I like to submerge my new fabric one at a time in a tub of hot water in the kitchen sink. I get to know 'em... it's my first chance to be with them. But I also get to see which fabrics bleed or are fully set. This stack of Hoffmann fat quarters did really well till I got to the reds, they ran pink. Makes it worth the effort somehow.
Now they're washed and folded on the shelf ready to use. I know a lot of quilters don't want to bother with this step, they want to get right down to it... but I've had more than a few heartbreaks in my quilting with bad bleeds. And this is the nicest laundry I do!