- Using a diaper pail with cloth diapers: Diaper pails are great options for use with cloth diapers, however they shouldn't be used alone. Most pails are made of plastic, which is notorious for absorbing odors and developing some unpleasant funk. I always recommend placing a diaper pail liner (aff link) or a wet bag (aff link) inside of the diaper pail. The pail liner or wet bag should be washed frequently to prevent odor from accumulating. I like diaper pails because they offer some secondary containment for cloth diaper wet bags.
- Soaking Diapers: It's not recommended to soak diapers anymore. This can be a hazard for children (potentially drowning in the pail), and can cause more stink to build up if diapers are sitting in the wet/soiled water for too long. It can also be damaging on elastic to soak diapers for long periods of time in urine-filled water. If you insist on soaking diapers, do it only for a maximum of a few hours, inside the washing machine (or in a pail out of reach of children), and only with diapers that don't contain elastic.
- Diaper pail fresheners: Pail fresheners are a good idea that doesn't really work very well. Some companies sell powders or essential oils that can help to mask odor. Instead of masking odor, I prefer simply doing a load of laundry. Diapers should be washed a minimum of every 3-4 days to prevent damage to the diapers and elastic.
In this reader's case, I recommended that she purchase (or make) a couple of zippered wet bags. She can still use her diaper pail as secondary containment, however she will need to wash it with white vinegar to get rid of the lingering odor. Since she has twins in cloth diapers and a smaller stash, she will need to wash diapers about every 1-2 days to keep enough clean diapers available. Washing more often will help reduce the issue with odor. After sitting for a while, urine converts to ammonia (which has a bad eye-burning smell). Washing diapers more often, and containing them in a zippered wet bag, will keep ammonia smell from escaping.