The single biggest myth about cloth diapering is how messy, dirty, and gross the process gets. But the fact is, there are simply too many products available out there to make your journey easy, quick, and clean.
Believe it or not, your diaper storage method can actually make or break your cloth diapering experience, and investing in the right storage is absolutely non-negotiable.
Types of Cloth Diaper Storage Methods
There are three main ways to store stinky diapers: wet pail, dry pail, and wet and dry combination pail methods.
Wet Pail Method
In the wet pail diaper storage method, soiled diapers are stored in a sealed pail filled with a small amount of water. This helps pre-treat cloth diapers and eliminate staining. However, the wet pail method is generally not suitable for most modern cloth diapers. The reason? Wet pails can be a drowning hazard for children and pets. They tend to get heavy and make laundry difficult. Unless carefully sealed, a wet pail can tip over and leave a mess.
If you plan to deploy the wet pail, make sure you don’t use bleach or detergent. These materials can be rough on diapers, cause chemical reactions with the urine, and may void manufacturer warranties. It’s also important to change the water daily to ensure the diapers don’t stain or stink.
Dry Pail Method
Cloth diapering parents often prefer the dry pail method for several reasons. This pail doesn’t involve the use of water. You can directly toss soiled diapers in a commercial or DIY pail. If you don’t like the idea of a pail, you can simply invest in a quality pail liner and hang it do a hook or doorknob. Hanging pails work especially well for parents with curious toddlers.
When deploying the dry method, it’s important to take a few precautions. Remove any solid poop from the diaper before tossing it in the pail liner. Make sure the pail liner is made of durable and waterproof material. Super-absorbent materials like cotton must be avoided at all costs. These materials can trap the odor, which can then end up lingering around your house. Invest in at least two pail liners. You can use the second liner when you’re laundering the dirty diapers in the first pail liner.
Wet + Dry Diaper Pail Storage
Some parents like to combine both wet and dry pail storage methods. The soiled diaper inserts are rinsed to remove any urine and stored in a “wet” bag. The comparatively cleaner diaper covers are tossed in a “dry” pail.
When using the wet pail method, it is critical to place a waterproof liner inside the pail. Wet diapers get heavier with water and may cause the wet bag to stretch and tear when you hang it from a hook.
Types of Diaper Pails
The two main types of diaper pails include traditional pails and hanging bags. Let’s understand the use of each.
The traditional diaper pail method involves using a regular flip-flop trash can that can be found at a nearby Walmart or Target. The top of a flip-flop trash can typically comes with a rubber seal to ensure odors don’t escape the pail and stink up the house.
Traditional pails generally work well for dry bag methods. For wet pails, get a storage unit with a lid that can be sealed or locked away when not in use. This precaution is important to avoid any drowning hazards or messy episodes.
Hanging Dry or Wet Bags
Parents love the idea of hanging diaper pails for several reasons. Hanging the dirty diaper storage helps save space, especially for parents who have smaller homes. It eliminates the risks of spilling or hazards because your curious little ones cannot reach it. Hanging wet and dry bags make laundry time more convenient. Once the pail is full, you can simply toss it all in the washer.
Remember, a hanging diaper pail can stretch and tear if it gets too heavy. So, make sure you always focus on the weight when using a wet hanging bag.
How to Pick the Right Diaper Pail
When buying the perfect diaper pail, here are four things to consider:
- The capacity to contain odors. One of the many purposes of investing in a diaper pail is to prevent odors from escaping and spreading all over the room. Make sure the pail top comes with an effective seal or lock mechanism.
- Ease of use. The best diaper pails are often hands-free. Try looking for something that you can operate with your leg. If you’re investing in a hanging bag, make sure it can be easily opened with one hand.
- By the time your little one is 3, they will have soiled their cloth diapers for over 5,000 times. Your pail should be durable enough to last throughout these years without any damage.
- This one is a no-brainer. Unless your diaper pail is 100% waterproof, you cannot ensure an odor and germ-free diaper storage experience. Always avoid pails liners that are made of absorbent material.
Keeping the above considerations in mind, some of the best diaper pail choices include Diaper Genie, Munchkin Step Diaper Pail, and Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail.
How to Keep Stinky Diaper Smells at Bay
When storing soiled diapers, it is critical to deploy some odor control. Here’s how you can keep stinky diaper pail smells at bay:
- Launder your baby’s diapers every 2-3 days
- Use diaper deodorizers such as bamboo charcoal and essential oils for effective odor absorption
- Apply baking soda to the bottom of your dry or wet pail
- Disinfect the pail and wash the pail liner after each use
- Always rinse the dirty diapers or inserts before tossing them in the pail. This helps eliminate acidic urine smells.