Can a diaper pail not stink?
October 3, 2012 4:15 PM   Subscribe

Can a diaper pail be made to not stink?

We have a new cute baby, but the stench every time I open the diaper pail is not so cute.
Is there a way to make it go away?

Ps autocorrect thinks that "pail" is not a word
posted by Mai2k3 to Home & Garden (19 answers total)
Search the web on "diaper pail carbon filter". Using this as a template, there are videos on YouTube which show how to make a DIY filter from activated charcoal you might otherwise find in the fish section of your local pet shop.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:19 PM on October 3, 2012

Smaller pail and more frequent emptying. It is a can full of piss and shit after all.
posted by chiababe at 4:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]

I really love our Diaper Dekor.
posted by semacd at 4:28 PM on October 3, 2012

Thirding chiababe. The real bombs go straight outside. Bonus: the raccoons have lost all interest in our garbage can.
posted by ambrosia at 4:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]

Just like the world famous said. We started out with a diaper genie and really grew to loathe it. I bought a "normal" diaper pail that used standard bags and had a little de-stinker in the lid, but eventually I just started putting them in the kitchen trash because that went out at least every day, if not more often; the poops went directly out to the garbage can. A plastic box of poop is going to stink, even if the stink is sealed inside. there's really no way around it.
posted by lemniskate at 4:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Diaper Champ FTW. Or just keep a supply of plastic bags at the changing table and dispose of each diaper as it is removed from the baby's bottom.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:35 PM on October 3, 2012

I have to tell you, it is going to get SO much worse. Our Arm + Hammer pail was adequate for months and months, but now that he eats real people food exclusively? It can be unholy. If you already can't stand the stink, then yes, just get used to taking them out every day.

That said, our pail, which we got at Target, does a great job at keeping the stink in. It's just the five minutes after you open it that are eye-watering.
posted by that's how you get ants at 4:41 PM on October 3, 2012

We used the Diaper Genie for all 4 kids, but only for not-so-weighty packages. Anything with heft goes into a plastic grocery bag, along with the wipes used for the clean-up, and it's taken to the trash bin in the garage. Bonus points if you can empty a trash can into the bag on top of the diaper.

You get used to, in certain points in your life, explicitly asking for Plastic at the grocery checkout.
posted by thanotopsis at 4:44 PM on October 3, 2012

When the poop becomes solid, start throwing the turds in the toilet. It cuts down on the smell immensely.
posted by sutel at 4:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

Your diaper wrapping technique might help a bit, but you're going to have to empty the pail frequently no matter what.

When I wrap, I place all used wipes in the diaper and then wrap the diaper into a tight ball that is secured using the tabs. Fold inward as you go from one end of the diaper toward the tabs.
posted by quince at 4:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: No complaints about our diaper genie. We've been using it non-stop for about 3.5 years now with two kids, and it's still going strong.
posted by colin_l at 5:26 PM on October 3, 2012

Buy a roll of plastic bags for produce like this. I can get them at our local supermarket here. Put them in a pocket on the diaper table or a paper-towel roller - whatever lets you quickly tear a bag off.

Get a big binder clip. Attach this to the diaper table, either just clipping it on to the end, or with a nail or superstrong glue.

Get a regular trash bin with a plastic bag liner - we use a 5 litre bin with a foot pedal push that takes a regular supermarket plastic bag.

Grab plastic bag, clip one side with binder so bag hangs open, drop dirty diaper inside, unclip and knot bag. (You could get one of those cool tape gadgets that supermarkets use to close the bag, but tying a knot takes a second longer only.) Dump knotted bag in trash bin.

We fill up our bin once a day because we use it for other trash too. But even with two days' worth of diapers, there has been no smell. We live in the tropics so trash smells are bad - you cannot leave stuff out overnight for example without roaches. But in eight months of diaperbagging like this, we've had no problems. You might want to sprinkle baking soda in your bin, but we haven't needed to.

Way cheaper than the commercial solutions. I pull off a bunch of the bags and shove them in her diaper bag for when we're out. The bags are the perfect size for a diaper or wet clothes or icky toys.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Use cloth. No stink at all. Because our garbage is two flights downstairs, I find cloth 'nearly' easier than disposables. And I'm talking twins here. Seriously, no smell (apart from ammonia buildup if you don't wash regularly enough. It can melt eyeballs).
posted by bingoes at 9:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

You could put a scented dryer sheet in there! I put it into my garbage can and it helps.
posted by cyml at 9:29 PM on October 3, 2012

I have no specific experience with diaper pails per se, but while I was renovating our bathroom I built a temporary composting toilet out of a 20 litre catering bucket (the kind that restaurants get bulk mayo or cooking fat supplied in) with a standard seat over the top. It was not sealed, but it never stank out our bathroom because of the magic properties of sawdust: I'd preload the bucket with six inches of sawdust and an inch of good topsoil before first use, then cover each addition of excreta with another goodly scoop of each.

Every two or three days I'd take it out the back and dump the contents under our lemon tree. By the time the reno was finished and the new toilet went in, there was quite a respectable pile out there and that didn't stink either. The tree thrived.

The familiar stench of rotting piss and shit is gaseous metabolites from anaerobic bacteria, which just love being locked under a lid away from all that poisonous atmospheric oxygen. If you use an uncovered bucket instead, and provide lots of high-carbon high-surface-area absorbent in the form of coarse sawdust or fine wood shavings, anaerobic species initially present in the shit get rapidly outcompeted by aerobic ones from the topsoil and the bucket ends up smelling just faintly earthy, never eye-wateringly horrid.

The Humanure Handbook is an excellent reference work.
posted by flabdablet at 11:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

2nd-ing cloth.
posted by metaphorical at 12:50 AM on October 4, 2012

Cloth only doesn't stink if you wash every day. If you don't have time for that, the stink is going to be just as bad if not worse.
posted by feathermeat at 6:18 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Our Diaper Champ (I think) worked great -- the key is that it rolls the diaper in without ever opening. Then, as long as you do a good job of wrapping each one up tight (hopefully with the sticky stuff holding it), the smell is really minimal.

[If you're not using disposables, then you're probably stuck!]
posted by acm at 7:51 AM on October 4, 2012

The filling in most disposable nappies is a mixture of paper pulp and water crystals, both of which are fantastic compost ingredients especially when soaked in urine. If you're interested in going the sawdust bucket route and you're using disposable nappies, I recommend using a box cutter knife to slash open the plastic lining as you're dumping the nappy in the pail, so the innards spill out and come in contact with the sawdust.

The plastic film components won't break down, but as long as they're not sealing urine-soaked absorbents away from the air they won't seriously impede composting of everything else or promote anaerobic stink generation.
posted by flabdablet at 8:38 AM on October 4, 2012

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