How to Deodorize A Stinky Diaper Pail

When it comes to containing the pungent smell of baby poo, a diaper pail is a certified life saver. But you may still find that the pail itself takes on some of the stink it has been tasked to contain, if so, you’re probably looking for a way to get rid of it. 

The inside of your pail can potentially retain the awful smell even long after you have thrown the contents away. Not only that but the pail could even become the perfect spawning ground for gross mold, something you definitely want to keep away from an infant. 

Because no one should have to experience the toxic smell of the diaper pail any longer than is absolutely necessary, we have put this post together as your beacon of hope! So explore further down and you’ll find plenty of tips on how to clean your diaper pail. 

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Stinky Diaper Pail

All new parents have to deal with the unpleasant smell of a dirty diaper, but that doesn’t mean we should just roll over and accept it, action is needed! This is especially true for times where you find that the smell just won’t go away on its own, if you are sick of the smell yourself, or are having guests over. 

Generally when making efforts to eliminate the dastardly diaper stench, there are a handful of approaches worth considering: 

  • Proper diaper disposal 
  • Home remedies
  • Using the right products for big messes

To help you on your journey of liberation from baby smell, we’ve included tips related to these approaches that you can employ right away! 

Preventing Odor With Proper Disposal

Before getting into specific ways to deodorize the pail, let’s talk about some ways that we can lessen the odor in the first place! Taking preventative measures will not only decrease the frequency in which you will need to perform deep cleans on the diaper pail, but should also make it so that the process is less painful (smelly) when a deep clean is needed. 

For some, these tips might seem like common sense. Still, they are included here for the sake of clarity, and to give completely new parents a shot at some potentially helpful tips they might not otherwise find out about. These tips are: 

  • Change diapers in the same spot. This will help to avoid accidentally disposing of a diaper somewhere you will forget, preventing you from leaving it too long and accumulating stench. 
  • Empty the pail often. While unpleasant, doing this will greatly reduce the odor buildup, and reduce the overall grossness of each time you empty it, as there will be a smaller payload.
  • Throw diapers in outside trash immediately. This will eliminate the odor instantly and you can feel good knowing you are dealing with the work ahead of time. 
  • Disinfect the pail daily. Spraying with Lysol or other scented disinfectants does wonders in reducing odor over time. 

If you maintain these tips as habits, you should have a much easier time dealing with dirty diapers and may also find that the resulting smell is reduced. 

How To Deodorize A Very Stinky Diaper Pail

If it’s a code red situation, you may have skipped right to this section. If that’s the case, we offer our condolences. But that’s not all we have for you here, we also have some useful tips and tricks on how to tackle this unpleasant little biohazard. 

One great way to prevent odors from building up and becoming problematic over time is to wrap each diaper individually in dogs used for picking up dog poop! Initially this might sound like an odd suggestion, but once you see how great it works, we think you’ll be all for it. Each bag will greatly reduce the scent, so you won’t have to go nuclear with cleaning appliances. 

If you are concerned with humidity causing stench, you can even use charcoal or baking soda on the bottom of the pail as a countermeasure. Both of these materials will work to absorb the moisture from the pail to help reduce the likelihood of mold growth. Baking soda will also automatically absorb and neutralize odors, giving it even more utility. 

If you do find yourself in need of a nuclear option you can’t go wrong with using a bleach based cleaner, or any brand of dish soap. Coat the inside and outside surface in one of these and let it seep in before hosing it down with water. There are also diaper pail power deodorizers available, so don’t hesitate to employ a multi-layered approach!

Home Remedies For A Stinky Diaper Pail

Commercial products are usually effective enough at deodorizing a diaper pail. Still, sometimes you may be stuck with what you have at home or simply prefer to go with the tried and true home remedies. If that sounds like you, then this is the resource you might be looking for! 

Listed below are some common home remedies you can try to deodorize your stinky diaper pail: 

  • Vinegar + Baking Soda- mixing vinegar with water and spraying it into the pail is a natural way to clean and deodorize. Try mixing with baking soda for a deeply fizzy clean. 
  • Cloves-  If you don’t mind the scent of cloves, you can throw some into the bottom of your pail. They will act as a natural deodorizer- a quick and easy method you can use at home. 
  • Lemons- Utilizing the peels from a used lemon can help to deodorize your space. Try mixing it with salt and placing it at the bottom of your pail for the best effect. One thing to keep in mind is that the lemon will rot if left for too long, so you’ll need to remember this if you want to ensure you are reducing rather than encouraging bad odors. 
  • Cat litter- Pour some cat litter in an old sack, sock, or sewn up old t-shirt and tie it closed. Place it in the bottom of your pail and it’ll help absorb moisture and bad scents!


A stinky diaper pail can be the bane of a parent’s existence, especially if they are sensitive to smells, or have simply had it with basking in the smell of their baby’s poop! We hope you’ve found these tips useful, and wish you good luck in your endeavors in keeping your space baby odor free!

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