stinky pail

Jessica - posted on 06/09/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )




I find my diaper pail smells stongly of pee. I put baking soda in it, but is that normal? Its my first 2 days... I have a dry bag in a wicker basket under an open window. no poopy diapers they are in a bucket in the laundry room... any ideas?


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Jill - posted on 06/10/2010




I just put my dirty liners in a bucket with warm water and a splash of white vinegar, it really cuts the odor of the urine - a trick my mom, a CDing pro, told me she did when me and my brothers were little. Just wash liners and covers each night, and that splash of vinegar should really help!

M - posted on 06/10/2010





To echo Jacqui - part of the problem is the wicker basket. Diaper pail liners can sweat a bit and if/when they do that odor is being absorbed into the wicker which is part of the odor you're smelling. Like Jacqui suggested, you'll want a diaper pail with a nice tight lid to help keep odors in. A simple 13 gallon trash can with a step lid will do the trick (no need for anything fancy). You'll still have an odor when you open the diaper pail and that is normal. However, if you want to cut down on that smell as well, you can use a 3 in x 3 in square of fleece fabric soaked in tea tree oil - place it in the basket to absorb the smell in between washes.


If your diapers have an ammonia smell after washing - to answer your question, that is not normal. Any type of odor in your diapers means that they have detergent buildup on them and therefore aren't clean. To fix that, you'll want to do a deep clean (i.e. strip) to remove that buildup and odor and you may also need to revamp your wash routine. Below are some simple instructions for stripping your diapers, how to wash your diapers going forward, and recommended detergents to use to prevent buildup and odors in the future.


Instructions for Stripping Diapers:

Recommended Wash Routine:

- rinse once on cold with no detergent

- wash hot with detergent, followed by cold rinse cycle

- dry (when possible, line dry in the sun to kill odors and stains)

Recommended Laundry Detergents:

*One word of caution: Be careful not to overuse vinegar in your wash (i.e. more than once a month). While it is great when used occasionally, overuse can cause the PUL in your diaper covers, All In One, All In Two and Pocket diapers to breakdown and leak.

Jacqui - posted on 06/10/2010




If it's a smell in the room, I would say it definitely is because you're using a wicker basket! If you want no odours to get out, you need a pail that doesn't breathe, like plastic, that shuts firmly and creates a seal with the liner. As per the ammonia smell after washing, this simply means you need to adjust your washing routine. Washing them in hot water is a good idea--you may need to choose a wash cycle which is longer, and definitely if you can find a downy ball to put some vinegar in to come out in the rinse cycle, that will really curb the ammonia smell. And if you have the opportunity, drying them in the sun has fantastic results for stains and smell!

Jessica - posted on 06/10/2010




Its my first time so im not to sure whats going on :)
I use something called a wahmies pail liner
( )
Maybe I am just a little crazy and expeted no smell at all.
I guess I would have to say its the room the pails in has a faint smell (that only I notice) after the first 24 hours, I guess Im just not sure if thats normal.
Also after my diapers are washed if I sniff them up close they have a little amonia smell.

Are these things normal?

M - posted on 06/09/2010




Hey Jessica, what is a dry bag? Is that the same as a diaper pail liner? Also, when you say the diaper pail smells - is it the pail itself or the liner that smells? What kind (brand) of liner are you using? I've found that some breathe better than others.


If its your liner, try adding a 3 in x 3 in square piece of fleece cloth soaked in tea tree oil. This will work better than the baking soda to absorb and dissolve the odors.


If its the pail itself, try switching liners and disinfecting the pail. I use bleach on mine but its plastic. I'm not sure what you could safely spray on wicker to disinfect it - possibly vinegar. Vinegar is a great disinfectant but I've never tried it on wicker.


In terms of the liner, you want to make sure you're using one that has a PUL layer to help keep odors and moisture in. If it doesn't have the PUL layer or if its just in general not a good diaper pail liner, the moisture from the diapers can seep through the liner and absorb into the pail causing it to smell. I had this happen with my Wahmies diaper pail liner. I could actually see the sweat in the pail when I removed the bag. Not sure what caused it to sweat, but when it did it made my pail smell like pee. I had to switch liners and bleach the pail to get rid of the smell. I now alternate between a Natural Baby Company liner and a Planet Wise liner and so far have not had the problem since.


Another option you can try is a hanging wet bag. I use a Planet Wise hanging wet bag as well (I'm lazy and pregnant and hate toting dirty diapers through the house after I change my little one). I never have the odor problem with this one. It's great because I can just hang it on a door knob and drop the diapers in - then drag to the laundry room when I'm ready to wash. You can buy one here:

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