Diaper Pails

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Diaper Pail for Cloth Diapers

August 2010

Can anyone recommend a good diaper pail to use with cloth diapers? I'd like one that controls odor well and has a washable liner rather than a disposable liner. --trying to avoid stinkiness

You don't really need a special diaper pail for cloth diapers. I use an ordinary garbage can with a somewhat snug hinged lid... a hands free one comes in really handy. I think I got mine at Home Depot. Target, Walmart, CVS, etc all carry them. I then line the pail with a pail liner, see link below. The pail liner is made of a waterproof fabric that will keep all the liquids in and the pail dry. Come laundry time, you can throw the pail liner in the wash along with the dirty diapers. When folded out on the garbage can, the thickness of the pail liner is enough to create a seal for the lid to keep the odor in check... when it is closed. You will smell the stinky momentarily when the lid is open. If you really can't stand it, put a few drops of essential oil on a scrap piece of cloth and tape it to the lid. BTW, it is a good idea to have two liners. Use one while the other is in the wash. You can get pail liners from almost any place that sells cloth diapers. This is just one place and I am not endorsing this particular one. I am just showing this as an example. http://nickisdiapers.com/catalog.php?category=369 Good luck! a crunchy mama

March 2009

After reading a lot of positive reviews of the Diaper Dekor, I purchased it on-line. It just arrived and I'm feeling disappointed about its design and small size. I plan on returning it today and am now in the market for an alternative. My diaper service comes just once a week, so I need a diaper pail large enough to fit one week's worth of cloth diapers. It's also important to me that it not require special bags and that it be reusable/practical for household use post-diapers. Any suggestions? New Mommy

We just used the one the diaper service gave us. It looked like a cheap garbage can and I didn't think it would work, but it really did and contained the smells just fine. We used the bag that the diapers came in. I don't know if your service will provide you with one or not, but if they do, I'd try the free one for a while. Sarah

I am aware of ABC Diapers (actually a Sacramento outfit now) and Tiny Tots. On their website you should be able to see pictures of the diaper hamper they sale. Basically it's a big plastic container with a top that has a flip top. You line it with the bag your diapers get delivered in each week. It holds a good amount of diapers. Depending on how many you are on each week, you'll either have one or two bags pretty much equal the number that gets delivered. At first just ask them to include an extra bag then use the empty ones as you use up your diapers during the week. And they'll deliver it with the next set of diapers. Crystal

You can just get a plastic garbage pail from target. it doesn't have to be made ''for diapers'' . If you want a reusable, washable liner, the BumGenius brand makes a pail liner bag that amazingly fits any size or shape pail you pick. berkeleymom

I tried the diaper champ and the diaper decor before finally giving up on the technology. So now we just use a regular big garbage bin lined with a big plastic bag that stays in the driveway (where we get our diapers picked up and dropped off, and in the bedroom we just have a small wastebasket with a regular plastic shopping bag that we tied and untie each time a diaper gets changed. Usually I can fit a day's worth in that little plastic bag, and then it goes into the big bin outside every evening when one of us takes the dog out for a pee. THis has been the only way to really get rid of the stink in our room. Good luck. anon

We use a cloth diaper service and have a Diaper Champ made by BabyTrend. It accomodates about 2-3 days' worth of cloth diapers. You can use any type of plastic bag in it, though we use the big bags provided by our diaper service. We haven't had any odor issues whatsoever. Our service also picks up only once a week so we store the bags of used diapers in our garage until pickup day. You don't say how old your baby is or how many diapers that you use, but I don't know if there is a diaper pail that would fit the number of diapers that we use for our 6 month old (between 50 and 60 per week). Before we got the Diaper Champ, I looked into getting an ''old fashioned'' diaper pail which is just a plastic bin with a lid. Due to concerns about odors, we didn't end up buying that one. It wasn't any bigger than the Champ, so I still don't think that it would have accomodated a week's worth of diapers. Happy with the Diaper Champ

We use tiny tots diaper service (4.5 years now with 2 kids). I use their standard pail: http://store.tinytots.com/store/product/3434/-Flip-Top-Diaper- Hamper/

Works fine, and not too expensive (I think it was closer to $10.00 when I got it). Very little trouble with extreme smell- o-vision. Because we have two story house, we also have a small one for the kid's bedroom, bought from long's or target in the trash can section. The tiny tots one had enough capacity to hold all the diapers for one week when both were in them at the same time! love having diaper service!

I got mine from cottonbabies.com three years ago. Unfortunately they are carrying a different brand that does not look as user friendly. Mine looks like a white trash can with a flip top. I would say a good sized simplehuman or rubbermaid trash can would work just fine. Just get something you can open with one hand, and I don't mean pry open, it has to easily flip up then shut. Or a step can would work. Just be sure the can looks pretty secure to lock in smells. Cloth Diapering Family

I used Cloth Diapers and thought the whole diaper specific pail to be a bunch of rubbish (their claims of smell free etc...Not TRUE)

What we used: I Bought a stainless steel (Simple Human) trash can with snug fitting top and a couple washable Diaper Bags (one for in use, one for replacement when other dirty) (see this link: http://www.wildflowerdiapers.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=1756=442

It worked perfect for us...No smell either. I did use these deodorizers which helped too (put in the bottom of trash can, not bag). http://www.jardinediapers.com/Citrus-Circles-3-pack-p-7.html

NOW, we no longer use diapers and have a nice new and Clean! stainless steel trashcan. The liner bag keeps your can pee/poop free! Heather

I've never heard of a Diaper Dekor pail, but another cloth-diapering mom said she just bought a large garbage pail with lid from Target. Since we live around the corner from a Target, I checked out what they had, and ended up buying a large- ish, white Rubbermaid type can with a foot pedal and lid. It was around $10. I bought two Wahmies liners, which have a little spot for peppermint oil or some such (that helps!) and I generally never smell the diapers, unless it's been about a week. The liners are washable, keep all liquid etc. away from the can itself, and so on. We wash our own diapers in our HE washing machine (LG front loader) and it's been pretty easy. We also have a Diaper Champ (you can use your own garbage bags) for the more hectic times when we've just used disposable. It's great also. I didn't want to spend that much $$ a second time for the cloth diapers, though, and have found the Target garbage can with Wahmies liner to work really well (really reduced the 'ick' factor, as just took out bag of diapers, dumped inside out into washer, and Voila!). I was also concerned that with the Diaper Champ, the dirty cloth diaper might get stuck in the flipping-over process (ick!). In summary, I would recommend just finding a normal garbage pail with lid (and foot pedal) that you like - you can use it later as a garbage can or laundry hamper or whatever... Good luck! Diaper Champ, lol

June 2004

We need a recommendation for a good diaper pail that works for cloth diapers. Currently, we use a ''Diaper Champ'' for anything that gets thrown away (wipes, etc.) but we have a regular lift-lid pail for the cloth diapers that get returned to the diaper service. The lift-lid pail has been tolerable because we keep it outside (there's a door to the backyard right next to the changing table) but it is definitely stinky and would not work inside the house. We will soon be remodeling our house and it won't work to keep the pail outside anymore, so we need a new pail for the stinky cloth diapers that can accomodate our diaper service's thick deliver/return bag. I'm hesitant to try the Diaper Champ due to the poop getting all over the small opening and toddler hands having access, etc. Please help if you've got something that works!! Thanks! paula

We use the Diaper Champ for our cloth diapers, but we wash them at home (we moved from a state that hadn't had a single diaper service since the early 80s!). You mentioned that your main concern was getting poop on the inside of the ''Champ'' and the smell that might result . . . well, we put our son's poop in the toilet (we usually don't waste a flush on just his, admittedly) so our Champ only smells when we open it up to take the diapers out. We also put baking soda inside of it and spray the interior and the chute with antibacterial spray on a regular if not necessarily frequent basis. I don't know how thick the diaper service bags are, but we have a lot of excess room in the Diaper Champ that could accomodate a much thicker bag than the one we use.

I used to wish that the Diaper Champ held more, but if it did a) we might be tempted to wait so long to wash that we'd run out of diapers or b) it WOULD start to smell, so we're happy with doing a diaper load every 3 days.

We share your pain! We ended up buying one of those step-open trash cans, one with a heavy lid that makes a good tight seal with the base. Our diaper co's heavy plastic bags fit right in, and we have not had an odor problem since. The brand we ended up using was SimpleHuman (or something like that) - we picked it up at Bed Bath and Beyond in El Cerrito. It was not too expensive - less than $50 - and a tremendous improvement over the dinky plastic hamper + deodorant disks that the diaper co gave us. I don't know how this will work with a toddler's busy hands, though! anon

We use the Diaper Dekor, available at both Target & Babies R Us. It has 3-layers between the diapers and you, so it's pretty good at shutting out smells. Good luck

we use the diaper pail that was provided by the diaper service and ask for deodorants a lot of the time (they provide them for free) - but the thing we did that made the most difference was scraping the poop off the diaper into the toilet before putting the diaper in the pail. A bit high-maintenance but this definitely makes a difference! not quite so stinky

Your experience with diaper disposl methods?

June 2008

I am pregnant and am making a list of everything I'll need to buy for when our babies (twins) are born. I am wondering what people's experiences have been with diaper genies as well as other diaper disposal methods. This is our first child and we're just not sure how this all works yet! Sara

We never used our Diaper Genie (we got two as shower gifts) but instead used recycled plastic bags from grocery shopping, which we kept a basket of by the changing table. We put the dirty diapers and wipes from a change in a bag, tied it shut and put it in the garbage. No Genie

Diaper Genies work great at keeping the smell under control, far better than any of the other systems my friends had. It is a pain to have to buy the plastic refills, but I just buy a bunch at a time when I get a Babies-R-Us coupon or other discount. What I did to save money on that and be less wasteful plastic wise is to just use a garbage can with a plastic shopping bag for the diapers for the first 2 months. Newborn's poop doesn't smell all that much if they are solely breastfed. anon

We bought the Diaper Champ. We really like it. I don't notice a smell, although once my son was around 20 months, we felt like it did sometimes smell funky when we opened his room first thing in the morning. We replaced the Diaper Champ with a new one, but it still sometimes smells a little funky in the morning in my son's room, so I don't think the problem was the diaper pail. I think it is just my son's diaper from being on all night long in a warm room. Meredith

How to change the liners in a Diaper Dekor

Oct 2006

I'm confused and am sure someone knows how to do this... How the heck do you get the new liner in the diaper dekor? It looks like you need to cut the plastic and tie up the bottom. Is this right? Or, is there some sort of perforation if I just pull the next bag down far enough? Thanks for any advice... geppie3

There's a small cutting tool attached to the inside of the door -- use it to cut the full part of the bag away. Be sure to leave enough room at the top so you can knot it closed. Then tie a knot on the bottom of the empty one and you're good to go. Katherine

Diaper Pail that doesn't stink

Feb 2005

Our baby's diaper pail seems to be no match for her poops, which are getting stinkier and stinkier with the addition of solids. We now have to keep the pail in a separate room, despite changing the bag often, spraying it with Febreze and even using scented trash bags. I am thinking of breaking down and buying the ''Diaper Genie'' which I have resisted because you have to use their special bags. Any advice on a diaper pail that really works?
Signed, Mom of a cute but stinky butt

I'm not sure if you have tried this but it works for us and we use cloth diapers and a real cheapy diaper service pail- just keep a box of baking soda and sprinkle a bit in when bag is empty, then each time there is a real stinker and it just keeps it down. good luck stinkless

I love to talk diaper pails. First of all, don't buy the Diaper Genie, because in addition to having expensive refills, it is a pain in the neck to use. You have to stoop down, push the dirty diaper through and twist each time; all the moms I know who bought one regret their purchase. In fact, one of my friends decided not to sell hers at a recent garage sale because she didn't want to inflict it on another unsuspecting mother! However, I can highly recommend the Diaper Dekor Plus. It works like a normal step-on trash can, with an extra set of hinged flaps to keep the smell contained. The bag is one long continuous tube that you cut (with attached cutter) and tie as you go. The refills last a LONG time, almost 3 months each, and cost about $7. This can holds a LOT of diapers; I only empty mine every 5-7 days, and there is almost no smell at all. Their customer service is great and will replace broken parts, no questions asked. Another option is the Diaper Champ, which uses regular kitchen garbage bags instead of a special refill. It is a little less convenient than the Dekor, because of its mechanism (a flip-flopping cylinder that can get jammed or dirty). Still, I have heard some good things about this can; one friend I know uses it without any bags at all for her cloth diapers. I think there are some good reviews of these products on Epinions, and in the _Baby Bargains_ book. Oh boy! You'll be so glad when you get one. ekc

I would get the Diaper Champ, not the Diaper Genie, if I were you. You don't need special bags, and the stink-combatting mechanism is a sort of a vapor-lock that we've been pretty pleased with. We share a nanny and rotate weeks, so every other week we have 2 kids' diapers to deal with, and my 21 month old son's room is never stinky even when it's full. We've had it from day 1 and are very pleased with this product!! no stink here

I stopped using the diaper pails, because they just hold in the stink, period. My solution is to have an open wastebasket on the changing table. I use plastic grocery bags as liners (good thing we don't need to pay 17 cents here!), fill it during the day with pee diapers (easy, just fold them and refasten the sticky tags to hold them together if you like, or just toss them in quickly), and whenever there's a poopy diaper, I just take the liner out and tie the handles tightly and out it goes to the garbage can! Once you start doing it, you realize that it's a simple thing and that it's icky keeping poopy diapers in the house, anyway. My baby's room never smells like poop (OK maybe for a few minutes after he's changed, but then so does the bathroom after we go!). hope this helps

The Diaper Champ is the best! It is the same idea as the diaper genie, where the diapers are sealed away, but it doesn't wrap them in separate plastic bags. You just put your own plastic bag in there, then there is a little chute hole at the top where you put the diaper in. Then you lift a lever and it turns over and dumps the diaper in on the other side. Hard to explain here, but really awesome. Doesn't smell. I have it in my bedroom! Still using mine! Holly

What I did to help out from the smell was to pour some baby powder in the bottom of the pail & at the bottom of the bags. Shelly

I have a recommendation for diaper pails that don't stink. The best thing EVER are those large gray ''spin-top'' containers to store dog food in. You can get them at pet stores and they have large mouths (We got ours at the pet warehouse over in Emeryville by Home Depot). We just put a regular garbage bag inside for the diapers and have been using this method for 4 years now. We are using cloth so it keeps the odor in for a whole week without problems and I'm sure it would be longer too, since the container is airtight. You only have to clean out the pail once in a while when mildew builds up inside from the condensation of wet diapers, not sure if this would happen with disposable. Then, when you are done with diapers, you can use the bin for any storage that you want to keep fresh or dry....after you clean it, of course. I highly recommend it and it's much better than the diaper genie, which we had originally! Jenn

we have a diaper champ and it was great until solids - now we just take the diapers straight outside to the garbage. before you go spend the $ on a special diaper pail like that, try using zip-lock bags and your regular diaper pail and see how that goes - you can get them in bulk at costco. I think the special diaper genies and such with the special bags you have to buy are a scam. anon

Best solution for disposable diapers

Nov 2004

I'm preparing for my second child (due in about 4 weeks)and I'm trying to decide what type of diaper pail to get this time. For various reasons we've decided to use disposable this time after using cloth with my first son. I don't want to open up that question!! I just want to know what works and is worth it for disposable. Is a special diaper-sausage maker really worth the extra expense and bother? Has anyone had success with the Safety 1st oderless diaper pail which uses regular bags but has a twisting/locking lid? Does a frequently-emptied lidded pail suffice? Would you choose the same method you used if you were starting fresh?
Bracing for my second round of diapers

We've been using both the Diaper Champ and the Diaper Genie since the birth of our daughter, 14 mos ago. No complaints about either. We use the Champ in the bedroom because it's the easiest to use and it gets a lot of use in there (it uses just regular garbage bags)--you just put the diaper in the top, pull the handle over, and that's it. We use the Genie in the living area of the house, and it gets used once or twice a day. The Genie requires a few extra seconds to use, and yes, you have to buy unique liners for it, but it contains odors fairly well-- I'd say slightly better than the Champ. Best wishes. Tracy

Hi - we used a Diaper Genie with our two. It helps with the smell until they get old enough for solid food. After that, the diapers are too smelly, IMO. So from that point on, all dirty diapers went outside to the big garbage immediately. Wet diapers we just tossed in the bathroom garbage can and emptied that once per day. I found that even though the Diaper Genie made the room less smelly, the awful stench we were faced with when emptying it offset any advantage. But, yeah, it was worth it for the newborn days when diaper changes were so frequent (every feeding!) Hope this helps. anon

We got a Diaper Genie but never even opened it! We just use a regular lidded garbage can in the nursery and empty it once or twice a week. We don't even use a liner --it has never smelled much. Personally I think the whole diaper pail thing is kind of a scam. Trashcan mama

We like the Neat Diaper Disposal System by Safety First. It's available at Toys R Us/Babies R Us stores. I read the online reviews on amazon.com and many people said this was the best for no smell and was much better than the best-selling Diaper Genie. The only real drag is that I can only find the replacement bags at Toys R Us, but we don't have to change the bags too often so it's OK. We have two systems, one upstairs and one downstairs and I probably change the bag cartridge in each once a month. My son is three months old and we are exclusively breastfeeding so his diapers aren't too smelly now and we could probably just throw them in the trash, but once he starts on solids I hear it will be necessary to have a diaper disposal system because his poops will be stinky! Good luck with your new baby! Andi

We like the Neat Diaper Disposal System by Safety First. It's available at Toys R Us/Babies R Us stores. I read the online reviews on amazon.com and many people said this was the best for no smell and was much better than the best-selling Diaper Genie. The only real drag is that I can only find the replacement bags at Toys R Us, but we don't have to change the bags too often so it's OK. We have two systems, one upstairs and one downstairs and I probably change the bag cartridge in each once a month. My son is three months old and we are exclusively breastfeeding so his diapers aren't too smelly now and we could probably just throw them in the trash, but once he starts on solids I hear it will be necessary to have a diaper disposal system because his poops will be stinky! Good luck with your new baby! Andi

We had a nanny share at our house so we had double the diapers. Plus we had to set up the changing area in the dining room (either that or the living room!. The diaper genie kept the stink out completely. I tried the Diaper Champ for a while, attracted to the ability to use regular garbage bags, but it did not control the stink and had the additional problem of dirty diapers sometimes getting stuck in the turnstile thingy and making a yucky mess. I never had to take apart the diaper genie to clean it, in 3 years. Wouldn't use anything else. - Glad we're done with diapers now!

I use the Diaper Dekor and I HATE it. Do not buy it. My son learned early on how to just open the top and then he sticks his hand down into the area with the dirty diapers. It has no locking mechanism. I want to buy a new diaper pail, so I'm anxiously awaiting the responses to this post! jodi

we have a diaper champ and it was fine until my son got into solids and then it was really totally inadequate to contain the smell. we don't even bother with it anymore and take the diapers straight to the outdoor garbage. I'll be interested in others responses - maybe we'll learn something for the second go-round not a diaper champ fan

When we threw in the towel on cloth diapers, we got a ''Diaper Champ'' pail. It's now in use for our second and we like it. Much easier to use than any other diaper pail I've ever encountered (truly no-brainer, one-hand operation) and it doesn't require special bags -- any trash bags will do. (For that matter, you can at least theoretically use it for cloth diapers as well.) We sometimes notice some odor when it gets too full, but only when it gets too full -- and it has a larger capacity than most too.

The only pitfall is that ease of use means that a toddler can figure out how to use it! Well, he couldn't get inside the pail, but he could drop toys and other non-diaper items into the chute and dispose of them.... Holly

We've done both and I think the Diaper Pail is easier. The diaper genie has less odor, but after a year plus of use it can retain some odor. That's my 2 cents on the matter and I have 3 babies who helped pass on this experience to you. Anon

Call me crazy but my husband and I figured out, that a big metal mesh waste basket (yes, essentially holes in it) is the best way to prevent odor. We dump it into a plastic bag at the end of each day (or two) and take it outside to the trash. We never purchased a diaper gynie because any time I've been around one I felt completely repulsed by both the odor and the whole process of disgarding the diaper. And a trash can with a plastic bag and a lid is merely the same. Everything is just rotting away in small enclosed area and if you lift the top, it's all over! Also, very important with this exciting new concept--put the poop in the potty and flush it before you wrap up the diaper and throw it out. Of course if it's a newborn, that's impossible and also unnecessary because newborns poops aren't really smelly. And also I realize it's impossible if it's a very loose stool (sorry to get graphic here but...). If it's a REALLY messy one, we just wrap it up and bring it right outside. No need to house that for even a minute. Seriously, it works. anon

As a compromise for caving in to using disposables, we decided against one of those sausage-maker diaper pails, seeing as it adds waste and probably also half-life to diapers in landfills. Instead, we got a lidded garbage can of small proportions (it had a step-to-open lid, which was crucial, and we lined it with whatever old grocery sacks were around. Because the can was small, it held relatively few diapers, and had to be emptied at least every day, usually twice. Thus, we didn't get the stinkies. We also sprinkled fresh baking soda in the bottom of the can every week, and rinsed it out as part of our Sunday housekeeping routine. It probably added a grand total of 10 minutes of work a week, and saved us a ton of money on a big, ugly plastic doohickey that we would have had to throw away. As it is, our nice stainless step-lid can now serves as laundry- room waste receptacle. One thing you might want to consider, though, is whether dogs or children might get into the dirty diapers, in which case, you want a can with a lid that locks on in some rather invincible way (but remember to open the can BEFORE you start dealing with the super-diaper-buster blowout). stinky diaper hater

I highly recommend the diaper genie. Easy to use and worth every penny. I used cloth diapers with my first child and am so glad I used disposable with my second. It allowed me more time to balance kids versus cleaning diapers. I found the diaper genie to be large enough that I only had to change it about twice a week and it did an excellent job of keeping oders out of the nursery. Anon

We, too, use disposables (after a valiant effort at cloth) and have never needed a diaper genie or any other special pail. We use a 5 liter cylindrical garbage pedal can from Bed & Bath (Brabantia-style) and put a pail pal deodorizer (from Tiny Tots) in the can under the bag. We empty the can 1-2 times/day and have had no problems with odor. The occasional really stinky diaper may go directly outside. We would definitely use the same method again. Don't like the diaper genie

Smelly Diaper Pails

Oct 2000

Phew! As my baby is getting older, the diaper pail (cloth diapers) seems to get smellier and smellier. We are using a diaper service and I usually put the bag of dirty diapers outside every 3-4 days. Do I need to change the bag more often? Is there some type of natural deodorizer that I can use? I prefer not to use the chemical disc the diaper service gives. Any ideas would be great. Jennifer

Granted, we're still on breast-milk poops... but we've found that the Diaper Champ's design keeps the odors out of baby's room. It's available at www.babycenter.com, and probably at local baby stores too. We use the diaper service bags with it and it works well (so far...).

Baking soda in the bottom of the pail helps a lot. Royce

Put in a scoop of baking soda (you can get huge boxes of it). Rinse the pail well after emptying each bag. Urthlink

Where to Buy Diaper Genie Refills Oct 1998

Target has refills for both the original and larger opening Diaper Genie's. Jennifer & Heather

Where you can find Diaper Genie Refills... I have seen the refils at most stores that carry the diaper genie. These inculde Toys R Us, JC Penny, Burlington Coat Factory's Baby Depot, Mervyns and Target. I seem to remember the price was best at Target, but that may have been a sale. Rose