Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Make Your Own Diaper Pail

If you make the decision we did to use cloth diapers and/or cloth wipes, here's another simple way to reduce waste.

Most diaper pails are made from plastic and have disposable liners and odor absorbing cartridges. Ours is stainless steel with a reusable hard plastic liner, and we also use a reusable cloth liner to keep from having to wash off the plastic.

Here's what I did:

1. Buy stainless steel step trash can with removable plastic inner "bucket." 
This step alone can get you by, but every time you empty the bucket contents into the wash, the inside of the bucket has the be washed off, otherwise you'll get stink. These trash cans make convenient diaper pails because you can choose the size that's right for you (they come in several sizes), stainless steel comes clean very easily, and it opens with a foot pedal which means hands free.  I bought one with a medium capacity (I'd guess about 7 gallons) at a local Ross store for $20.
2. Decorate if desired. 
I cut some cute images off of a baby shower card I was given and decorated with those. I only did this to make sure no one mistakes our diaper pail for a trash can.
3. Make a reusable cloth liner.
I would highly recommend this as it keeps the plastic pail inside there from getting really smelly, as plastics tend to absorb odors over time. You don't have to have any sewing skills either. Just take an old pillow case (a pillow case works perfect for the size can we got, if you get one much smaller or larger this method may not work for you), turn it inside out and place inside the pail. If you want a snug fit around the top, make a drawstring by threading some ribbon or shoelace through the hemmed edge of the pillow case using a clothes hanger.
4. Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda in the bottom of the plastic pail or straight into your cloth liner. 
I would put the baking soda in the plastic bucket part rather than in the cloth liner if you are concerned about washing your cloth diapers with baking soda. Always follow manufacturer's directions for washing your diapers.

When it's time to wash the diapers/wipes, just wash the cloth liner with them. Make sure to tie the ends of your drawstring together so it doesn't get pulled out in the wash. You may want to make 2 liners so that while one is being washed you have another to use. And that's all there is to it. If you can't find a stainless steel step can for a god price (they tend to be a little pricey) and don't want to spring for it, you can use a plastic step can.

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