Ask N&G – Are Diaper Pails Really Stinky?

Diaper pails. Ah… diaper pails. Nearly every parent wonders at some point about the stink factor involved in diapering – heck, there are even entire industries dedicated to keeping disposable diapers from stinking up a home. (Think Diaper Genie and all the variations thereof…)
So, what about cloth? Does it stink? The answer – NO, it doesn’t have to. Granted, if you stick your head in the pail, you won’t be smelling roses, but the heart of the question is – will my home reek of urine all the time? And to that, the response is a definitive “no.”
Let’s look a few ways to keep your baby’s room and your home smelling fresh:
Use a pail with a lid. This seems, perhaps, like obvious advice. But it still needs to be stated for the record that this is the best way to keep odors contained where they belong. Keep your lid on tight and away from toddlers and pets who can get in and make a mess. You can also use a large hanging wet bag since it has a zipper.
Do your laundry regularly. As long as you’re washing your diapers at least once every three days, the smell in your pail is minimized. If you let it sit longer, then the ammonia from the urine will begin to degrade and react with any poo in the pail and the stink factor will grow exponentially. (Trust us – we know. We’ve done it.)
Use a deodorizer. There are several ways to deodorize:
  • You can use plain baking soda sprinkled at the bottom of your pail and over the diapers every once in a while, or you can use new Rockin’ Green Shake It Up! pail deodorizer in the same way (which is way more fun).
  • You can put several drops of an essential oil, like tea tree oil or lavender oil, on a cloth wipe to mask any unpleasant smells.
  • There are bamboo charcoal deodorizers that do an excellent job of absorbing odor.
  • You can spray bumGenius odor remover spray onto each diaper to control bacteria before they grow.
  • You can place a Pail Pal deo disk under the pail lid.
  • Or you can place the pail outside where odor control will never be an issue, although this usually involves trekking through the house with dirty diapers in hand – usually not worth it.
If you’d like to read more, read the post we did last April.
So, be confident in your cloth diapering decisions. Be assured that your home will be the welcoming haven that you want it to be – or at least, that is, no one will be scared away by diaper odor.

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