How To Lanolize Wool Covers
When you hear "lanolize wool" you probably get the impression that it's something time consuming and difficult. Don't worry! Lanolizing wool covers is a very simple process! And there are a few very easy ways to lanolize wool. Here is our handy guide to everything you need to know.
What Is Lanolin?
Lanolin is a greasy, yellow substance produced by sheep to help keep their wool dry. It acts as a moisture barrier on skin and helps to keep your wool soft and in good condition. Lanolin is also soothing to the skin and can be used as a hand lotion.
Why Do I Need To Lanolize Wool Covers?Since lanolin acts as a natural water repellent, it helps to keep the moisture in and the wool dry to the touch. Lanolin is also naturally anti-bacterial and keeps the smell of urine neutralized.
How Often Do I Need To Lanolize?When your wool isn't repelling water anymore - or as well as it should be, it starts to smell, or you strip it, then it's time to re-lanolize. You will not need to lanolize wool covers very often because lanolin is naturally present in wool. This means when you wash your wool covers the lanolin does not easily wash out. I do not recommend using a wool wash that has lanolin in it to wash your woolies every time either. Over lanolizing your wool covers will leave them sticky and with lanolin spots. If you get lanolin spots on your wool covers you will have to strip them which is not fun.
How To Lanolize
Here are the basic steps to lanolizing for each of the different types of lanolin.
Liquid Lanolin - Fill a sink or container with warm water. Add 1-2 Tps of liquid lanolin, depending on how many pieces you are lanolizing. Submerge wool into water, swishing around to help coat the wool with lanolin. Leave the wool to soak in water/lanolin mix for 30 minutes to one hour. Drain the water. To remove excess water, gently squeeze the wool, then roll into a towel and press firmly. Lay the wool flat and allow to air dry. Wool can take 1-2 days to dry.
Lanolin Wash Bars - As you fill your sink or container with warm water, hold your lanolin bar under running water until the water becomes cloudy. Then submerge your wool into the water/lanolin mix, swishing it gently to coat the wool with lanolin. Allow your wool to soak for 30 minutes to one hour. Drain the water. To remove excess water, gently squeeze the wool, then roll it into a towel, and press firmly. Lay the wool flat and allow to air dry.
Lanolin Spray - This can be used on either wet or dry wool. Place woolies onto a towel. Hold spray 8-12" from inside of wool and spray evenly over it. Be careful not to spray to much on, or it will give the wool a greasy feel when its dry. Massage lanolin into wool to help work it in. Turn your woolies right side out and repeat. Lay wool flat and allow to air dry. When you use the spray to lanolize wool it will dry much quicker than if you use the liquid or bar.
I recommend having a little spray lanolin and either liquid or bar lanolin on hand. It is not terribly expensive and can last quite awhile. I love to have the spray lanolin on hand for new wool so that I can use it right away without having to wait for it to dry. Lanolin wash bars are a great way to lanolize wool covers and washing them at the same time, just be careful not to over lanolize. I have had horrible lanolin spots on wool covers before and the only way to remove them was to strip them. It is an awful process!
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