There are two approaches to properly lanolise wool covers;
1. Wash, then soak in pure lanolin,
2. Wash, then apply spray-on lanolin.
Lanolin is the natural wax found in sheep’s wool. This wax envelopes the wool fibres and protects the sheep from the harsh weather that comes from living outdoors. Due to their organic and ethical growth and manufacture, Disana knitted and boiled wool products do have a small amount of lanolin still in the fibres. For heavy night time wetters this lanolin needs to be topped up, and then over time reapplied. The purpose of adding more lanolin to the wool is to waterproof the fibres and neutralise odours (as it does for the sheep). Fortunately, this means that the wash/lanolise chore doesn’t need to happen after every wear.
Spray-on lanolin is great, it works well especially for a quick top up and for day time covers. But, for night use we do tend to recommend soaking your wool cover for the best results. It just guarantees a more even and thorough covering of the wool fibres which leads to better waterproofing and odour control.
Lanolising wool covers using the wash-soak method:
- Fill a basin with enough warm water to cover the soaker(s) and add the manufacturer’s recommended quantity of wool wash,
- Turn soaker inside out, submerge it in the wash water and gently squeeze the fibres to work the soapy water through,
- Leave it to soak for a minimum of 20-30 minutes,
- Remove soaker from the water and gently squeeze the excess water out.
- Empty the wash water out of the basin and add some hot water,
- Squeeze a pea-sized amount of lanolin out of the tube (if using Lansinoh or similar pure lanolin from the chemist). Otherwise, follow manufacturer instructions on the packaging and work it into the hot water until it has dissolved. Hint, use a little baby wash or gentle soap to help the lanolin emulsify and dissolve in the water.
- Add enough cool water to cover the soaker and bring water down to a warm room temperature,
- With soaker still inside out, submerge it in the cloudy lanolin water and gently squeeze the fibres to work the water and lanolin through,
- Leave it to soak for a minimum of 20 minutes or overnight if possible,
- Remove soaker from the water and gently squeeze the excess water out,
- Lay a clean, dry towel out flat and place soaker on top, roll the soaker up in the towel and gently squeeze it to remove as much extra water as you can,
- Place damp soaker flat in the shade to dry.
Once the lanolin is no longer working, ie. the cover is still a bit smelly after airing, or it gets soiled. Just give it another wash and lanolin bath. With full time use washing and re-lanolising should generally only be needed after a couple of weeks.