9 Best Diaper Pail Smell Hacks (Diaper Genie, Ubbi, etc)

father changing diaper pads

There’s one thing all parents will definitely agree on. Diaper pails stink! At some point, you just wish you had some diaper smell hacks to help you keep the odor in check! 

Fortunately, I’ve compiled a few popular and easy hacks that we’ve used with our diaper pail. Some of the tips are natural, making them excellent non-toxic options. Keep reading to find your next favorite odor-killing hack! 

Why does my diaper pail smell so bad?

The main reason for a diaper pail having an overwhelming odor is that it doesn’t get emptied regularly. Many pails have a large capacity and parents often let the pail get full before emptying it. Other reasons for the diaper pail smell include not closing it properly or cleaning it routinely. 

Best ways to keep diaper pail from smelling (incl. natural solutions)

If you need a diaper pail to hold dirty diapers, your concern might be how to keep it from smelling. Fortunately, there are a few commercial air freshener options as well as some natural solutions to help you with this. 

1. Baking Soda (natural solution)

It’s no secret that baking soda is an excellent natural agent used to reduce odors around your home. It shouldn’t surprise you then that it can be used in your diaper pail. Simply sprinkle a handful in your new bag and between bags if you’re double bagging. 

Always add a handful every time you place a diaper in the pail. It will go a long way toward reducing any awful smells. Baking soda can also be mixed in with any cleaning solution to reduce odor. The good news is, a big bag is quite budget-friendly! 

Watch this short clip to see how easy it is to use baking soda to remove diaper pail odors.

2. Vinegar, Borax & Tea Tree Oil Solution (natural solution)

Another hack you already have in your kitchen is white vinegar. A simple mixture of Borax, vinegar and tea tree oil works incredibly well for any cleaning around your nursery. Not only does it absorb odor, but it also eliminates bacteria. This is how you do it: 

  • Add 2 tablespoons of borax to 2 cups of warm water.
  • Stir for about 60 seconds to get the borax completely dissolved.
  • Add ¼ cup of white vinegar.
  • Add about 40 drops of tea tree oil. 
  • Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and shake well to mix.
  • Always shake before spraying.

3. Essential Oil Scented Spray (natural solution)

Essential oils are an effective and natural option to use around the nursery. With the different fragrances available, you can choose your favorite. A simple recipe for an essential oil spray is listed below:

  • Mix ½ tablespoon of vodka (if you don’t have vodka, water will work fine, but keep in mind that vodka has equally strong cleaning properties. It’s also a great odor reducer)
  • Add about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil (eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender or citrus are good options)
  • Mix well in a spray bottle and spray in your pail every time you open it. 
  • You can add more essential oil for a stronger fragrance
  • You can spritz a bit around the room as well. 

4. Salt (natural solution)

Regular table salt is also a popular odor neutralizer. Simply add half a cup of salt to the bottom of your pail on wash day. The salt will absorb the odor and any residual bacteria. You can also add fresh salt after you’ve washed and dried the pail. 

5. Eucalyptus balls (natural solution)

If you don’t want to spray essential oils directly into your pail, you can also make eucalyptus balls. It’s as simple as soaking a few cotton balls in eucalyptus oil and placing them in the bottom of the pail. 

You can also put these balls between the bags if you’re double bagging. Eucalyptus is a strong antibacterial and antifungal making it ideal to deodorize diaper pails. You can also substitute the Eucalyptus with peppermint oil.

Healing Solutions 10ml Oils - Eucalyptus Essential Oil - 0.33 Fluid Ounces

6. Carbon Filter (air-freshener product)

Carbon filters usually fit on the top of a diaper pail. It absorbs and locks in strong odors. These filters are usually used with Diaper Genies but can also be used with other pails. If you’ve opted for a Diaper genie alternative, these carbon filters are quite effective at absorbing sharp urine and poop smells. 

7. Grab Green Natural Odor Removal Spray (air-freshener product)

An air freshener mixed with essential oil is another option to consider. The Grab Green Natural Odor Removal Spray easily neutralizes tough and stinky odors escaping your diaper pail. This biodegradable formula is eco-friendly and smells of refreshing wildflowers.

8. Fresh Wave Lavender Odor Eliminating & Deodorizing Packs (air-freshener product)

These simple Fresh Wave Lavender Odor Eliminating & Deodorizing Packs contain real ingredients that easily neutralize pail odors for up to 60 days. Made of pine, lime, anise, clove, and cedarwood combined with lavender oil adds a natural scent to your nursery.

9. Toss in Whole Cloves 

Cloves have antibacterial properties that help get rid of foul odors. Simply toss a few cloves into your diaper pail to deodorize it naturally.  

How to get rid of the Diaper Genie smell

While Diaper Genies are one of the more popular diaper pail options, they can also create quite a stink if left unattended. Some easy Diaper Genie smell hacks to keep your Diaper Genie’s odor under control include the following:

  1. Use a mixture of dish soap and water and squirt all over the interior and exterior of the Diaper Genie. 
  2. Sprinkle some baking soda all over the dish soap mixture to neutralize any bad odors. 
  3. Let this soap and baking soda combination sit for about 10 -20 minutes to absorb odor and kill bacteria. 
  4. Scrub the pail if necessary and rinse well.
  5. Spray the vinegar and tea tree solution listed above all over the inside and outside of the pail. 
  6. Air dry in the sun. 

How to get the smell out of Ubbi diaper pail

Many parents have reported that Ubbi’s diaper pails often end up smelling really awful after a short time. The main reason for this is that the pail isn’t emptied regularly. Just because your Ubbi can take a lot of diapers doesn’t mean you should let the stinky offenders pile up! 

Follow these few steps to keep your Ubbi from overwhelming the room.

  1. Empty your Ubbi after every 2-3 days or when you start noticing faint whiffs of stink
  2. Ensure you lock the Ubbi properly. If the Ubbi isn’t locked correctly, the smell will escape more easily. 
  3. Moisture build-up in the interior of the Ubbi will create mold and increase the foul smell. Place your Ubbi out in the sun for 30 minutes once or twice a week.
  4. Give your Ubbi a deep clean with a vinegar and tea tree oil mixture listed above. Let the vinegar mixture sit for 30 minutes. 
  5. Sprinkle baking soda all over the moldy areas for an additional 30 minutes. 
  6. Rinse the interior and exterior and dry thoroughly before placing it back in the nursery.

Getting the smell out of diaper pail

Despite investing in air-freshener products or making your own natural options, there are also a few simple tips to avoid the smell becoming too bad. Follow these few tips in conjunction with your cleaning hacks to master the odor problem.

  1. Flush the poop: Before tossing the diaper into the pail, flush the solid poop into the toilet. This will make the biggest impact on reducing the smell. Doing this is the most effective option to get rid of the smell at the source. 
  2. Empty the pail more often: Just because your pail can hold hundreds of diapers doesn’t mean you have to let it get completely full before emptying it! 
  3. Double bag the pail: Depending on the type of pail you have, double bagging the pail will prevent the runny mess and smell from seeping through. 
  4. Wash your pail: When you empty the pail, give it a good wash to get the built-up smell out. Let it air dry for a few hours in the sun before adding your new bags and some baby-safe air freshener.


Using the tips I’ve mentioned in this article will reduce the smell in the nursery. Opting for natural products will give you a safe and non-toxic alternative to ridding your diaper pail of its stinky smell!

Last update on 2024-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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