Someone asked about this the other week and so I thought I’d write it into a full post so that others can find. I’m sure there are many other ways to do this, this is just the easiest way I’ve found. Feel free to comment on how you found it, others ways you do it or with any questions.
If they are brand new and need lanolising then I generally do them 2 or 3 times, the second time I turn them inside out to do. And use fresh water and lanolin each time. If they are a pair we’ve been using and need redoing, then I use a wool wash bar (you can get liquid wool wash if you prefer) first to get them clean – very gently and then just lanolise once or maybe twice if they are a night time pair.
For the actual lanolising, I use an old plastic bucket, you can do it in the sink but I like to leave mine for overnight so a bucket is easier. You can use either liquid or solid lanolin, I’ve used both and prefer the solid, and I’ve always used lovely scented ones! I also know of people who use Lansinoh and it works fine. I put some links in at the end of places were I buy lanolin or that have been recommended to me.You’ll find solid lanolin can be very hard, I tend to dip my spoon in hot/boiling water before trying to scoop out lanolin as it’s like really hard sticky toffee.
So, I half fill a cup with boiling water from the kettle, and then get about a half to a full teaspoon of solid lanolin out of the pot (depending on if they’re soakers, shorties or longies) and stir it in the water till it comes off the spoon.
Then I stick it in the microwave and check every 20 seconds until the lump has melted away. I always think it looks a little like weak green tea, but you can see the little globes of lanolin floating around.
Then I squirt a bit of baby bath (or even liquid hand soap) into the cup and mix it about until it all goes milky looking. This is where the lanolin actually seems to dissolve into the water properly and you end up with a cloudy looking mix, perfect. Then I run warm water – not hot hot, into the bucket and pour the mixture from the cup into the stream of running water. I use enough water in the bucket so the wool will be covered and then give it a few good swishes to make sure it’s all dissolved and still a bit cloudy, you dont want clumps of lanolin on the surface of the water.
Then I pop in the wool (it should be hand hot water no hotter), give it a bit of a squish about so it’s all wet and it all under the water and leave, usually overnight. I only do 1 item at a time as you might find you get a bit of colour leakage and I wouldnt want anything else to pick it up. I’m sure you could leave it for a shorter length of time but I’d only do that if I were going to lanolise it again as I wouldnt be convinced it would be fully waterproof after only a few hours. But as with most things, it’s a bit of experimenting on your part to see what works best and is easiest for you.
In the morning, I remove from the water, and lightly squeeze out the water – dont wring the wool out. and then I lay it flat on a towel and roll the towel up and then squeeze to get out any excess water. Then I lay them flat to dry in the airing cupboard or somewhere warm or if they are new wool then I re-lanolise and do it all over again! When dry if they feel sticky to the touch then you probably used a bit too much lanolin, they will be okay to use and it will wear off with use or you can re-do if you wish and use some wool wash on them first.
Hope that helps, it does seem a lot of effort at first but you really only need to re do them every few months or when they start to not smell clean when dry and it seems easier to do every time.
I got my So Scrumptious solid lanolin from Babybots but sadly they no longer stock it (that’s how long the pot has lasted me, it lasts forever! But I’m sure there are many places that a quick Google search will find them.
I use a wool wash bar to clean Chloe’s woolies, I actually cant remember where it’s from I’ve had it so long, but I have a feeling it might be from Woolishous Wool Care which sell everything from wool wash liquid and bars to solid and liquid lanolin and soap, Be sure to follow their Facebook page as they often have offers on and new scents appear regularly.
Another favourite is Sheepish Grins lanolin which can be found at Funky Monkey Pants as well as other places.
I bought all items mentioned in this post and did this how to because I wanted to, no compensation was received for doing it.