Disposing Diapers the Right Way (Step-by-Step Guide)

trash bin full of used diapers

When it comes to soiled and used diapers, it is important that you are disposing diapers in the correct way. It provides the best hygiene practices, reduces smell, and ensures that these diapers are disposed of correctly. 

The key points are removing solid waste, folding and covering, or bagging the diaper. And finally placing it in the trash bag for disposal. 

How to Dispose of Diapers?

The most important factors to consider when removing and getting ready to dispose of used baby diapers, is to do this correctly with waste removed, sealed, and placed in the trash and hygienically. 

1. Flush Solid Waste 

When faced with poopy diapers, you need to remove the solid waste before disposing of them. When your baby is on solid food this is a simple process. 

Take the messy diapers to the nearest bathroom. Pour the content of the diaper in the toilet and flush. The less residue left in the used diapers the better. 

If the poop is particularly wet or mushy, it can be a little trickier removing the mess. The concept however is the same, take the soiled diapers to the toilet. Using toilet roll to remove as much of the excess as possible. Then flush the poop away. 

2. Wrap the Diaper

Wrapping the dirty pampers or dirty diapers, is the next step for the diapers disposal. 

To wrap your diaper and make it ready for diaper disposal, you take the diaper and roll it. 

Starting from the front of the diaper and rolling or folding it towards the back. It is vital that you work the dieper from front to rear, to ensure the side wings are at top. 

Once rolled, the side panels will be left. Take one side and fold it over the diaper. The tabs on this will attach the diaper. Repeat this with the other side panel and you have a neatly wrapped diaper. 

3. Seal the Diaper into a Trash Bag 

Although the excess mess has been removed and the diaper has been wrapped for disposal. The next step for the best way to dispose of diapers is to use diaper throw away bags for the diaper. 

Whether you are at home or out in public, using diaper waste bags is a vital step. The scented bags are a great option to have in your diaper bag and home diaper stash. They not only mask the smell and prevent unwanted odor building at home or when you are out. 

Simply take the wrapped diaper. Place it in the diaper trash bag. Seal the bag tight. If the bag has tie handles, make sure to use a double knot to prevent the bag unraveling. 

4. Dispose of the trash bag 

Once your diaper is cleared, wrapped and sealed that is when you can go ahead and put the diapers in trash. 

Where you are will determine what you use to dispose of diapers. If you are at home, the sealed diaper can be placed in the trash for correct baby diaper disposal. 

When looking to dispose of used diapers in public, it is important that you use trash cans or specific diaper bins for used disposable diapers. 

The key point to remember is that diapers can not be flushed or abandoned. They require correct disposal to prevent unnecessary diaper pollution from being added to. 

5. Always Wash Your Hands 

After handling and disposing of diaper waste and the soiled diaper it is vital you wash your hands afterwards. 

All parents and carers know that babies and tots have no understanding of hygiene and love to put fingers (theirs and yours), in their mouth. 

To ensure that bacteria is not spread, it is important that your hands are thoroughly cleaned after each diaper change. 

For the cleanest hands, run them under warm water. Take soap and lather your hands up. Make sure that you clean the palms of your hands, between your fingers and the back of your hand. Rinse with water and then dry them. 

Also read: Do Diapers Expire? Everything You Need to Know

Disposing Diapers On-the-Go

When you are out and about and a diaper needs changing, it can be hard to know how to dispose of the pile of diapers. There are many ways you can still achieve this.

Ideally using diaper bags is the first choice however if you don’t have one to hand there are other options. Such as dog waste bags, ideally biodegradable ones, or ever a sick bag. 

Both options make a great alternative. They are robust enough to hold the weightiest diaper and keep all smells contained. 

Then you can dispose of them in a bin when one is located. Alternatively in public restrooms there is usually a diaper bin located. 

Health Risks of Incorrect Diaper Disposal

Diapers are there to contain body waste. Within poop and wee is bacteria that when not disposed of correctly can bring health risks. 

Bacteria found in feces and wee, when not correctly disposed of, can cause viruses that can contaminate. They can spread into the water and surrounding locations and cause illness to those who come into contact with it. 

The conditions that incorrect disposable and poor hygiene are, stomach viruses such as norovirus, diarrhea and skin and respiratory conditions to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. (1)

These conditions not only can impact you but can also directly impact on your little one’s health as well. 

Disposable Diapers in Landfills

It has been shown that disposable diapers in landfills are the third single-use item found. With that adding up to 18 billion diapers in landfills each year.

The average diaper decomposition time is over 500 years, and when these get buried and sealed, this can take significantly longer. If they even decompose at all. 

With diapers making up around a large proportion of daily waste for your household, there are ways you can change your diapering habits to reduce adding to landfill. 

These include opting for biodegradable diapers. Alternatively you can make the change to cloth diapers, which can be used again and again and even rescued or sold on for future children. 

What About Biodegradable Diapers?

Unlike other diapers available, biodegradable diapers do decompose quicker. This however is based on their conditions. 

There is no 100% biodegradable diaper currently available, however the amount of plastics used is significantly reduced. With these diapers being mostly biodegradable within 50 years. 

The best biodegradable diapers require a certain disposal process. They require specific composting processes and optimum conditions to allow the diapers to break down, such as high levels of oxygen. 

Some biodegradable diaper companies offer services to collect these for composition. If this is not provided, you will need to actively find a local company to decompose them for you. If they are placed in with your regular trash and end up in landfill, the diaper dump will be buried and the conditions may prevent them from degrading. 


Are dirty diapers hazardous waste? 

Used diapers can contain bacteria that can cause health conditions when not disposed of correctly. Although they are not deemed hazardous waste it is important to understand the health risks associated. 

How to dispose diapers at home? 

Make sure all solid content in the nappy is flushed away. Then take the diaper and wrap it, seal it in a bag and dispose of the diaper in the trash for proper disposal. 

Is it illegal to throw away poopy diapers?

No it is not illegal. Soiled diapers do not fall into the category of hazardous or medical waste. This makes them legal to be thrown away.

Are diapers recyclable?

No. Disposable diapers are not recyclable. They are designed for single use and not for multiple wears. Once used, they need to be disposed of. 

Where do you throw away diapers on a plane? 

There will be a bin located in the airplane lavatory. With these being small if the diaper is particularly smelly, ask the flight attendant if they can direct you to an alternative bin that you can use. 

How to get rid of diaper smell in room? 

Make sure the diaper is removed and disposed of. Where possible open a window to air the room and disperse the smell. If that fails use an air freshener. 

Can you throw away poopy diapers? 

It is not advisable to leave poop in the diaper before disposal. Remove the poop and flush it away in a lavatory before disposing of the diaper. 

What can you do with leftover diapers? 

You can offer them to other mom friends, store them away (especially if you are planning another in the future), or offer them to charities or organizations. 

How do you dispose of pant diapers? 

Flush away any poop firstly. Then at the back of the diaper pant is a strip of tape. Roll the diaper up and decure with this tape. Seal and pop in the trash. 

How to dispose diapers in village? 

Whether you live in a city, town or village the process for correctly disposing of diapers is the same. Remove the poop, wrap, seal and bin. 

How to dispose diaper gel? 

Put the diaper gel into some water with salt. The salt will cause the gel to dissolve. Once complete pour or flush this water away.

What type of waste are diapers?

The majority of diapers are primarily made of a selection of different plastic-based materials. This makes them fall into the plastic waste category in most instances. 

How to destroy baby diapers?

Baby dirty diapers should not be destroyed at home. Based on the materials used to make them it is not safe. You should always dispose of the diapers in the trash.

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