WFMW Conveniently Green: Diaper Pail and Carpet Deodorizer

Stinky diapers are a part of life when you have a diaper-wearer in your family [insert bad poop+stink pun here]. It’s never fun to walk into the room and be hit with the Wall O’ Stink in the morning or after a naptime. But it’s even worse when the Wall O’ Stink continues after you have removed the diaper from the bottom.

There are all kinds of fancy diaper pails you can buy that claim to contain the stink, although personally I have walked into peoples’ houses and smelled that stench only to see that they already have one of those expensive diaper pails with the expensive refills that aren’t in the least bit Conveniently Green or even Inconveniently Green.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get on your case about disposable diapers. We use them too sometimes. But if you want to make the switch to cloth part-time or even full-time, start here and here.

Anyway, we use a stainless steel regular trash can with a plastic inner. Every once in a while the plastic part of the can will absorb some of the smell. I usually wipe it out with a Clorox wipe and set it out in the sun, or swish it with a bleach solution, but that’s not really Conveniently Green and also not what I’m writing about today. I’ll work on that for another post.

The cast of characters

What I’m talking about is how to cut down the stench while the diapers are still in the pail. Now nothing can really eliminate it, but you can help. And the good news is that it’s cheap, easy, and Conveniently Green! You can buy various pail powders online, but let me fill you in on a secret: it’s baking soda and essential oil. The baking soda naturally absorbs odors and the essential oil can both add a nice, pleasant scent, and also work to fight the stink. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Bowl
  • Fork
  • Some kind of shaker
  • Essential oil(s) of your choice
  • Dirty diapers (not pictured)

Items in the picture you do not need for this deodorizer: two BPA-free reusable water bottles (pink), peanut butter, sippy cup, snack catcher (times two), fruit leather, garlic holder, bag of pasta, mysterious piece of paper. See? I just cut your shopping list WAY down.

To make the pail deodorizer, simply pour the baking soda into the bowl, add 10-20 drops of essential oil (use your nose to judge the amount), mix it all up with the fork so that the oil is evenly distributed, give it a few minutes to dry, and put it in your shaker container. You can use an old parmesan cheese container (reuse! recycle!), or I bought this little shaker at Ikea for some ridiculously small amount of money. I actually like it better than my old parmesan cheese shaker because I feel it’s easier to get the right amount of powder out.

Right at home with my cloth diapers

You can use any oil you like, but I love Tea Tree Oil. It has all natural deodorizing properties and is super-easy to find (bascially any natural foods store like Trader Joe’s, or even some drug stores have it). When I run out of powder, I often will just put a drop or two of TTO on a piece of toilet paper and drop that in the pail, and it works quite well. I’ve also used lavender, and that’s a lovely scent as well. If you want to go crazy with other scents, knock yourself out.

The best part is that you can use this powder all kinds of places. Feel free to sprinkle it in with your cloth diapers–it can go right in the wash. Smelly gym clothes? Booyah! You can even sprinkle it on your carpet and vacuum it up later (that second part is important) and leave your room smelling nice and fresh. Provided you have a decent vacuum. And carpet.

Conveniently Green diaper pail deodorizer: works for me!

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2 Responses

  1. Oh, I was SO hoping this would be a green tip, and it is! Huzzah! And you are funny too. My cloth diaper pail could use a little somethin’ somethin’, if you know what I mean. I already use the baking soda (I buy huge bags at Costco), but I think I’ll pick up a little tea tree oil on my next (weekly) TJ trip.

  2. Betsy–yay! The tea tree oil really does make a difference. I find that pure baking soda does well at absorbing odors, but doesn’t offer much of a return experience, know what I mean? LOL. The TTO combats the odor but also leaves behind a fresh, clean smell that helps to mask lingering odor, especially on my cloth diapers. I use a hanging pail and actually I sprinkle a bit of powder in the bottom of the bag before I start putting the diapers in too. And every once in a while I’ll put a drop or two on a cloth wipe and toss it in. I just love the way TTO helps with cloth stink, and especially that it can go right in the wash where it helps soften the water. Glad you liked the tip!

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