Brand new prefolds need to be 'prepped' before using to strip them of the naturally occurring oils in the cotton. If they weren't stripped of the oils, they wouldn't absorb very well and could actually repel the urine. This stripping process is the same for all natural fabric prefolds/liners/fitteds such as bamboo and hemp. The way the instructions tell you to prep prefolds is to wash and dry them 5-10 times before using. This takes up A LOT of time and uses tons of energy to run the washer and dryer. I'm going to give you a step-by-step of my method of stripping which I've used for hemp inserts and prefolds and it always gives me good results! (Note: NEVER prep your natural fibres together with your other diapers or else the oils will release out of them and coat your other diapers, which will lead to repelling!)
1. Fill a large stock pot with water and 1/4 tsp blue Dawn and bring it to a boil.
2. Add prefolds to the water (3-4 for a large pot, more if you have an xl pot). In my pic there are 4 in the pot. Boil for 30 mins.
3. Using tongs, transfer the prefolds to a
4. Drain the water and repeat until you've done all the prefolds you have.
6. Dry in the dryer on medium. Once you start using them in your regular diaper laundry load, you can either machine or line dry them. I like to dry my prefolds in the dryer because I find them too stiff if I line dry them, or else I half line dry and finish them off in the dryer to soften them up.
You're done! As you can see, the prefolds shrink up about 25% and get a 'quilted' look which is totally normal so don't worry when they look a bit pruney! They can now be washed along with all the rest of your diapers in your regular wash routine :)
(In case you're wondering, these are Bummis unbleached organic prefolds...the best IMO!)