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Old 03-25-2008, 06:57 AM   #1
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Boiling prefolds to prep them...a picture tutorial! Updated 1-28-12

Updated: wow, I had no idea this thing was still around, lol. I was 6 months pg with my now 3.5 yo when I posted this. So here's an update, and some answers to some of the questions asked:

- it should work pretty well even without the dawn, I've done it both ways
- i never tried with hemp, but it wouldn't hurt, I don't think.
- I found my dying instructions on the dharma and pro chem sites

And just for good measure, here is who these diapers were for:


I spent yesterday morning prepping my new unbleached gmd orange edge prefolds, and after searching here for info on boiling them, decided to post a picture tutorial to help others out.

So here you go!

This is the first time I've boiled new pf's. I have boiled pf's from fsot and have used the washing machine to prep new UBIPF's before. I wanted to try this to see if it really did save washes and dryer cycles.

First: the subjects - 2 dozen Unbleaced Green Mountain Diaper Orange Edge prefolds. Not all are pictured here - some were already boiling. All of them perfectly filled a flat rate priority box, to give you an idea of the volume.

Second: The setup - I have a smaller stockpot on the stove and a laundry basket lined with an old towel - that way the dipes can be damp/dripping and not flood my floor. I would rec. a larger stockpot - mine was dirty from Easter - i should have taken the time to clean it rather than do several extra boils with smaller batches.

Third: the process - I filled the pot almost all the way, added a squirt of dawn (to help draw out the oils) and let it boil. Then I added three pf's and stirred them occasionally. I let them boil for 20-30 minutes/batch. Most people in threads I read said they do it for 10 minutes at a time, but I figure the longer the boil, the more prepped they'll be. Not sure if that's true.

After boiling, I picked them up with tongs and kinda wrapped them around the tongs and squeezed them against the side of the pot to get excess water out, then plopped them in the basket. The water turned yellow after a batch. After one batch, I'd add 4-8 cups more water to fill it up again and another squirt of dawn. After the second boil, I dumped the water and started over.

After boiling, the pf's were noticably smaller than the unboiled ones.

After they were all boiled, I put the entire 2 doz. in the washer with no detergent (figured there was still dawn in them) and did a cycle w/ a hot presoak, a hot wash with high agitation, and an extra rinse (in cold, I think).
then dried them on hot.

After the first wash/dry, they were fluffy and soft, although some (about half) were a little flatter than the rest - they were still as soft, just not quite as quilty and a little bigger - I figure that's from uneven boiling times. Yhe one son the left are the fluffier and smaller ones.

Then I put them back in to wash with 3 tbsp synthrapol and 2 tbsp washing soda (that's what the synthrapol said to use to prep fabrics for dyeing). If I hadn't had the synthrapol, I would have just used the detergent I normally use for dipes. Then I did a wash like the one above, and dried again.

After that wash/dry, they were all a bit quiltier and softer, and there wasn't such a difference in size, although I could still find 10 that were just slightly flatter and larger.

All in all, the volume of the pile of dipes about tripled from before prepping.

They're still kinda pilly, so could prob. use a wash or two, but I believe they're fully prepped. I probably wouldn't have done the second wash/dry, but I want to dye them and wanted to make very sure all the oils were out of them.

All in all, I think I def. saved time and energy boiling them - if I had it to do over again, I'd change the following things:
- used a bigger (much bigger) pot and done 6 at a time
- Time the boils and only done 20 minutes a batch, so they were all done evenly.\
- finished before dh came home, b/c he made fun of me for photographing the process

Last edited by Katherine; 01-28-2012 at 10:46 AM.
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