Cloth Diaper Pail

Having the right cloth diaper pail for your needs can make a huge difference in your cloth diapering experience.

Here are a few things to consider when you purchase a cloth diaper pail.

Choosing a Diaper Pail When You Use a Diaper Service

  • If you choose to use a diaper service, there's a good chance you'll be provided with your diaper pail as a part of your start-up package.
  • If you do have to provide your own diaper pail, keep in mind, your diapers will only be washed once a week when you're with a diaper service, so you'll need a larger pail than you would need if you were washing your own diapers.
  • Ensure your diaper pail is fairly easy to carry. You'll likely want to leave your diapers in the pail when you put them out for your weekly pickup, so you won't want a pail that is annoying to carry out to your front porch.
  • Ensure your diaper pail has a lid that closes firmly and a carbon or other type of odor filter. Because your diapers are only washed once a week when you use a diaper service, odor control is particularly important. My cloth diaper pail has a firmly closing lid and a carbon filter, and the only time I've noticed odor in the nursery is when I've gone too long between changing the carbon filter, or when I've accidentally not closed the lid fully when it was getting close to pickup day.

Choosing a Diaper Pail When You Wash Your Own Diapers

  • If you are laundering your own baby cloth diapers, you won't need a particularly big diaper pail. Ideally you'll wash your diapers every couple of days, so, unless you have a couple of children in diapers, you won't need to store a lot of soiled diapers at once.
  • If you use the wet pail method to store your wet and soiled diapers, the water in the wet pail can be a drowning hazzard for young children, so you must ensure your cloth diaper pail has a lid that locks securely. Also, be sure the lid is easy for an adult to lock and unlock (but difficult for a child) so you won't be tempted to leave it unlocked at any time.
  • Even if you use the dry pail method and you wash your diapers every couple of days, I'd recommend a pail with a well-fitting lid. You shouldn't have much concern with odor, but a well-fitting lid with an odor filter will keep your nursery smelling fresh at all times.
  • Some people do use a garbage pail with a flip-top lid as a diaper pail (this approach works for dry pail storage only) and are quite happy with that arrangement. The advantages are that the garbage pail is fairly inexpensive and can be used as a garbage pail when you no longer need a diaper pail, and the flip-top lid makes it easy to toss diapers. The disadvantage is that the lid does not fit tightly and does not contain odors quite as well. Odors may not be an issue if you remember to wash diapers regularly and if your home doesn't get particularly warm.
  • Consider how portable your diaper pail is if you use the wet pail method for storing your diapers; specifically, you won't want a diaper pail that is very big. If you use the dry pail method, and you line the pail with a diaper pail liner or wet bag, you can simply lift the bag of diapers out of the pail and carry them to your laundry area. If you use the wet pail method, you'll need to carry the entire pail, full of water and diapers, to your laundry area, so you'll want to ensure that the cloth diaper pail you choose is easily portable, and not too heavy.


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