How to Prep Prefold Diapers {And Why I Ditched Microfiber}

How to Prep Prefold Diapers

For awhile I considered ditching all my microfiber inserts and using cotton prefold diapers to stuff my diapers instead (we use bumGenius 4.0’s). I replaced about half of them a few months ago and was happy with the results, but I just hadn’t gotten around to replacing all of them.

Well, in the last few days, I replaced all my microfiber, prepped the rest of my prefold diapers, and I’m only using cotton prefold diapers now. I am thrilled with the results.

Don’t get me wrong: microfiber gets the job done. Microfiber inserts (the ones that come with bumGenius and many other types of diapers) are very absorbent.  I had very few leaks, and I microfiber allowed me to feel confident about cloth diapering when I first started. Truth be told, microfiber worked really well for us for about a year. Once we hit 13-14 months, I started to suspect that my diapers–or at least the microfiber inserts–weren’t getting clean enough (see this post about my cloth diapering troubleshooting.)  We have really hard water, and even with a softener, I suspected that my wash routine wasn’t working for us. David and I were completely frustrated, and we were close to throwing in the towel and being done with cloth diapering once and for all. It got that bad.

I pretty much solved that problem when I started using Tide and switched up my wash routine a bit; however, the problem was only solved temporarily.  A HE washer and our hard water were just making it too difficult to get the microfiber clean.  I researched about what the best option was for pocket diapers and discovered Green Mountain Diapers (cue the hallelujah angel music.)

There are many types of prefold cloth diapers out there, and I’m sure many of them will work just as well, but I purchased the Cloth-eez prefolds, and I am obsessed. They are so absorbent, and here’s the best part: they get really clean.

I purchased the medium red-edge diapers which cost $37.00 a dozen (about $3.08 per diaper.) You can purchase replacement microfiber inserts for roughly the same price, but I knew if I went that route that I’d just need to replace them again after another year or so.

I want to be honest. There are a few cons to using prefolds:

1) They make it a smidge harder to stuff diapers

2) They are not one size; I probably need to purchase the large, brown edge diapers soon

3) You have to prep them ahead of time (meaning they are not super absorbent and ready to go right out of the package)

Prepping the diapers is really easy, though. Essentially, you could just wash the diapers on hot several times (about 5-6) and they’d be good to go. However, I wanted to speed up that process a bit, so I decided to boil my inserts.

I filled my biggest stock pot with water and once boiling, I carefully placed 5 of the prefold diapers in the pot. I made sure all diapers were submerged and set the timer for 20 minutes. I also checked on them every few minutes to make sure I wasn’t burning down the house.  Once the 20 minutes were up,  I carefully removed the diapers with tongs and placed them in a colander set over a large bowl.  I allowed the diapers to cool, and once I could handle them by hand, I washed and dried them on hot 3 more times.

After this process, the diapers were super fluffy, and you could tell they were ready to be used. You can see the difference below. On the right, I have 6 prefold diapers straight out of the package, and on the left, I have 6 that have been boiled, washed, and prepped.

How to Prep Prefold Diapers

As the picture below shows, they do shrink a tad after prepping. Do you see how soft and cushiony they are, though?

How to Prep Prefold Diapers

On another note, my switch from microfiber to prefolds has changed our night time diapering routine just a tad. I still LOVE the Best Bottom diapers, but I’ve started to pair a prefold with a BabyKicks hemp insert.  I do this and either stuff in a bumGenius 4.0 or place in a Best Bottom diaper cover. Either way works and we haven’t had any leaks! Best Bottom also has hemp+cotton inserts that I might try!

So thank you, Green Mountain Diapers for reviving my love for cloth diapers!



4 thoughts on “How to Prep Prefold Diapers {And Why I Ditched Microfiber}”

  1. I’m glad you found something that works for you! I might do that eventually too, but my only worry is bulkiness. Are the prefolds a lot bulkier? Oh, and thanks for answering my question about BestBottoms and nighttime! I decided to use a cover over a bamboo prefold and a BabyKicks insert and that works really well because even though it is bulky, the cover stretches over everything, so there haven’t been leaks. Seems like natural fibers work better at nighttime especially!

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