diapers, and are still needing something for protection at night. Every child transitions at a different rate, and some kids still have accidents well after others. In order to help, we offer these night time shorts. They fit like a bicycle short on, and provide protection from small accidents. Note that these do not work on their own, so if you need alot of protection, you'll still need something absorbent underneath it.
As always, if you need extra help, just email me. I'm always here, though it may take some time to answer.