How Many Wet Bags/Pail Liners Do I Need?

To cloth diaper full time, you will need at least two large wet bags or diaper pail liners. These wet bags or diaper pail liners should be large enough to hold a minimum of 15 dirty cloth diapers. You can always increase the number of bags or liners if you have a few changing stations in your house.

While two large wet bags or diaper pail liners are essential, there are a variety of sizes to accommodate all your cloth diapering needs. Read below to find the right wet bag or pail liner for your cloth diapers.

What is a wet bag?

wet bag

A wet bag is a bag that holds your dirty cloth diapers. It is water-resistant and allows you to store wet diapers in a leak-free bag. Wet bags are a staple for cloth diapering. They will replace the usual garbage bag and diaper pail that disposable diapers use.

Wet bags can be used on their own and don’t require you to purchase a diaper pail. This is the most economical option for cloth diaper “disposal.” Your baby’s soiled diapers are tossed in here while they wait to be washed. When you are ready to wash, just throw these in with your dirty cloth diapers.

Wet bags are generally made from PUL, just like your diaper covers. Most wet bags are made with zippered closures. Water-resistant wet bags should work for your family if you don’t have dripping wet diapers. They will still allow a bit of air to pass through to keep mold and bacteria away. Some wet bags even have their seams sealed to create truly waterproof bags. These can handle wet swimsuits and drippy diapers best.

A large wet bag should be able to handle about two days worth of dirty diapers. You will use one wet bag while the other is washing. If you have multiple changing areas in your home, you can pick up extra wet bags, so you don’t have to walk too far with a soiled diaper.

Zipper Closure Wet Bags

Zipper closure bags are an excellent solution to keeping diaper smells at bay. The zipper closes to prevent moisture and odor from escaping. Many of these bags with zippered closures feature a loop for hanging. This is perfect for over doorknobs and hooks on changing tables.

GroVia makes a wet bag that functions like a diaper pail. It is hung from a hanger and has an opening at the top where diapers can be deposited. The bottom has a zipper that opens up to drop soiled diapers easily into your washer. If you’d like to compare prices, the top two places are Amazon here and The Natural Baby Co’s Grovia website here.

What is a diaper pail liner?

Similar to wet bags, you will need a minimum of 2 diaper pail liners. Diaper pail liners are made to fit in diaper pails. They take the place of traditional diaper garbage bags. If you choose to use a diaper pail, you will use these liners instead of a wet bag. Diaper pail liners usually have elastic on the top edge to hug the diaper pail and keep it from slipping. Some liners have elastic drawstrings.

Diaper pail liners are made out of the same PUL as the wet bag and will contain most of the moisture from your diapers. Thirsties makes a simple elastic pail liner that is large enough for a couple days’ worth of diapers. You can find this pail liner on the manufacturer’s website here and on Amazon here for different prices, so I would definitely look around to see what your best options are.

Choosing a Diaper Pail

To properly use the cloth diaper pail liners, you will have to select the right diaper pail. Not every diaper pail will work with cloth diapers. The Diaper Dékor pail is a popular option because it was made to accommodate cloth diapers. It is an easy step design. Spouses and babysitters will already be familiar with this system. This is as close as you can get to a regular diaper pail. You can even buy cloth pail liners that are made for this pail from the same company. You’ll find my complete Dekor diaper pail review here.

The Ubbi diaper pail is a stainless steel option that works well at containing odor. It is a bit pricier but it is the right size and its stainless steel construction means it will last all through your diapering years. As an added plus it holds a full load of diapers. Dedicated diaper pails come in handy when your baby becomes mobile and start to explore. The child locks on these cans prevent you from having to clean an epic mess. You can find this bike on Amazon here.

A versatile choice for parents is trash cans. If you’re worried about buying an expensive diaper pail that your baby will outgrow, this is the way to go. Many parents purchase Simplehuman trash cans because of their odor containing stainless steel and step opening. These can easily transition to a trash can in any room. If you want to look into more information about this trash can, you can find it on Amazon’s website here. I warn you though, the price on this trash can may send you into sticker shock! I don’t recommend going this route as the price is triple what a good wet bag will cost you.

What should you use for your diaper bag?


Mini wet bags are essential for full-time cloth diapering parents. These smaller versions of wet bags are convenient to keep in your diaper bag and required for travel. You will also need a minimum of two. One to keep in your diaper bag while the other is being washed.

The best options are small wet bags with double pockets. One pocket stores clean diapers while the other holds baby’s soiled cloth diapers. Alvababy makes these two pocket zippered wet bags that can be found on Amazon here at an exceptionally great price.

For ultimate wetness protection, look for wet bags that have their seams sealed. Bumkins makes a small one pocket wet bag, also available on Amazon here, that has heat-sealed seams. These are what you should buy if your baby is a heavy wetter, and you are concerned with moisture escaping.

How do I wash wet bags and diaper pail liners?

Wet bags and pail liners can be washed with your cloth diapers. Turn them inside out so their crevices and corners can be cleaned. Similar to cloth diapers, don’t use bleach or fabric softeners on these wet bags and liners. Ideally, they should be air-dried to make them last longer. If you’re short on time, however, you can tumble dry them on low. The bags and liners do not need to be sunned and should stay away from UV light altogether. UV light will degrade the material and create leaks.

To begin your cloth diaper journey, you will only need two large wet bags or two diaper pail liners with a diaper pail and two small wet bags. Any extra bags or liners are a bonus. Now you will be ready for any stinky diaper that comes your way.

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