Wool 101 - What are wool soakers and how do they work?
WHAT ARE THEY?
Wool soakers are diaper covers meant to be worn over Fitted, Prefold and/or Contour diapers. Wool soakers are typically made from Angora or Merino wool and are extremely soft, breathable, and naturally antibacterial. The beauty of wool soakers is that they can absorb up to 10 times more than other diaper cover materials – making them great for use at nighttime when baby starts sleeping through the night.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
When baby’s diaper becomes wet, the wool soaker wicks the moisture away from the diaper by absorbing it. Lanolin, a natural oil that comes from sheep, keeps the urine from leaking back out of the wool. Over time, the lanolin needs to be replaced (roughly every 2 to 3 weeks) to help the wool soaker maintain its super absorbent abilities. This is done through a process called lanolizing. Lanolizing cleans and restores the lanolin to the wool cover.
In between wears, you air out your wool soaker by laying it flat to air dry. Air-drying is usually enough to eliminate any odors and wetness that are in the wool cover. If poo gets on the diaper cover, you will need to lanolize immediately to ensure cleanliness.
For more info on lanolzing, see Caring for Wool and Lanolizing.
A cheaper option to wool soakers are fleece covers. Like wool soakers, fleece covers are meant to be worn over Fitted, Prefold and/or Contour diapers. Unlike wool however, fleece covers can’t wick moisture as well, don’t breathe as well, aren’t made from natural materials, and aren’t antibacterial. The upsides to fleece covers however are that they are not as expensive as wool soakers and they don't require a special cleaning process (i.e. they can be thrown in the wash with your other diapers). Fleece covers can also be aired out between uses, but should be washed every 2 to 3 days.
For more info on Fleece covers, see Caring for Fleece.