Coffee beans in the diaper pail reduce the smell

Kristine's hack will set you back a few (Star)bucks, but may be worth it:

When our son started eating solids, the poop — and therefore the diaper pail — got a lot stinkier. A friend suggested that I dump a bag of whole bean coffee in the bottom of the pail before I put the bag in. In order to contain the beans, I put them in a zip-up mesh laundry bag. I couldn't believe that it worked! At first it smelled a little bit like Starbucks in my son's room, but after about a week, we really couldn't smell the coffee, and even better, we couldn't smell the poop either.

Related: Fabric softener sheet reduces diaper pail smell


  1. Monique says

    I’m sure that that would put me right off of coffee for a long long time. At least 2 weeks!

  2. Kristi says

    It took me a while, but I finally hit on a combination that worked pretty well — activated charcoal (you can get it in the fish aquarium department of pet stores) in an old stocking at the bottom of the pail, and a few drops of lavender oil on a cotton ball in the bag seemed to neutralize most odors. Also, taking the bag out at least twice a week helped.

  3. Kate says

    don’t store the poopy dipes! Use the pail for pee only, poops go outside immediately! You’re storing poop, nothing is going to keep it from stinking!!

  4. Lori says

    Good to know about the coffee. My DD is breastfed, so her diaper pail was never really stinky until about a month ago when we started solids. Now, we only use the pail for pee diapers only. The poop ones get put in the big trash outside.

  5. sarah says

    we mainly use cloth diapers, and are used to flushing the poops down the toilet. Even when ds is wearing a disposable we still flush the poop. It’s better for the environment and an easy way to keep the smell at bay. The coffee beans is a great idea though!

  6. Deliciousbaby says

    I love this idea, I bet it would work well with the used coffee grounds available for free @ Starbucks too!

  7. k says

    Flush the poop! Once the baby is on solider food, the poop should eventually become thick enough to simply roll off the diaper.

    We used cloth diapers about 60% of the time (100% for me, 20% for my husband, and disposables for nighttime), and we could store all the diapers (wet AND soiled!) in an open garbage container for a week before taking them outside. But as soon as ONE poop-containing diaper entered the mix, it’d go bad within hours, it seemed.

  8. Kate's Mom says

    We use the Diaper Genie II and have been really pleased on how well the poop smell is contained. We run out of room in the base long before we start smelling anything.

  9. Catherine says

    To all the commenters who always jump in with “flush the poop!”: My son is 13.5 months old now, has been on solids of various sorts since about 7 months, and it’s only been in the last 4-6 weeks that this was even imaginable. Until then, it was way too smushy, whether in cloth or disposable, to even consider scraping into the toilet. (And really, it’s still dependent on him eating enough bananas each day.)

    So, if you’re reading these comments and thinking, “I’m supposed to…WHAT???” hang in there! Eventually it will happen, but until then, please don’t feel guilty if the thought of scraping that poo is just more than you can handle.

  10. Zed says

    I’m not doubting that this coffee trick works, but I would definitely check with the sniffer of someone who doesn’t live in your house before considering it a victory.

    It’s possible that YOU don’t smell the yuck, but that other people do! (Have you ever been to a house where the owners don’t notice the dog smell or cat litter smell? Me too.)

  11. JEANNE says

    Mmmmm coffee beans!! Love that smell :-)

    We used a diaper genie – it was awesome because of the way you twist the bag between each diaper – it locks away the odor. Also I agree with Kate’s Mom in that the base is too small to hold much… you have to empty it before the smell can get too bad.