When I had my first child over 20 years ago, I used what is called a wet pail method to store my soiled diapers until I was ready to wash them. It worked well, I kept the pail with its lid on, in the laundry trough/sink. I used a product called Napisan (an Australian Nappy Soaking solution) in the water, and I would wash the diapers every two to three days when the pail was full. I would empty the contents of the pail into the sink, let the water drain away, and then don a rubber glove and transfer the diapers into the washing machine and wash with no detergent. I would then line dry my diapers (I didn’t own a dryer until Lauren was well out of diapers!)
So when it came time to cloth diaper my second son, who was born here in the US, I thought that I needed to use the same system. And this house was not built with a sink in the laundry. Something I find odd, even my smallest flat (apartment) back home had a sink in the laundry. I also find the lack of a rotary clothes line in backyards odd to, but that is a whole other blog post. :)
When I had Braden, I used gDiapers with flushables on him, because to me that was a great compromise. A bio-degradable insert with a reusable cover. Much less impact on the environment than the standard disposable diaper. But as I was hanging out on the gDiapers yahoo group, I learned that not only had cloth diapers come a long way, so had the methods used to wash them. I learned about the dry pail system and the fact I didn’t need to soak my diapers before washing. That I didn’t need to store soiled diapers in a pail full of solution.
The main thing that makes a dry pail possible is the pail liner. I bought a Wahmies pail liner. And then I took it shopping. Yes I bought the pail liner before I bought the pail. This turned out to be the smart thing to do, as I was able to find the pail to fit my pail liner. No need to sew or get a custom sized one. I actually found my pail at Lowes for around $13. It is just a cheap trash can with a flip lid. The cheaper can actually worked out better than the more expensive ones because of the cheap way the lid worked. It is simply placed on top of the trash can, rather than attached. This means that it is easy to place the pail liner into the can.
Worked great, but I quickly found one pail liner does not work. You really need TWO! Once you put your pail liner in the wash, then you need to put a clean one into the pail. So another pail liner was bought.
The beauty of the pail liner, is that once you have placed the diaper into the pail, you do not need to handle it again. Once the pail is full, we take the diapers out inside the pail liner, and then take the bag down to the washing machine. We shake the diapers into the machine, and then throw the pail liner in with the diapers to be washed.
I now stock several different brands of pail liners. Different sizes and different qualities of PUL. I like the elastic of the Wahmies one because it fits my pail well, but you may prefer a draw string for your pail.
If you are challenged for space and do not really have room for a 13 gallon diaper pail, you can get a door knob pail liner. You can hang this one from a door knob. Or you could use large wet bags and hang them from a towel rail, your change table or door knob. The same principle applies, when full, just take the diapers to the machine and empty the bag into the machine, and throw the bag in afterward.
The pail liner has prevented my diaper pail from getting stinky. Much better than the disposable pail that my previous son used which reeked so bad we had to keep the door shut to our bathroom where it was stored all the time. Oh and for the record, the diaper dekor disposable pail actually fits a Wahmies Pail liner in it! It’s a bit baggy but it works.
So what is your diaper pail system? Please feel free to leave a comment below.