5 Diaper Pail Alternatives That Work Well & Are Easy to Use

Regardless of what type of diaper you choose for your baby, you will need somewhere to discard soiled nappies. For this, many parents opt to get a diaper pail – a special container designed for soiled diapers. However, this becomes an additional expense that parents have to add to an already enormous list of purchases. While a diaper pail can add much convenience to parents’ lives, it is not necessarily required. In fact, there are diaper pail alternatives that parents can opt for that work sufficiently well and are easy to use.

Perhaps the easiest diaper alternative to get is a trash can. Trash cans are easy to get, and they work just as well as you need them to. You can then line the trash can with a garbage bag. Comparatively, you can also choose to use dog poop bags or general plastic bags. Lastly, you can also choose to use wet bags.

This article will discuss several diaper pail alternatives, their pros and cons, and how parents can choose to become resourceful when it comes to discarding soiled diapers.

What is a Diaper Pail?

Even though parents debate whether they want to use cloth diapers or disposable diapers, both camps would still need a type of storage space for used diapers. Any container can technically suffice, but the biggest issue is the smell. You can’t have the dirty diapers make the entire house smell bad. Throwing the diapers outside immediately will be circumventing the problem. However, having to go outside after every diaper change will be too inefficient for any parent.

Thus, practically all parents find themselves getting a diaper pail. A diaper pail is basically a storage container for dirty diapers. It can be compared to a trash can, but diaper pails are specifically designed to be capable of being sealed in such a way that the odor cannot permeate into the room.

While Diaper Genie may be the most popular brand, there are countless other brands of diaper pails on the market. These diaper pails can get exceedingly expensive, depending on the number of features they have. Aside from odor control, diaper pails also have additional features to add convenience to parents’ lives.

One of the most important features aside from odor control is capacity. It stands to reason parents have to consider the capacity of the diaper pail thoroughly as the capacity will dictate how often the diaper pail bag will have to be changed. Parents would also benefit from getting a diaper pail that can be operated hands-free. Lastly, the bags that come with the diaper pail should also be considered (e.g., price, odor control, seals, etc.).

5 Diaper Pail Alternatives

Diaper pails are indeed convenient, but parents are not necessarily required to buy one. Fortunately, there are several diaper pail alternatives that parents can also consider getting for their own nurseries.

  1. Regular Trash Can (use it for diapers only)

man stepping on a trash

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Perhaps the most logical diaper pail alternative to get is a regular trash can. Trash cans are great substitutes for a diaper pail because diaper pails are almost identical to trash cans in the first place. There are also other advantages of getting a trash can instead.

For one, trash cans are way more accessible than diaper pails. Aside from online stores, diaper pails would probably only be available in baby stores. On the other hand, you will have a much easier time finding a trash can.

Secondly, the sheer size of the trash can market also provides consumers with more trash can options than you can imagine. Just from the massive difference in the number of trash can and diaper pail stock units, people will be able to find trash cans that they feel more comfortable having in their nurseries. This is highly important for parents who want to maintain a certain aesthetic for their nursery.

Trash cans also come with a myriad of features that can translate to being an effective diaper pail alternative. Trash cans can come with a step pedal, allowing people to operate them hands-free – an important feature for parents. Some trash cans also have a system for the automatic installation of their replaceable bags.

Most importantly, there are trash cans that come with odor control features as well. Just because diaper pails are marketed to be specific for diapers, it does not mean that a trash can cannot do the same job just as well.

An important reminder when choosing a trash can is to make sure to choose one that can be cleaned effectively. Some trash cans that are made of plastic and other porous materials might be more conducive to bacterial growth. On the other hand, a stainless-steel trash can can be cleaned more effectively.

  1. Garbage Bag

For those who are not looking for anything fancy, a garbage bag can be one of the best diaper pail alternatives out there. These are highly accessible items that are specifically designed to hold trash. They come in a range of sizes which can allow parents to choose a capacity they want. Garbage bags are also made of plastic which is the material you’d want when it comes to storing dirty diapers. Once full, parents can then simply tie the bag up and throw it out to be picked up.

Garbage bags are great alternatives, especially to use with a trash can. Lining the trash can as mentioned before with a garbage bag will be significantly more presentable compared to just having the trash bag exposed in the corner of the nursery.

Understandably, there will be some concern for odor. Diaper pail bags typically have built-in solutions or product design features that make them excellent at odor control. Fortunately, there are also ways for you to do the same for garbage bags.

For example, sprinkling some baking soda inside the garbage bag can help control odor. Baking soda is a common household item that you probably already have in your kitchen. Aside from baking, the ingredient has also been found to have excellent odor control. Generally, foul smells come from volatile, acidic compounds. Being a basic compound itself, baking soda helps control odor by neutralizing these acidic compounds into a more neutral state.

Activated charcoal is another substrate you could get to help control odor. Sprinkling activated charcoal inside the bag should also help keep the odor controlled inside the garbage bag. Activated charcoal is an excellent material for odor control. Activated charcoal has a high surface area due to microscopic pockets on its surface – pockets and pores that trap odor-causing compounds.

Baking soda and activated charcoal are excellent ways to control odor because they work by removing the odor altogether. Another way to control odor is to simply mask it with another scent such as the use of air fresheners. However, some people are wary about using air fresheners, especially around babies, since air fresheners can release hazardous chemicals into the air people in the room breathe. This is very concerning, especially with air fresheners that contain substances associated to cause cancer and other diseases.

  1. Dog Poop Bags

dog poop bag

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Instead of getting dirty diapers into a single large garbage bag, another option can be to place the dirty diapers into individual plastic bags of their own. If this option seems convenient to your situation, then it is best to consider getting dog poop bags. If you are a dog owner, then you must already be familiar with dog poop bags. If not, then dog poop bags are small plastic bags that dog owners use to pick up their dog’s poop when walking their dogs out in public.

Dog poop bags are great diaper pail alternatives because they are also highly accessible. They are also very convenient to use. Some dog poop bags even come with odor control features already as they are designed to hold something very smelly.

Perhaps the greatest thing about dog poop bags is that you don’t have to worry about the odor too much. As soon as you place a dirty diaper inside it, you can already tie the dog poop bag up and have it sealed shut. Having it sealed like that already prevents most of the odor from escaping into the room.

  1. Plastic Bags

While dog poop bags can suffice, there’s no need to specifically use dog poop bags. In fact, any plastic bag should do the trick. You can get plastic bags quite easily. However, you can also choose to be more resourceful and simply use shopping or grocery plastic bags.

You can also begin to keep all plastic bags you get from purchasing items. Even food takeout places food inside a plastic bag that you can keep to use as a diaper pail alternative.

To make sure you have a steady supply of plastic bags, you can also purchase plastic bags that come in rolls. These plastic bags are usually designed for food and other kitchen needs. However, they can also come in handy when you are running low on plastic bags for diapers.

  1. Wet Bags
    wet bags

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When it comes to diaper disposal, parents should also be familiar with wet bags. Wet bags are bags designed to be waterproof. These are excellent storage containers for dirty diapers as they can be completely sealed, effectively preventing odor from escaping.

You can get dozens of small wet bags for individual dirty diaper storage. This is a great option for parents who find using plastic bags too detrimental to the environment. Since wet bags are waterproof, they can totally be cleaned and disinfected after every use. Although more work is involved, using wet bags is indeed the greener option.

Aside from using small wet bags, you can even substitute the trash can with a large wet bag. The wet bag offers certain advantages over the trash can. For one, wet bags can be more reliable when it comes to being sealed – an incredibly important aspect for odor control.

Aside from being placed in the corner of the nursery, wet bags can also be hung somewhere. This added functionality makes wet bags just a little bit more versatile than the typical trash can.

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