Fabric softener sheet reduces diaper pail smell

Brian says:

Stinky diaper pails getting you down? Next time you empty your pail, throw in a dryer sheet (unused works best). It really helps cut down on the odor.

If you use disposables, I say do away with the diaper pail altogether. Blasphemy? Not necessarily.

Related: More tricks for managing the diaper pail


  1. tsf says

    Not much worked with the stink in my diaper pails- yes, I tried 2 thinking there was something wrong with the first. Cleaning them out, letting them soak in the sun, baking soda- even dryer sheets. The only thing that worked was throwing the pails out and just tossing the diapers in our regular trash. We empty that every day so no more stink.

  2. Kate says

    I’ve been confused about this smelly pail business for a long time now. We use a cloth service, and our used diapers just go into a regular pail with a plastic bag in it. They sit ALL WEEK. And never smell a bit. And I promise we would know…the pail’s right outside our bedroom door.

    Is there no smell because the diaper service asks us to flush the poops before putting the diapers in the pail? Or what??

  3. namely says

    Our Diaper Champ does not stink.

    I’m surprised this is a big problem. I’m an anal-retentive neat freak and I’m pregnant, so I have an excessively active sense of smell. Yet the Diaper Champ really doesn’t bother me.

    Oddly enough, when we used cloth diapers the smell did bother me. Not the poop smell, but the pee smell; even though I did a diaper wash every darn day, my house still smelled like ammonia.

    But the Diaper Champ with disposables? Never a problem. Good thing, too, because when you live in an apartment complex, throwing it on the back deck isn’t an option!

  4. Holly says

    I sort of suspect people with diaper pail smell problems don’t flush the poo. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s my guess. Why throw the poo in the trash? Poo is for toilets. And then your baby’s room won’t stink.

  5. Ashley says

    For us it’s the urine that makes the pail reek. With a good lid, the smell only escapes when you add a new diaper, but I might try the dryer sheets in the bottom below the bag. I’m personally not going to spend the time to dump poop into the toilet. All poop diapers go into the kitchen trash which gets changed every evening.

  6. says

    For cloth diapers, I found that sprinkling baking powder in the pail along with a stinky diaper helped. For disposable diapers, the only thing that really helped was a metal garbage pail with a tight lid (metal doesn’t absorb odors like plastic).

  7. Anonymous says

    I agree, for us it’s not poop smell, it’s ammonia pee stank. Definitely going to try the dryer sheets. I also really like Caldrea’s sweet pea scented diaper pail spray. It works great for dealing with odors and is a refreshing alternative to Lysol.

  8. Marge says

    We use this hack for our kitchen garbage as well – it really does make a big difference, even though I doubted it would help at all.

  9. says

    Thanks for all the great tips…I have a plan of attack to flush the poops and throw in a dryer sheet. PS – we use the Diaper Champ and only really have a stink problem when we don’t change the bag daily. Parenting is a never-ending job!! No rest for the weary :)

  10. Holly says

    throwing poop in the trash is kind of gross, don’t you think? I suspect the sewage treatment plants handle human waste better than the landfills. But whatever, I guess most people probably toss the poo in the trash along with the throw-away diaper.

  11. KB says

    Just for clarity, this hack is not a good idea if you use cloth. Fabric softener of any kind can reduce the absorbency of cloth diapers over time, and pocket diapers can start to repel liquids. For cloth, the baking powder trick does wonders — and they also get cleaner in the laundry.

  12. linmand34@aol.com says

    We’ve never used a diaper pail or anything like that. Just thought it was one more thing to clean. The diapers just went out with the daily trash.

    As far as the drier sheets, I really don’t think this is as effective as just throwing a few charcoal briquettes in the bottom of the trash. Just throw them on the bottom underneath the garbage bag and switch out when it stops working. For our garbage can which we have to keep inside our garage, I used zip ties to attach a dish washing machine bottle/nipple holder that has a lid, onto the bottom of garbage lid. This way the charcoals are in a cage and i can just detach the lid and replace with new charcoal when it stops working…..IT WORKS!!!

  13. says

    We use the Diaper Genie II, which I know gets criticized because you have to use their inserts and not a regular garbage bag. We have two – one upstairs and one downstairs- and neither stinks. We’ve been using them for over a year and have never had a problem. Also, I don’t feel like we go through those inserts very quickly, so I don’t think using a diaper pail that takes regular trash bags (the ones that get criticized for the stink) would have saved us much money.

  14. says

    Is there nothing these things can’t do? Rumour has it they can help ward of mosquitoes as well, which we were going to try while camping until we remembered that they’d also act as a bear attractant.