How to Clean a Diaper Pail

Many parents swear by diaper pails, as they help to keep the messy side of parenting in check – but only if you clean it regularly. Even if you try your hardest not to leave dirty diapers inside for more than 24 hours, bacteria and unpleasant smells can accumulate in your diaper pail over time.

How to Clean a Diaper Pail

To make sure that your baby’s nursery stays fresh, here are some tips for deep-cleaning a lidded diaper pail or fabric bucket liner and getting rid of lingering odors. Keep reading to learn how to clean a diaper pail with ease!

Why Cleaning the Diaper Pail is Necessary?

A diaper pail is an important tool for keeping dirty diapers contained, but it can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria and other germs if not properly cleaned. In addition to eliminating unpleasant odors, regularly cleaning your diaper pail will also help to prevent the spread of illness-causing pathogens.

It causes the growth of bacteria and other germs, which can be detrimental to your baby’s health. It is important to make sure that your diaper pail is not accumulating moisture, as this can also increase the chances of bacteria growth.

Needed Materials for How to Clean a Diaper Pail

You don’t need anything fancy or expensive to properly clean your diaper pail. All you need is the following:

  • Hot water
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Sponge with the scrubber side

10 Steps on How to Clean a Diaper Pail

Step 1: Make It Empty

Empty the diaper pail and discard all diapers appropriately. The first step of cleaning is to make sure that the diaper pail is completely empty. Keeping the lid open will help with the airing-out process.

Step 2: Wipe It Down

Use a wet cloth or paper towel to wipe down the inside and outside of your diaper pail, including the lid. This will help loosen any dirt that may have accumulated on the surface. Wiping down the diaper pail will also help remove any residual odors.

Wiping Down the Diaper Pail

Step 3: Use Hot Water and Vinegar

Fill your sink with hot water and add ½ cup of white vinegar. Let the diaper pail soak for about 30 minutes to loosen any stubborn dirt or stains. The vinegar will also help to neutralize odors and disinfect the diaper pail.

Step 4: Scrub Away

After soaking the diaper pail in hot water and vinegar solution, use a sponge with a scrubber side to scrub away any dirt or grime that may still be stuck on the surface of the diaper pail. Be sure to get into all of the crevices and corners of the pail to ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned.

Step 5: Rinse It Off

Rinse off the diaper pail with hot water and use a paper towel or cloth to dry it completely. Make sure that all of the soap residues are removed, as this could lead to an unpleasant odor. Odor-causing bacteria and germs can also be attracted to soap residue.

Step 6: Sprinkle Baking Soda

Sprinkle some baking soda inside the diaper pail and around the edges of the lid. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that will help to get rid of any unpleasant odors lingering in your diaper pail.

Sprinkle Some Baking Soda

Step 7: Let It Sit

Let the baking soda sit for a few hours or overnight if needed. This will help to absorb any odors that may be lingering in your diaper pail. Overnight is best, as this will give the baking soda more time to do its job.

Step 8: Vacuum It

Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to vacuum up any excess baking soda that may be left in the diaper pail. This will help to keep your baby’s nursery clean and fresh-smelling. Vacuuming is also a great way to get rid of any dirt or debris that may have accumulated in the diaper pail.

Step 9: Disinfect It

Mix together a solution of three parts water and one part chlorine bleach and use it to disinfect the inside and outside of your diaper pail. This will help to kill any germs, bacteria, or other pathogens and keep your baby safe.

Step 10: Air It Out

Finally, be sure to leave the lid off of your diaper pail for a few hours to allow it to air out completely. This will help to remove any remaining odors and help ensure that your diaper pail is fully clean.

And there you have it. Following these easy steps will help keep your baby’s diaper pail clean, fresh-smelling, and free of any germs or bacteria!

Keep Your Baby's Diaper Pail Clean

8 Tips to Maintain the Diaper Pail

  1. Empty it regularly. Empty the diaper pail at least once a day and rinse with hot water. Don’t let the diapers accumulate; otherwise, you may need to use stronger cleaning solutions.
  2. Wash the container out with soap and water. This will keep germs and bacteria away from your baby’s nursery. Regular washings will help keep the diaper pail clean and free of any bad odors.
  3. Use a deodorizer or disinfectant spray to remove any lingering smells. Spraying down the inside of the diaper pail after each use can help keep it smelling fresh while helping to prevent germs and bacteria from forming.
  4. Air it out. After washing the diaper pail, open it up and allow it to air out. This will help keep bad smells away while allowing the fabric of the diaper pail to dry thoroughly.
  5. Line or place a plastic bag inside the diaper pail before adding new diapers. This can help contain any messes and make cleanup easier.
  6. Use a damp cloth and warm water to treat any areas of staining or dirt. This can help keep the diaper pail looking its best, even through daily use.
  7. Clean the outside of the diaper pail with an all-purpose cleaner and cloth. This will help remove any residue from handling by yourself or others.
  8. Replace the lining of your diaper pail as needed. Depending on how often you empty and clean out the diaper pail, a fresh lining may be in order every couple of months to keep it looking and smelling its best!
Replace the Lining of Your Diaper Pail

Following these easy steps can help ensure that your baby’s nursery stays clean and free from germs. Keeping up with regular cleanings of your diaper pail is an important part of keeping your baby’s nursery healthy and smelling fresh.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take Clean a Diaper Pail?

The time needed to clean a diaper pail will depend on the type of diapers you are using and how often you empty it. Generally, it should take no more than 10 minutes to complete the cleaning process.

Though, it may take longer if the diaper pail has not been emptied in a while or if there is an excessive amount of dirt and grime present. Don’t worry; it’s worth the extra effort!

What Is the Best Way to Remove Odors From a Diaper Pail?

The best way to remove odors from a diaper pail is with a deodorizer spray or an odor-fighting cleaner. Using these products regularly can help keep odors at bay and make your diaper pail smell fresh.

You could also try using a dryer sheet to help absorb any odors inside the diaper pail. Additionally, make sure that you are regularly emptying and cleaning the diaper pail for optimal cleanliness.

What Is the Best Cleaner for Diaper Pails?

The best cleaner for diaper pails is a disinfectant or all-purpose cleaner. These products can help remove germs, bacteria, and odors from the diaper pail. Additionally, mild soap and warm water will also do the trick. Make sure to rinse thoroughly after cleaning with any of these products so that there is no residue left behind.

How Often Should You Clean Your Diaper Pail?

You should empty and clean your diaper pail at least once a day or as soon as it becomes full. Regular cleanings will help keep germs and bacteria away from your baby’s nursery and can also prevent any bad odors from forming. Additionally, make sure to replace the lining of the diaper pail every couple of months for optimal cleanliness.


In conclusion, cleaning a diaper pail doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right approach and materials, you can ensure that your diaper pail never becomes an overbearing smell in your home. The process may be time-consuming, but it’s worth it for a clean and hygienic environment.

As well as wiping down the inside of the pail with warm water, you should also freshen between cleans with baking soda or a scented container insert which helps to keep odors at bay.

If there is an issue with odors on the outside of the pail, then applying a spray bottle full of vinegar will help to eradicate them. Finally, it is important to remember not just to clean the pail but also to change out old bags for new ones frequently so as not to overwhelm your diaper pail system.

Adhering to this guide on how to clean a diaper pail will ensure that you always have a fresh and clean diaper pail in your home!

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Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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