Yes You Can: Put Together an Inexpensive Cloth Diaper Pail

I know: of all the things I could write about, I’m writing an instructional post about cloth diaper pails?!? But I am psyched, and you know why? My daughter’s room no longer smells like urine, and I only had to spend $21.97. Plus it looks nice, is much more convenient than what I was using before, and I’ll be able to use it as a regular trash can once Sarah’s potty trained. Win-win-win-win-win!

GroVia Diaper Baby

Look at that cute baby in her GroVia diaper! She could never be stinky, right?!?

As I’ve mentioned before, the whole reason I got interested in zero waste* is because I was adamantly against the idea of cloth diapers, and I wanted to cut down on our garbage so I could fill it with disposables. But I had one particular friend who loved her son’s cloth diapers, and she was convincing enough that I ordered a starter kit from GroVia.

* Note: This, unfortunately, is not a zero waste project. I know I could have made some cloth laundry bags, or found some plastic free, but: the stink. I needed to act fast.

I. Love. Them. The GroVia hybrid cloth diapers work really well–way fewer leaks/explosions than disposables (although I do still put her in an overnight disposable diaper at night, since she’s started sleeping up to 12 hours at a stretch), way less garbage, way less money. Plus the covers are cute.

However. The GroVia “Perfect Pail” was not so perfect. Basically, it’s a hanging PUL (polyurethane laminate) bag with a zippered bottom. It’s easy to use and washes up nicely, but. It stinks. Literally. Plus, because it hangs, I had to hang it in Sarah’s closet. Not only was this fairly far from my changing table, but the close quarters meant every time I opened the closet, a huge cloud of odor attacked me.

Cloth Diaper Pail

Little. White. Not stinky.

Plus, her “nice” clothes hang in that closet! I finally had enough and started looking for cloth diaper pails. However, the ones I found on Amazon and Babies R Us were almost $50–just for the pail, without a liner. Since I had already spent money on the GroVia pail, this made me cranky. So I decided to try to put one together myself, and I am quite happy with the results!

Inexpensive Cloth Diaper Pail

You need:

I found a white, touch-top trash can at my local Fred Meyer for $9.99. I chose the touch-top version not only because it was cheaper than the step-on option, but because I can put something in front of it if needed and still access it.

DIY Cloth Diaper Pail

Small, compact, works perfectly.

I then found two cotton laundry bags in the same aisle for $5.99 each. This way, I can wash the bag with the diapers and have a fresh one ready to go. I decided to go with plain cotton rather than getting any special (expensive) PUL pail liners. I’ll let you know if they get too gross and I change my mind.

Cloth Diaper Pail Liner

I put some Mike Mignola Hellboy art in the background for you.

Putting it together was simple. I set the can where I needed it, and removed the lid. Then I shook some lavender essential oil onto one of my cloth wipes and draped it over the edge–most of it is in the can, but a little is outside (stink blocker).

Then I placed the bag inside, snapped the lid on, and voila! Done. It’s super easy to use, and smell free. A little stink escapes each time I open it, of course, but I’ve learned to be fast–and the bit of oil-infused cloth wipe that’s outside the can helps cover it up.

Inexpensive Cloth Diaper Pail

You can see the cloth wipe on the left!

Hope this isn’t TMI, but this is exactly the kind of post I went looking for when I began this important life journey.

Got any other tips? Post them below!

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2 thoughts on “Yes You Can: Put Together an Inexpensive Cloth Diaper Pail

  1. Chrissa says:

    i use a metal flip top can with a separate plastic bin inside. (They come together) and by placing a regular trash bag in this, when closed it keeps all the smells in.
    Now…I do not have a baby. I have a 16yr old with cerebral palsy who has urinary incontinence and requires max assist for all her physical needs. Washable briefs (diapers) are not an option for the disabled community. So we use a product with a cloth like exterior and just hope for the best as the environment is concerned.
    Once we do have a second child…I am sure to use a more sustainable product for the pre potty training time.

    Like

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