Diaper Pail Alternatives

  • Diaper pails are really handy, but they can also be expensive
  • The good news is there are some alternatives that actually work
  • We share tips for choosing your best alternatives for diaper pails
  • Plus, proper diaper disposal tips to keep odors and germs away

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Do you have a new baby, or are you expecting a baby soon?

Are you looking into how to decorate your child’s nursery?

Do you really need a diaper pail, or can you look for alternatives instead?

It’s no secret that changing diapers is a major part of having a baby. You’re going to have to get used to the idea of a dirty diaper very quickly, and part of that process involves learning how to dispose of a diaper, too.

Many parents rely on diaper pails to help them contain the smell and bacteria associated with baby diapers. However, some parents find that they do not prefer to use a diaper pail for one reason or another. Maybe you’re looking for something a little more cost-effective than a diaper pail, or maybe you just want something that will fit in better with the type of décor you’re planning to work with.

Whatever has led you to this article, if you’re on the hunt for an alternative you can use in place of a diaper pail, you’re in luck. We’ve put together plenty of information to help you find the best fit for your needs when you don’t want to rely on the use of a diaper pail. You’ll be able to find out all sorts of different options and learn a little more about how to dispose of diapers, too.

Top Alternatives for Diaper Pails

Regular Trash Cans

A standard garbage can cost a fraction of what a diaper pail does, yet it can hold your baby’s diapers just as well. Just remember that for poop diapers, you may want to wrap them in an extra garbage bag first to keep the stench at bay. It’s always a good idea to keep the garbage can outside or in the garage to avoid the stench and the spread of bacteria inside your home.

Disposable Diaper Bags

Special disposable diaper bags are available on the market and are a great alternative to diaper pails. To keep the dirty diaper confined, the bags are scented with baby powder and include easy-to-close ties. They’re great for indoor and outdoor use, and they may even be used in the nursery to make changing your child’s diapers simpler.

Doggy Poop Bags

Dog poop bags are made to capture dog excrement, so they’re ideal for keeping the stench of poopy diapers contained. After placing the diaper in the bag, place it in a garbage can in the garage and dump it after a day. Some are even perfumed, which is a bonus for you because you won’t have to deal with unpleasant odors in your home.

Wet Bags

Wet bags are a greener alternative to disposable plastic bags since they seal the diapers or other items inside, containing the odor. They come in a number of styles, sizes, and designs and may be used for a variety of purposes, including traveling, spending time outdoors with the infant, and many more.

Tips for Choosing Alternatives For Diaper Pails

  • Always pick something with a lid. If you don’t throw away your diapers in a container that can be closed, you’re inviting a lot of bacteria to escape into the room. You also risk other children or pets getting into the bin of dirty diapers and making a much bigger mess than ever before.
  • Choose a container that can be disinfected. If you don’t pick something that can be easily cleaned out, you’re going to run the risk of lots of bacteria building up very quickly. This offer can be dangerous if this happens, especially if there are hard to reach nooks and crannies in your container that will just let the bacteria fester for the entire time you use your diaper pail.
  • Do not use the same garbage can you use for other purposes. Throwing away your diapers in the bathroom or kitchen is a bad idea for a variety of reasons, namely because it means you’re exposing those parts of your home to diaper bacteria and odors as well. You should always have a dedicated diaper pail, even if you choose a nontraditional container for this purpose.
  • If you can afford it, go with stainless steel. Stainless steel is easier to keep clean and doesn’t harbor bacteria like plastic and other porous materials. And since it’s nonporous, it also won’t let odors escape nearly as much either, so it’s a win-win for you.
  • Get something with a step pedal if possible. Having a step pedal that allows the lid of your container to open is a good way to make it easier to throw out dirty diapers without having to touch any surfaces after you’ve handled waste. This can also help you operate your diaper container in a more comfortable and ergonomic way.
  • Stainless steel trash cans with lids and foot pedals are a great alternative that can hit many of the marks listed above without costing a fortune. And with one of these trash cans, you can easily use bathroom or kitchen garbage bags without having to spend a lot on refills, either.

How to Dispose of Diapers

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Do you need to wrap diapers in plastic bags before tossing? You should always make sure you wrap up diapers tightly in some type of baggie before throwing them away. This will prevent them from spilling or leaking into the surrounding trash can, and potentially out of the trash can and onto your floor or into your yard, too.
  • Can you flush the waste? You can flush poop from a baby’s diaper, and if you’re able to do so, you always should. This helps prevent the amount of bacteria that will end up being present in your garbage, and it can go a long way toward helping you manage the smell of your diaper disposal, too.
  • How often should you take out the trash? You should take out the trash every couple of days if at all possible. You should not wait for diapers to pile up in your diaper pail alternative before you throw them away.
  • Can you dispose of diapers in dog poop bags? Yes—and you should if you don’t have any other options! Keeping a few dog poop bags on hand can be a great way to make sure you always have somewhere to throw out diapers when you’re on the go. Just remember not to throw the diapers into receptacles meant for dog poop, as these are usually positioned outdoors in the hot sun and can become a breeding ground for bacteria in no time.
  • What do you do if you’re on a walk and need to dispose of a diaper? This is another great reason why it’s a good idea to keep some dog poop bags handy. Otherwise, find a plastic bag if possible, or just know that you’re going to have to keep the diaper with you until you can find a safe place to throw it out. Never throw a dirty diaper out in the woods!


Having a baby can be a messy experience, so be sure you have the right diaper pail alternative in your nursery before your little one ever comes home for the first time. There’s no reason why you have to stick to a specific diaper pail if you don’t want to, but remember to keep the tips above in mind when making your choice about what to use instead.

And don’t neglect hygiene and cleanliness when you go with something other than a diaper pail, either. Throwing away dirty diapers is only one aspect of the process, and you should be ready to deal with the smell in some way no matter what type of product you choose to use. Keep odors and bacteria at bay by following these tips:

  • Always disinfect your trash can. Wipe it down with disinfectant clothes frequently, and scrub it with soap and water as often as possible.
  • Never use a can without a bag of some type in it. There should always be something between the dirty diapers and your receptacle for them, even if it’s just a normal trash bag.
  • Use air fresheners and deodorizers whenever possible. This will help with the smell, and you can also purchase these offers with antibacterial elements in some cases, too.

By remembering these tips, you’ll have a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment for your baby without the need for a diaper pail at all.

Additional Research:

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Catrina A. Labounty
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About The Author

Catrina A. Labounty is the head writer behind DiaperPailDepot and specializes in writing about parenting, child development, and caring for infants. She has previously worked for a number of websites as an editing assistant, independent researcher, and other editorial roles with a main focus on child development content. Catrina enjoys using her free time to browse the web for fantastic diaper cake designs and baby shower gifts. She routinely posts her work here on DiaperPailDepot as well as on various of her own writing blogs online.

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