Diapering with Wool

By Alisa Lewis

My name is Alisa, mom of 3 nuggets, ages 11, 9, & 2. I started cloth diapering with my second child, but didn't discover wool until my third. When my daughter was about 4 months old I began to research new types of diapers I hadn't uesd before. That was when I stumbled upon wool covers and Overnight Bamboo Fitteds (OBF) They changed my world! Now I want to share my knowledge with you!
I love wool! It seemed intimidating at first, but it's not! It's naturally anti-microbial, breathable, absorbent (up to 30% of its dry weight in moisture before feeling damp), and temperature regulating (making it awesome in hot or cold weather). But it does take a bit of care. I want to teach you the basics. Learn how to wash, lanolize and LOVE wool like I do!
FUN WOOL FACTS: While wool can absorb moisture (water vapor), it repels liquids. The scales on the outside of the fiber cause liquid to roll off the surface of the wool fabric. Wool DOES NOT need be washed often (yay). When the lanolin (containing fatty acids, having an acidic pH) in the wool reacts with the urea (basic pH) in urine, a chemical reaction occurs. Acids + Bases react to create the end products of water and salt. The urine is no longer urine - it has been neutralized thanks to this wonderful chemical reaction! Wool really is "self-cleaning," with no residual smellof urine, it can air dry in between uses until all the lanolin has been used: once a month or every 2-8 weeks. At this time, you will begin to notice that your soaker doesn't perform as well as you know it can-this is because of the salt build-up on the wool fibers, and that there is no longer enough lanolin left in the wool to create the chemical reaction that neutralizes the urine. Then you just need to wash and re-lanolize your wool- a very easy process.
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