How to Destink Your Diaper Pail (and Keep It Destunk)

Photo:  Fevziie (Shutterstock)
Photo: Fevziie (Shutterstock)

If a baby is one of the sweetest, cutest, most precious things we could ever imagine taking up space in our homes, their diaper pail is the exact opposite. If you have one, I don’t need to tell you how horrifically odorous it is; you’re well aware. There are several ways to wrangle their smell into submission, though—here’s how.

A cleaning solution

To start with, in addition to being the source of an absolutely appalling smell, it’s important to remember that the moisture-rich environment of a diaper pail can also lead to mold. When cleaning, you not only want to eliminate the stink, but the risky stuff, too. The parents at Mom Loves Best have a solution for both. You’ll need the following:

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Add two tablespoons of Borax to a spray bottle, then two cups of warm water. Swish it around for about a minute until the Borax dissolves, then add ¼ cup of white vinegar and 20 to 40 drops of tea tree oil. Shake it all up, then use it to clean the inside of that horrible pail.

Other deodorizers to try

We like options around here, especially for pressing issues such as these. For cleaning, we suggest that first recipe with the Borax, but odor maintenance is key here, too. For that, Tulamama recommends spraying a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water into the pail every time you empty it or sprinkling baking powder into the bottom.

You can also try sprinkling coffee grounds in the bottom—coffee grounds are great for neutralizing odors, which is why candle stores usually keep a little bowl of them on hand to help you clear one smell from your nose before inhaling another.

NBC’s Today also recommends just using a dryer sheet at the bottom of the pail and filling the pail on top of it. That can also help mask odors, but again, you have to do a major cleaning when you empty it, too.

Finally, Mom Loves Best says when your baby eliminates solids, you should be dumping those into the toilet before putting the diaper in the pail. It’s not particularly convenient, but it will go a long way toward reducing the odor.

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