Setting Up Your Diaper Pail System

A diaper pail is an essential part of cloth diapering, although unlike its counterpart for disposable diapers, a diaper pail in a cloth system doesn’t need to be anything more than a pail with a lid. (Simple is good!)

Today we’ll walk through a few considerations to keep in mind as you set up your diaper pail system.

why dry pail

In bygone days, it was standard procedure to toss dirty diapers in a pail of water to allow the diapers to presoak. However, with modern washing machines that do a bang-up job of pre-rinsing diapers, it is no longer necessary to lug that heavy pail to the wash or have “poop soup” sitting around. Also, many modern cloth diapers have synthetic parts (elastics, velcro, PUL, etc), which break down by sitting in water.

Thus, we merely recommend “dry pailing” your diapers. Just place a waterproof bag in your pail, toss in the dirties as you go (dumping solids in the toilet first, of course), and then let the washing machine do the work of rinsing and prepping your diapers at the beginning of the wash cycle.

choosing a pail

You don’t need anything fancy for a pail – any container with a lid large enough to hold 2-3 days of diapers will do. Tall garbage can-size totes and round plastic storage bins with a lid and locking handles are especially popular among parents. These can be found inexpensively at any local general store or mass merchandiser.

where to put your pail

Put your pail where it’s convenient and a bit out of the way. Some people put it next to the change area, some put in the washroom next to the toilet or under the sink, and some have a small pail in each location. You just want to choose a place where it’s convenient for you and where pets and toddlers can’t get into it.

use a bag

If you’re in a small space or don’t have room for a pail, consider using a hanging bag instead. A “hanging pail” can be hung on a doorknob or wall hook and frees up floor space. A zipper replaces the need for a lid and keeps everything tidy. Large hanging wet bags can be part of your decor, too, as they come in various fun colors!

Setting up an organized system to deal with the dirties is easy and inexpensive. What tips do you have for keeping it simple?

Photo Credit – Vancouver photographer Amber Strocel who crafts a beautiful parenting blog, too.

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