Let's talk diaper pails...

     I recently had a comment from someone about not knowing what to do with their dirty diapers...and thinking about it I realized how many different ways people store their dirty dipes before laundry day.  
A note on poop!:  Breastfed baby poop is water-soluble so until solids or formula are introduced you can just throw all diapers into the pail...no need to rinse poop off first :)

Wet Pail:
A wet pail in a pail/bucket filled 1/4 way with water.  When a diaper is changed, it goes straight into the pail where it soaks until laundry day.  The water needs to be changed each day though to keep grime and stink to a minimum.  
  • keeps stains to a minumum
  • usually less stinky than a dry pail
  • decreased microfiber stink because of 'pre-soaking'
  • potential drowning hazard
  • heavy to lug to the washer or sink
Wet pails used to be the standard in cloth diapering before the concerns of them being potential drowning hazards.  They're still used now, but with pails that have locking lids or are off-limits to curious little ones. 

Dry Pail:
With a dry pail system, all diapers are placed straight into the pail or bag without rinsing of any kind.  If the diaper has poop on it, just shake it off into the toilet before tossing into the pail.
  • quick and easy
  • no drowning hazards
  • light load to carry to washer
  • can use a hanging wet bag instead of a pail to save space
  • more chance of staining
  • higher chance of stink
This is the most common type of diaper pail used nowadays.  If you're doing laundry often (every 2-3 days) staining shouldn't be too much of an issue.  If you use liners (disposable or fabric), staining will really be minimal.  Stink can be kept under control with a sprinkle of baking soda on top of the diapers once in a while and by using a pail with a well-fitting lid.  Lots of hanging wet bags have zippers to keep in the odour and some have a small fabric patch inside to put a drop of tea tree oil on for extra help with stink!  Some people swear by an open-pail to keep odour down, which seems crazy but the air circulation is supposed to help. I've never done it but the option is out there!

Wet/dry pail:
A wet/dry pail is just what it sounds like, a mix between the two systems! You don't put any water into the pail, but you rinse each diaper before putting it in.  (You really should use a pail for this one as the diapers get heavy and the bag can still leak with all that liquid in it). 
  • minimizes staining
  • minimizes stink
  • no drowning hazard
  • no pouring out the water and refilling each day
  • heavier than a dry pail
  • no option of a hanging wet bag
  • easier to keep by a sink or toilet so not as convenient as having it beside the change table like a dry pail
My change station
My Wet/Dry Pail equipped
with rubber gloves!
     Personally, I use both a dry pail and a wet/dry pail.  I have a dry pail beside my change table for quick 'pee' changes and 'poo' changes where the liner caught everything!  I just toss the liner into the toilet if soiled or into a tiny trash bin beside my dry pail if not soiled and throw the diaper into the dry pail.  For larger poopy messes, I have a wet/dry pail in the bathroom equipped with rubber gloves and a spatula for scraping off whatever won't swish off!  So far I'm loving the wet/dry pail because it really helps dilute the nasties out of my microfiber and I'm noticing a major decrease in stink after washing!  I've even started rinsing some heavily peed on inserts in the toilet and tossing them in the wet/dry pail just to keep the ammonia at bay (I have a front-loader so any diluting of urine is a huge help!).
My Dry Pail
    Diaper pails don't need to be anything fancy either!  I use a $30 step-on trash can from Canadian Tire as my dry pail and a $10 step-on from Walmart for my wet/dry pail.  My dry pail is in my family room and there's never been an odour from it even when I dont wash until the 3rd day so don't feel like you need to run out and break the bank on a 'cloth diaper pail'!


  1. What a great post, with so much info! I always tell people that CD'ing is not as bad as they think, and I wish there were more posts out there with so much info! Thanks for stopping by! I'm following back.


  2. Wow! thank you Christy! This is really great info! My 3 year old is potty trained already but with another one on the way I may just give CD a go! Thank you!

  3. Hello...love the background!!..Thanks for the follow...following you back from Adventures at Greenacre : )