Perfectly Prepped Prefolds...

   I love prefolds!  They're simple, cheap and can be used in so many ways!  I didn't always think so, especially as a new cloth diaperer who was is love with all things new and cute.  After months of dealing with stinky microfiber and pockets so pricey they make your head spin, I developed an appreciation for this simple cotton square.  
   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. suds!
5.  Transfer the prefolds to your washing machine and wash on a HOT cycle with high agitation (like you'd get from a Heavy Duty cycle) without any detergent. Repeat (especially if you have suds still in the wash water during the final rinse).

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!)


  1. thanks! I love my prefolds! Do you prefer thirsties or bummis wraps?? I have bummis currently but was thinking about getting a couple of thirsties since I keep hearing such awesome reviews.

  2. Prefolds are great aren't they? So versatile! I have both wraps, Bummis and Thirsties Duo and although the quality of the bummis is nicer with the inner PUL covered with fabric and a stronger velcro, I still prefer my Thirsties. With the adjustable rise snaps on the Duo, you get such a nice, trim fit. My 17lber is in the medium Bummis (15-30lbs) and it's enormous on him. I only use it when I have nothing else because the legs actually gap since I can't get a tight enough fit. I havent used the Thirsties 'regular' wrap so I can't comment on it's fit. I'm in the market for new covers and I'll definately get some more Duo wraps!

  3. I am new to all of this cloth diapering and this was really helpful. Thanks :)


  4. wow, this is great information. I am new to cloth diapering and was given a fabulous opportunity to get a full stash by Blissful Booty diapers- its an aio, very close to a disposable diaper. I completely love Blissful Booty. I recently won a bummis cover with what looks like a potato sack insert. (still not sure what it is) I have washed them once tonight with my BB load. My wash cycle consists of a soak, a prewash and two full cycles on hot water- only add CD safe detergent in the soak. Now, I will do a little more research before I put her in this bummis one.

    Thanks for the follow, I am following back

  5. I've never tried a Blissful Booty diaper so I'd love to hear what you think of them! The Bummis insert should be a prefold (that's what their known for really). Make you you prep it before using it or it won't absorb well and you'll get leaks. Also, avoid washing it with your BB diapers because when the prefold is new, it releases oils into the water that will then coat your other diapers and cause them to repel. The 'prepping' process strips them of these oils. Once they're prepped they're good to be washed with the rest of your diapers :)

  6. I bookmarked this to prep some hemp inserts I was planning on getting. Right now they are on the stove to boil. One question, I've heard it can take up to 10 washes to get the full absorbency out of my new hemp inserts. Do you find that you still need additional washes after the initial prepping to get the absorbency? With hemp would you recommend prepping them twice, rather than just once?

    We CD part-time, mostly when we are home and I've been trying to do it more when we are out. I'd really like to do away with night time sposies ... hence the hemp. CD'ing part time means I was like once a week, rather than every two days, so a few more washes would mean a few more weeks.... that's why I ask.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated!!! :D

  7. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I have yet to get my bummies - even though they have preemie size the covers are still too big for my little babe. I will for sure be doing this once i get them.

    I've added you to my google reader! check me out if you're bored one day.


  8. Hi Christy,

    I tried this method on my Bummis, but they are still really hard and rough. The boiling helped, but I can't imagine putting them on baby skin. I bought three packs, and thought I was all set, but they are awful and I am going to throw them away if I can't figure out how to soften them up. I don't have a tumble dryer or an outside line, I just dry them on a rack.

    Do you have any advice? I've seen sites that say not to used vinegar or baking soda. I see you use these and I would try it if I thought it would work... but I am getting a bit sick of trying things and having them not work. Do you have any advice?