How to Properly Dispose of Diapers in a Safe and Hygienic Manner

Having a baby means dealing with tons of dirty diapers for around 3 years. While dealing with these diapers will never be the best part of your day, it doesn’t have to be the worst part of it either, although if not done carefully, dirty diapers can wreak havoc on a home and in nature.

Here are a few options of how to dispose of your baby’s dirty diapers in a safe and hygienic way.

Changing the diaper of a newborn



What Should I know?

Many parents choose disposable diapers because unlike their cousin the cloth diaper, they do a pretty good job and are very convenient to discard. Unfortunately, if not done correctly, simply throwing away a plastic covered, poop filled diaper into a diaper bin or trash can has the potential to pose health hazards.

All human faecal matter should go into a private septic tank system or public sewage. This way it can be processed and is kept away from the public. Since there are no disposable diapers on the market that are flushable, these precautions are not taken with diapers. There are steps that you can take that can prevent the spread of germs and diseases though.


How to Properly Dispose of a Dirty Diaper

The Smell

Although there isn’t much you can do to avoid the smell of a really dirty diaper while it is being changed, there are things you can do to prevent the smell from permeating the rest of your house.

1. Dump and Rinse

Although this is not a common step, it is an important one. Since faecal matter should not end up in a landfill, you should try to dump the poop into your toilet. You can then rinse the diaper out if you wish (if it is cloth).

2. Wrap it up

Wrapping up the diaper into a really tight ball will help make sure that the waste that is left is secured in the diaper.  This is especially important if you decide to skip the previous step. To do this you will want to roll the front of the diaper up into itself, then take the tabs and wrap them around the front.

3. Seal

Putting a dirty diaper in a sealed container of some sort will help stop many of the odours escaping. There are many options to choose from, some of which provide better odour protection than others.

  • Diaper Pail – A diaper pail is a trash can with an airtight lid that is made specifically for dirty diapers.  It does a pretty good job of containing the smell if you take the dirty diaper out regularly.
  • Ziploc Bag – Although these are more frequently used in the kitchen, the airtight seal helps provide great odour protection and can be perfect to use when you are away from home as well.
  • Plastic Grocery Bag – If you are like most people, you have a bunch of grocery bags saved in your cupboard from all your shopping trips. While these usually provide the least amount of odour protection, they can still be a great idea for parents who don’t have a diaper pail, or anytime you are on the go and don’t have a way to dispose of a soiled diaper.

All these factors should help to keep the smell to a minimum and should make your environment more hygienic as well.  Of course, if you prefer to save the environment from a landfill of disposable diapers, you also always have the option of using cloth nappies instead.  These can be washed and as a result, tend to leave your house smeller nicer … and saves the environment as well.  You can read more about the pros and cons of using cloth vs disposable diaper here.