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Best Diaper Pail for Cloth Diapers to Keep the Stink Down in the Laundry

The Best Diaper Pail for cloth diapers – how to keep the smell down in the laundry.

Peeee-yewwww! Don’t those dirty cloth diapers stink out your house?

How many times have you heard this from a sceptical friend? (Or maybe even wondered this yourself?)

While cloth diapers are a little bit more complicated than disposable diapers in some ways, they don’t mean resigning yourself to a stinky house. If you’re making the leap into this rewarding choice, you’ll want to choose products that will simplify the process of cloth diapering and make it more enjoyable, less time intensive and easier to stick with. 

A quality diaper pail will help immensely with reducing odors and making diaper changes a better experience. There are many different types of diaper pails available today as well as ways to modify standard diaper pails for use with cloth diapers. 

We’ve done the legwork to find you the best diaper pails for cloth diapers. Choose from any of these top four diaper pails to make cloth diapering easier and better!

Note: this blog post probably contains affiliate links, which means we may receive small commissions from purchases made through links in this post (at NO extra cost to you). You can read our full disclosure for more information.

TL:DR (too long, didn’t read)

Short on time? Ultimately, we decided that the Dekor Plus Hands Free Diaper Pail was the best buy because of its odor locking ability and good size. You can check it out here on Amazon.

The Top 4 Diaper Pails for Cloth Diapers

Dekor Plus Hands Free Diaper Pail

A hands-free diaper pail with a triple level of odor control, the Dekor Plus diaper pail is built to keep stinky diaper smells INSIDE. It has a whisper quiet outer lid that opens with a foot pedal. Inside, a spring-loaded trap door lets the diaper through and closes right after. The Dekor Plus is a larger capacity diaper pail with a bigger opening (27 square inches), so it will fit even the largest of toddler night diapers.

The Dekor Plus diaper pail is lined with continuous plastic liner, however it can also be converted for use with cloth diapers and a washable liner. You’ll need to purchase two large wet bag liners, one for the diaper pail and the other to wash and rotate into use. 

Pros

  • Big capacity diaper pail can hold up to 60 newborn diapers
  • Larger opening for toddler diapers to fit through
  • Triple odor barrier to keep smell in diaper pail
  • Hands-free

Cons

  • Reviewers mention that over time the ABS Plastic material can begin to smell

Ubbi Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail

The sturdy Ubbi diaper pail comes in 12 cute colors and patterns so you can choose the perfect option for your nursery decor. It is made of non-porous steel that doesn’t absorb odors. The rubber seals around the rim and the sliding lid also help to lock the smell inside. 

This diaper pail can be converted for cloth diapers because it doesn’t require special bags. You can easily lock in a wet bag liner. It holds around 20 toddler size or pull-up diapers and 55 newborn diapers – way more than you’ll need to hold between wash cycles.

Pros

  • Child proof lid
  • Don’t need special bags
  • Made of steel
  • No special mechanisms, hard to break
  • Comes in many colors and patterns

Cons

  • Can’t clean with bleach, detergent or water, has hard to reach spots
  • You have to use hands to open garbage pail
  • Opening is smaller

Grovia Perfect Diaper Pail (Hybrid)

For something a little different – the Grovia is a hanging diaper pail that is specially made for cloth diapers. It measures 26” x 18” and is made of waterproof PLU fabric. It is designed for cloth diapers, with a flap opening at the top and a full zipper bottom that makes it easier to empty the diapers/liners into the washer. 

It can hold up to three days of diapers and the best part is that this diaper pail can be washed in the washing machine! One pro-tip is to use a charcoal odor and moisture bag inside the Grovia Perfect Diaper Pail to help with odors. 

Pros

  • Can hold up to three days of cloth diapers
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Has to be hung up
  • You may want to consider purchasing two so you have one to use while the other is being washed/dried

iTouchless Soft Step Stainless Steel Trash Can

We included a standard trash can because at the end of the day a specialized diaper pail  is just a fancy  trash can! You can definitely use a standard garbage can with your cloth diapers. 

The iTouchless Soft Step includes an easy open lid with a foot pedal and a special odor filter in the lid. The first activated carbon filter is included in your purchase. 

This trash can is a generous size and can hold a 13 gallon garbage bag. For cloth diaper needs you could use large reusable diaper pail liner like these

The outside of the iTouchless trash can is made of smudge-proof stainless steel and comes in two other colors including rose-gold and stainless white. An interior plastic can comes out to more easily secure the garbage bag or diaper pail liner. 

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Different color options
  • Odor Filter 
  • Touch Free foot pedal

Cons

  • Lid is not child-proof
  • Longer odor exposure with a flip top lid vs. a spring door or sliding door

The Best Washable Liners to Use With Your Cloth Diaper Pail

A washable liner is a necessity for cloth diaper pails. These are used in place of  plastic garbage bags to keep your diaper pail clean and mess free. 

Two other advantages of washable diaper pail liners is that they make it easier to transport your cloth diapers to the laundry room and produce less waste than garbage bags. 

Here are some of the best washable liners to use with your cloth diaper pail. 

Dekor Cloth Diaper Liner (bonus, it fits the Dekor Plus perfectly!)

This cloth diaper pail liner is designed to fit the Dekor Plus diaper pail perfectly but is also a good size for use with other diaper pails. Made from fabric with a waterproof PVC-FREE coating to prevent leakage, this cloth liner can be thrown into the wash with your cloth diapers. Line drying is recommended.

Other features include a drawstring top for easier use. The Dekor cloth diaper pail liners come in a two-pack so that you can keep one in the diaper pail while the other one is getting washed.  

Teamoy Pail Liners

Teamoy Pail Liners are made of a “high-grade” material lined with PUL (polyurethane laminate). Their elastic top makes them perfect for use with diaper pails. This two-pack of liners can be washed in the washing machine and line dried. 

They come in several different patterns and colors and reviewers mention that they work very well with many different types of diaper pails and standard trash cans. 

Alvababy Diaper Pail Liner

Another great option for washable diaper pail liners comes from Alvababy. They are made from a waterproof material lined with PUL to prevent leaking and reduce smells. The Alvababy liners come in a two-pack and have an elastic top for easy attachment to diaper pails. They are machine washable and come in several different colors and patterns. 

Types of Pails for Cloth Diapering 

You may remember wet pailing from old school cloth diapering times. But, modern cloth diapers don’t need that type of treatment.

Wet Pailing used to entail putting wet or soiled cloth diapers into a hard container (like a diaper pail or garbage can) filled with water.  When it is wash day, you carry the wet pail to the washing machine and dump in all of its contents… including the water.

However, there are several major drawbacks to the wet pail method.

1)  It is unsuitable for modern cloth diapers as it will cause the elastics and materials of the diaper to degrade more quickly.

2) It is a dangerous drowning risk to have any amount of standing water accessible to babies and toddlers

Dry Pail 

The dry pail method is very simple; wet or soiled cloth diapers are stored in a dry diaper pail until wash day. This is the best method for modern cloth diapers as it keeps the smell contained and allows you to wash the diapers every 2-3 days. 

For best results, I recommend running a short prewash or rinse cycle on your wet or soiled cloth diapers to remove as much pee and poop as possible prior to wash day. The ammonia from urine is very harsh on elastics, so it’s best to rinse it out asap, even if you don’t have time (or enough diapers) to make a full wash.

Read more: How many cloth diapers do I need?

Combination Two Pail Method

Another option is a wet/dry pail combination. For this method, you have a wet pail next to a dry pail. You place wet diapers directly into the dry pail. Soiled diapers are quickly swished through the water in the wet pail, squeezed out, and placed in the dry pail. 

Some proponents of this method think it helps with staining and smell. However, the wet pail adds in the risks mentioned above. 

Why Do You Need a Diaper Pail for Cloth Diapering

If you are new to cloth diapering, you might be wondering how essential a diaper pail is. You’ve made a brave commitment to take on extra work in order to reduce your baby’s exposure to chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment. That being said there is no shame in purchasing products that will simplify the process and make cloth diapering more enjoyable. 

Technically you could just use a wet bag to hold your cloth diapers until wash day. However, one advantage of a quality diaper pail over a wet bag is that it will considerably reduce stinky smells. A hard pail also offers the advantage of being easier to “dispose” of dirty diapers. When you’re wrestling a wriggling baby who doesn’t want a diaper change, having a hands-free method of diaper disposal is a huge benefit!

But, do you actually need to contain your cloth diapers for wash day? Actually, you might be surprised to find you could get away with an open mesh laundry basket. The airflow helps disperse odors which tend to be amplified in an airtight space. The breathability also helps prevent mould forming in your diapers.

stack of cloth diapers

5 Things To Look For In A Good Diaper Pail for Cloth Diapers

A good diaper pail that will be effective for cloth diapers should be large enough to handle their weight, have an opening that will fit their potentially larger size, be simple to clean and reduce or eliminate odor. Here are some features to look for in a high-quality diaper pail.

  • Odor-Reducing Design: Look for at least two levels of odor reduction. This might be a sliding or spring door +  rubber seals, or PLU lined fabric + a flap that closes tightly. 
  • Child-Proof: This is an important feature that will keep curious toddlers and older siblings out of the diaper pail. If you plan to use a bag-style diaper pail, make sure you have a spot that is high enough to be baby-proof. 
  • Large Capacity: Since the typical wash cycle for cloth diapers is 2-3 days, you will want to have a diaper pail big enough to hold 12-24 baby diapers and/or 10-21 toddler diapers. 
  • Easy Transport: There are diaper pails and liners that are more conducive to transporting cloth diapers to your washing machine. Look for pails with an uncomplicated design that allows you to easily remove a washable liner. Choose liners that are made of thick material with handles or drawstrings that can handle a heavy load of cloth diapers.
  • Simple to Clean: The last thing you will want to worry about is an intensive cleaning process for your diapers AND your diaper pail. Look for pails that don’t have too many nooks and crannies and liners that are machine washable. 

The Final Word

When you are balancing the needs of a baby and your other responsiblities a good diaper pail can make a world of difference. Not only will it help make the actual diaper change easier, it will also reduce odors so that diaper changing is more pleasant for you and your baby. 

The options available today for cloth diaper pails are varied and very helpful. 

Our top choice for the best diaper pail for cloth diapers goes to the Dekor Plus Hands Free Diaper Pail. Three levels of odor protection, large capacity, giant lid and its hands-free design make the Dekor Plus a superior choice for cloth diapering. 

The best non-standard diaper pail for cloth diapers is the hanging Grovia Perfect Diaper Pail. Not only is this designed specifically for cloth diapers, it is also entirely machine washable so you won’t have any lingering smell!

The Dekor Cloth Diaper Liners are an amazing choice for washable diaper pail liners. Their sturdy construction with a drawstring combined with their easy washability make then a great choice for most every diaper pail (not just the Dekor!).

For More on Cloth Diapers

Best Overnight Cloth Diapers – How to Conquer Cloth Diapering at Night

How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?

The Lazy Mom’s Complete Guide to Cloth Diapers

10 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Starting Cloth Diapering

10 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Cloth Diapering

Best Overnight Cloth Diapers - How to Conquer Cloth Diapering at Night
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