47 answers

Smelly Diaper Champ

We've used the diaper champ for 17 months now. For the first year or so the odor was easily controlled. Now we can't seem to get rid of the odor. We've tried oust (supposedly kills germs and smell), baking soda, washing the entire diaper champ (admittedly maybe not frequently enough), changing bags more often to name a few.
Does anyone have other ideas? I don't want to get a new one for my second child.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I have washed it in warm bleach water and now have it drying and airing out outside. Unfortunately in our apt complex I don't have a sunny spot to leave it in. I miss having the diaper champ in her room during this process.
I have tried the dryer sheet in my kitchen garbage and will put it in the diaper champ. It seems to help.
I agree that plastics absorb odors however I still hate the idea of throwing it out...diapers are a big enough drain on environment.
thanks for the advice. i may just need to be more vigilant on cleaning.

Featured Answers

Hello! I had the same problem right around the same time(more solid food I'm assuming) - baking soda didn't work for me either, but here is what finally did the trick: Clean the diaper champ with bleach to start new, let it air out and then buy a sealable jug of Folgers Coffee. Put the coffee in the garbage bag when you put a new bag in. If it's been a rough week, put another cup full of coffee in the bag. Don't put it in the top, where you put the diapers because the granules glitch up the closing system - just open up the top like you're going to put a bag in a dump it in.

Worked for me

1 mom found this helpful

J.,
We had a diaper genie and after a while it smelled too. I think the plastic absorbed the odors. We resorted to using normal small plastic trash bags set into a box for a garbage can. When the bag was full, it would go out. Once the box started to smell, it went out too.
One possible solution is Borax placed in the bottom of the champ.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't been able to read everything (there are A LOT of responses), but I thought I would add...sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom after you clean it. It will definitely help to soak up some of the smell!!!

More Answers

try putting new dryer sheets in bottom of pail, i've use this for our kitchen grabage pail seems to help

1 mom found this helpful

Hi - I used one of the Delakor diaper pails for a long time, until I could not take the smell anymore!I thought I might be able to use it for a second child but gave up because it just stunk. I just recently went and bought a $15 dollar one from BabysRUs that takes normal garbage bags.It came with a disc that is supposed to help with the smell and it does a little. I now just figure I cant let the poopy ones stay in the pail in his bedroom, they have to be taken outside right away. Kind of a hassle but that is the only thing I have found works to control most of the odor in the pail. I figure that I can just go and buy a new one since it is inexpensive when the other one gets too stinky! I think they all start to smell after awhile, no matter what you do to clean them.

1 mom found this helpful

Here is another idea: try doing elimination communication. Our cloth diaper pail never smells bad. Most of the poops go into the potty. We went traveling last week and at 6.5 months she did not poop in a single diaper the whole trip. I would say that most poop in diapers slowed down by 2 months and only had a few a week. Even when we went traveling at 4.5 months for a whole month she had only about 6 poops in diapers.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,
We had a diaper genie and after a while it smelled too. I think the plastic absorbed the odors. We resorted to using normal small plastic trash bags set into a box for a garbage can. When the bag was full, it would go out. Once the box started to smell, it went out too.
One possible solution is Borax placed in the bottom of the champ.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

We used the diaper champ with our first child (now 4 yrs old) until he was about 2 and we had the same problem. We just went out and bought a new one. Then we never used it! When our new baby came (now 18 months) we just started throwing the poopy diapers in a grocery bag and straight out to the main outside garbage can. With two in diapers we would have been changing the Diaper Champ a couple of times a day anyways. The wet diapers are just thrown into the kitchen garbage since they don't stink. I'm not sure how helpful I was, but that's my story! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello! I had the same problem right around the same time(more solid food I'm assuming) - baking soda didn't work for me either, but here is what finally did the trick: Clean the diaper champ with bleach to start new, let it air out and then buy a sealable jug of Folgers Coffee. Put the coffee in the garbage bag when you put a new bag in. If it's been a rough week, put another cup full of coffee in the bag. Don't put it in the top, where you put the diapers because the granules glitch up the closing system - just open up the top like you're going to put a bag in a dump it in.

Worked for me

1 mom found this helpful

J.,

It looks like this is a common experience. We also used the Diaper Champ and could not control the odor after a time. We just put in an odor stick on thing to one of the sides but it didn't really work. We didn't throw it away but stored it for about a year before bringing it out for our second. Now, with an entirely breastfed baby, the smell is totally contained. So maybe you could give yours a rest and begin using it again with the newborn.

1 mom found this helpful

We ended up tossing our Diaper Genie for this same reason. I think what happens is that for a long while the plastic is thick enough to block the odor but then as time wheres on it starts to keep and hold the smell and eventually it is in the plastic which sad to say i dont think there is anything you can do to get the smell out of it once it is there. try leaving it outside? maybe like on your deck if you have one. Maybe being outside will do some good. Like I said we tossed ours and I decided it wasnt worth the money to get another one personally.

Hello J.! I also started out using the diaper champ for my fist, and it didn't work, so we finally resorted to putting the diapers in the large trash can in the garage. It sounds tedious having to take every diaper out after every change, but I really find it no big deal now, and much more sanitary...plus I don't have to worry about my children somehow getting into the diaper champ!

Our daughter is about to turn 2, and we have used a Diaper Genie from the start for only her poopy diapers (the wet ones just get tossed in the nursery garbage, which is stored in the hallway outside her room under a window that is kept slightly ajar). I empty both out weekly, and scrub out the Diaper Genie maybe once a month (or more often if needed). This seems to keep stinkiness to a minimum. The other moms are right, I think: There is no perfect solution! But as someone who lives in a place where dirty diapers (or any garbage for that matter) attract bears and other wildlife, putting them outside is not an option for us.

Good luck!

Hi J., I gave up on my diaper genie too. It just wasn't worth it. I started just taking my poopy diapers outside to the "big can" and I throw the pee diapers in my inside trash. The inside trash gets taken out frequently enough that I have no odor. One of my friends puts out a plastic grocery bag on her back deck for the poopy ones. At the end of the day, she takes it out to the big can. Pretty soon, maybe your soon to be 2 year old would love to "help" and take the poopy ones out to the trash for you!
Good luck.

J.,
I had the same problem. I stopped using the diaper champ right after my daughter turned 1, because that is when the odor problem arouse. I think it might have something to do with the way their bodies are changing and releasing different smells. It ended up being less smelly to just throw the wet diapers in the normal trash and wrap the other diapers in a small plastic bag and dispose of them in the out door trashcan. Within a day or two after emptying the diaper champ it would start to smell again and was no where near being full.

Not worth the hassle - you have to keep them so empty to keep the smell down, you might as well just take the diapers out to the trash yourself each time or at least once a day.

I don't know if this will work or not... we have a diaper champ too, but haven't had it long enough to really tell if we'll have this problem or not.

Anyway - try soaking it with just plain bleach water. Vinegar also has been proven to take a lot of smells off of tough-to-de-smell surfaces.

We keep an air freshner in the bottom of ours as well... just to assist along the way.

Hope you figure it out! :-)

I have had the same experience with all of these types of diaper disposal systems. They are useless!! I was constantly sanitizing it and it still stunk all the time. I have just gone back to the old way of disposing diapers immediately in my outside garbage can and getting them completely out of the house. I finally threw my diaper genie and my diaper champ in the garbage.

If I were you, I would not waste any more money on these things.

Good luck!
J.
Mom to two young boys!

Use white vinegar to wash it down with, and do this weekly, like you would wash your trash cans. Plastics over time will absorb odors, especially if you let anything sit there over an extended period of time. Some baby items just won't last through multiple kids and this Diaper Champ maybe one of them. Planned obsolescence.

Babies who drink milk have much less stinky diapers than toddlers who eat adult food. I think that is why our Diaper Genie started smelling wretched as soon as my son was on solids. What I have found works the best is to get toddler poop OUT of the house. A good, small trash can with a secure lid on a back patio or garage works well. That way, you can toss it OUT of the house. Just be sure to put it under the eaves or an awning in an area that you do not use for sitting or outdoor dining :-).

Mine is doing the same thing! I just assumed that it was because my daughter's diapers were more smelly since she began eating table foods. I will be interested to read the responses!

Wow, I am so dismayed at all these people just carelessly tossing their diaper pails away. I think if you keep a pail of dirty diapers anywhere, you should expect a bit of smell - it is poop afterall. I've used my diaper champ through three babies, and it worked fine. Yes, occasionally it gets smelly but usually it's because we need to empty it. I also wash it out every few months or so with soap and water to eliminate any cling-ons and leave the window open while it airs out for awhile. If you are really worried about it, you can donate yours to Goodwill and take your diapers outside but I think that is a lot more work than occasionally cleaning it out and tolerating a little stink while your babies are in diapers. It's such a relatively short amount of time and most moms/babysitters who come to visit should be understanding about it if they happen to smell anything. Best wishes to you and your babies.

We got a diaper champ for the nursery for baby #2. We originally had the diaper genie which I got rid of (kind of wish now that I would have kept it!) because I really like the idea of it taking regular garbage bags versus the special film containers. I know now while it was kind of a pain (plus not easy on the check book) to have to use the film for the diaper genie, there was no problems w/ smell! Even as my daughter got older & started eating solid foods.
Smell has been a problem for us too & I roll the diapers up tightly before they go into the pail. The dollar store sells scented diaper garbage bags (100 in a box) which I've always kept in the diaper bag but now I've started putting the diapers in those before I put them in the diaper champ. Seems to help with the issue. I also buy scented garbage bags to put into the diaper champ & keep a car air freshener (one of the trees) in the bottom of it.
Hope this helps!

We used a Diaper Champ for our first as well. We also had the smell and decided to take it apart to clean it. We were so disgusted with what we found! It was filled with moldy poop inside the plastic deal that slides back and forth. No wonder it stunk. That went in the garbage and I started using Gdiapers so we could flush the poop down the toilet.

J., I have to say that when I visted anyones house with a genie/diaper pail disposal system, their house smelled. That is why I never bought one. I think you will find using your regular garbage and just putting it out when it is full keeps your house smelling just fine. Don't buy into the marketing of those things that obviously don't work at eliminating odor, but create their own.

Maybe a dryer sheet in the bottom??

Try using vinegar. You may have to set a small bowl of it in front of or inside the diaper champ but it works like a charm on tough odors although it doesn't smell too nice either.

Wash it in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and hot water. Vinegar is OUTSTANDING on getting rid of bad odors . . . it even works on cat urine!

Congrats on the pregnancy!

Plastic is tough, but I've had some luck on litterboxes by cleaning them out, then wetting them thoroughly with half-and-half bleach and water and exposing them to hot sunshine for a couple of days -- and this is supposed to be the right week for hot sunshine!

Try to soak it with bleach and hot water in the bath tub and than avoid putting there the poop diapers. I had a separate bag for them out-side. If you can't do that just put the poop diapers in a zip-lock and than in the champ. When the weather is nice put the champ out on the sun to remove odor. Good luck!

We have one too and the same thing happened. My husband finally got tired of it and cleaned the whole thing out and then we let it sit outside in the summer sun and heat for a few days. It seemed to help. The real trick has been to not let it get too full and stay full. I have turned into a real Nazi about keeping it empty. We now live in a two-story house and most of my diapers go in a plastic grocery bag in the bathroom and I take them out every day or more often if there is a real bomb in there . . . diligence seemed to be the key.

I had exactly the same issue - worked great with no odor for the first year or so, then just couldn't get rid of it. I'm not sure if it was smellier toddler poop due to eating more solid food or what, but after trying the same sorts of cleaners, sprays, etc. that you have, we finally gave up and switched to the Diaper Genie II. I've had that one for about a year now and have been very pleased - no odor at all, and easy to deal with. Hope that helps!

We ended up switching to a dipaer dekor, but really I think they all kind of end up smelling. One thing that we have done which has helped is put dryer sheets in it, and then also underneath where the bags/liners go. I hope that helps!

There is an enzyme cleaner available at Pet store chains(like Pet Smart) called Nature's Miracle. It works wonders! It will get out any smell any where. It is also great for stains on laundry and carpets. Babies R Us used to sell the same product with a baby powder smell called Mother's Miracle. As far as I can tell, they are identicle except for the perfume. Don't try a different brand, they don't work as well. Just spray the diaper pail and let it dry naturally. You may have to repeat it every few months.
B.

I spray mine out every week when I change the bag w/a bleach cleanser. It helps w/germs & the smell. Then I just leave it outside for about an hour so my daughter's room doesn't smell. If the smell is really bad I've used just straight bleach on it. You could also try washing it out w/a bleach & hot water. That might kill the smell so you can start fresh. I've had mine for about 2 yrs & no problems w/persistant odor. Hope this helps! :)

I am having the same problem and was warned of this before purchasing the diaper champ. I am considering getting the Diaper Genie as it is supposed to be better for smells but then you have to buy their special bags. Please let me know what kind of advice you get and good luck. I tried putting poopy diapers in a separate baggy before disposing of them but that doesn't do much. Good luck! A.

It was my experience that at a certain point - for my son after a year when solids & cows milk replaced nursing the smell of the diapers were too strong & had to be removed from the house immediately. So I would stop using it for your older child & simply take the extra time to take the diaper out of the house to the garbage - not convenient, but necessary. As for your smelly diaper champ in order to get it smell free for your next baby. I would open it up and air it out for as long as possible.

I had the same problem. I called the company and they sent these foam pads to place around the rim. They did not reduce teh odor smell. We got rid of it and just bought another diaper champ. I have had no problems with it and have had it almost 2 years. I guess the newer versions are just made better.

have you tried bleach? 1 part bleach to 10 parts water? THat usually kills most germs! also, I would 'empty' the poop from the diaper into the toilet as possible, so the source was no longer in the house...that helps.

you have to get a new one. they are plastic and all only last so long. i have used two of them and around the one year mark it was time for a new one. think about how bad it smells when you open it and the poris plastic is holding that smell in daily.

Honestly - give up the diaper pails! None of them work to keep the odor out of the room! With my first child, now 10 1/2 we spent tons of money all all different types of pails that all ended up in the goodwill pile. When our second child arrived, now 3 1/2, we thought there must have been some improvements in those 7 years. HA! There wasn't. The best solution for us was to keep a supply of plastic grocery bags and/or the bags that the newspaper comes in in an empty kleenex box on the shelf above the changing table (out of reach!). We changed the kiddo dumped all of the poopy stuff in the plastic bag, tied it up and then took it to the outside trash. We had a little flower pot right outside the door and we often would just toss it in there and then whoever was heading to the car would dump the pot in the garbage on the way. Don't waste anymore of your money or energy on diaper pails. It's just not worth it.
Good luck.

we have a diaper genie, and it stinks a little when I put the 2 year old's poopy diaper in it, and then works just fine. I have a super sensitive nose, and after awhile, it just mellows out. I don't think there is anything that works perfectly, but we are very happy with the diaper genie. We empty it weekly.

J.,

Thanks so much for posting this, and thanks to all that responded! I am delivering my second child next week, and have been busy getting my first son's things cleaned and organized, and ready to use for our second son. I soaked my Diaper Champ in hot water and bleach, and let it sit out in the sun for a day a few weeks back, and same thing! Still smelly! I was kicking around posting this very question, but you beat me to it! ;-) I will try the vinegar and water solution, and the dryer sheets, too, and see if it helps, but I sure won't waste my money on buying a second. I'll try and limp this one along for as long as I can, so thanks again to all those that posted ideas. ;-)
~A.

We put the diapers in cheap ziplock bags also. It works well

A.

mother of a handsome 3 yr old boy!

I got a diaper genie and we tossed it out eventually too. What I do now is that I put my son's poopy diapers in a walmart plastic bag and tie it up that way. Wal-mart's bags are made part corn starch so they break down better and faster. Which is pretty cool. We live out in the country so we don't have the luxery of garbage service so we have to a trailer that we put all of our trash that goes into the dump for our garbage. Good luck.

Time to let it go - we had that as well - at about a year 1/2 we started taking the poopy diapers outside rather than keeping them in the house - then recently we just started tossing the diapers and taking them out every other day. I'm glad to hear the genie has the same issues - because it is gross.

Hi,

I was using fuzzi bunz diapers (cloth pocket diapers) and to combat the smell between washing I would put tea tree oil drops in the diaper bag. I do also have a diaper genie and did try it there and it worked great. I suspect other oils like lavender might also work.

Good Luck.

D.

We have the same trouble. We originally bought it because we saw it on Good Morning America. We've had it for 6 years, and have never been able to completely "get it clean". I'm curious to see what others have to say because we don't want to buy a new one either.

I haven't been able to read everything (there are A LOT of responses), but I thought I would add...sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom after you clean it. It will definitely help to soak up some of the smell!!!

Oh my I Have the same problem. Here is our solution. We use the lightly scented glad force flex bags and when when change the bag out we spray oust then let it "air" out on the back porch overnight and when we bring it back in there is no smell. I noticed at about 13 months old our son's diapers started to smell much much much worse. My sister said that the diaper geni did the same with her kids as well.
Good Luck!
C.

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