Organize & Clean

The Dreaded Dirty Diaper Smell…and How To Avoid It

published Jul 1, 2013
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I know we don’t like to talk about it. But when I was in the early days of deciding whether or not I would take that leap off the edge of the world and start trying to get pregnant, there were only a few things that turned me off having kids. And at the top of this list was this: is my house going to smell like dirty diapers? How can I make sure it doesn’t? Three years later, here’s how we manage it.

First of all, we have friends, really good friends, be honest with us. We have friends come over with fresh noses and answer honestly: does my house smell like dirty diapers? If there is any smell at all, where is it coming from?

If it’s the room where we change the diapers, we clean the diaper-changing area thoroughly with a baby friendly cleaning spray. I use Mrs. Meyers’ Clean Day. This needs to be done regularly.

Overall, it is a good idea to restrict baby’s changing station to one spot in your house, This will contain the problem to just one area, which is a lot easier to wipe clean obsessively than having to do this to every room of your home.

If it’s the diaper pail, we use baking soda. We pour a whole lot into the bottom of the diaper pail to absorb smells. Occasionally however, the diaper pail needs to be completely replaced. Consider this if you just can’t seem to shake the smell coming from your pail.

Nothing, however, is more effective at eliminating odors from your house than regularly taking out the trash. Do it as often as you can. Even many of the special diaper pails need to be emptied every single day.

If it is our kids, well, obviously we change their diaper right then and there, but if there seems to be a lingering smell, we have changed our disposable diaper brand. This surprised me a lot, but some brands seem to have more of a lingering smell than others. Switch it up, buy a small packet of a new brand and see if that seems to have an effect.

Of course, all of these suggestions are how we approached living with disposable diapers. Perhaps you used cloth diapers and eliminated odors like a champ. If that was you, be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments!

(Image: Sarah Persing / Liyam’s Nursery Nook in the Dining Room)