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What is the best way to dispose of adult diapers?

13 answers | Last updated: Apr 21, 2015
An anonymous caregiver asked...

I need advice on disposal of adult diapers. Is it okay to just put them in the regular garbage headed for the landfill?

Also, is there a recommended treatment for diaper rash?


Caring.com User - Ann Cason
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53% helpful
Ann Cason answered...

Thank you for your environmentally sensitive question. It is all right to put disposable adult diapers in the trash that goes to the landfill. Although, most brands are made from See also:
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mostly biodegradable material, there is still some plastic covering as well as the fumes of human waste. Recent studies have shown that adult disposable diapers are more environmentally safe than the cloth ones due the energy required for frequent laundering.

Also, environmentally it helps to understand the deep ecology. Today older adults are more within the mainstream of life. Elders are working, volunteering, traveling, dancing and generally living more active lifestyles,no longer hindered by incontinence problems. Our society has gone from diapers to pull ups, which are like regular panties,to briefs,and special incontinence pads.

We have the support of disposable incontinence products to live life with more dignity even with infirmities.

Also, the absorbent material that goes into disposable products keeps the skin drier. disposables need to be changed less often. Also, they do more to prevent diaper rash.

Prevention of diaper rash can best be accomplished by highly absorbent products so that the skin does not get so wet.

When you do have to change them, you can quickly pull on a pair of thin gloves, wipe the skin with special wipes. Then use a warm cloth, dry off and put on a moisture barrier.

If a rash appears after this, wash the area with warm soapy water instead of using the wipe. A cream made with zinc oxide might help the healing. Some say it helps to leave the diaper off and let the air dry the skin. But a special note for an elder who suffers from dementia. Do not leave the incontinence pad or pull up off. Without the safety and familiarity of her incontinence pad, she might suffer a catastrophic reaction.

If the diaper rash does not clear up right away, it might indicate that there is a yeast or bacterial infection or even an allergic reaction. You should contact your health professional for further guidance.


More Answers
70% helpful
ChristineVic answered...

My mom is incontinent and found these scented bags that are made from 100% recycled material that are wonderful for disposing of her incontinence products. They are called Heaven Scent Hygiene Bags and she gets them at her local grocery but I they are available at alot of different websites online as well. Hope this helps someone- they do work!!


71% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

Both my husband and I have incontinence problems. I have found that some of the diaper pails that are on the market today for children are made to help control odors. The one we use will hold about 3 days of pullups and pads. They are easy to use and empty and the bags can then be tossed away with the regular garbage.


50% helpful
LindaSD answered...

My mom who has Alzheimer's is only urine incontinent now. I bought a baby diaper pail at KMart that has ring-plastic bag refills. I also put a little deoderized cat litter in the bottom of a new bag. This controls the orders. But it is small and she is only using pads in her underpants. Not sure how this will work if she get bowel incontinent. When I change the bag insert I put in in our regular trash. I too wondered about disposal since hospitals put dirty adult diapers in red biohazard bags yet at home we throw them into regular trash.

My biggest problem is mom refuses to clean up. When she does she complains that soap burns. Probably because she is so mad at me for getting her to wash that she's not rinsing the soap off.Is there another product that won't cause urinary infections for cleaning? Getting her in the shower is yet another fit of rage on her part.

I wish there were classes on dealing with incontinence in dementia patients.


60% helpful

when my father was on hospice they provided waterless or no rinse body wash. It was a very mild soap without alcohol that did not burn too much. Some of the zinc oxide stuff can cake on the body and is hard to get off. It appears to work well but if she is real sore the rubbing can really hurt. We also used adult wipes. Some dry out before you can get them out of the package but surprisingly Walgreen brand worked well. I agree with you about dementia care. All of the books i have has 1 chapter on dementia. They cover other things but just keep saying it is part of the disease. I really dont care if it is part of the disease just tell me different ways to handle it. My support group is pretty good about telling you different ways to handle people, Very practical and non-preachy. You might look for one in your area.


75% helpful
Ken99 answered...

We like the S.A.C. Adult Diaper disposal bags They do not have a scent which I prefer since the perfume odor does not help in my opinion. Also the bags have a pull string tie which is easy to close and I was also able to purchase a box holder so I can keep the bags by the toilet where they are needed. I bought them on Amazon and the companys website is www.GoldenGroupInternational.com


75% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

my mom is 88 and has Alzheimer's. What is working for us right now is to begin by telling her that her Dr. (who she will do anything for) wants her to have a shower to be healthy and then have her take a nap. She wakes up rested and ready to tackle the shower. taking one day at a time! Looking for a diaper pail for large adult diapers!


100% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

My 89 year old Father who has moderate Alzheimer's has just moved in with us. I purchased a Coway BB1000 Bidet Toilet Seat from the internet at the advice of a 92 year old friend. It cleans Dad and even dries him when he finishes toileting. He usually has a wet pull up on before starting so at least I know that in between bathing he has good hygiene.


100% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

I have used scented disposal bags from www.reverecare.com. They are extra large and extra strong. I think they even offer free samples if you email for them


Felicia Tierra answered...

Our recycling center charges by the weight of the bags dumped. My husbands full pullups are rather heavy with jellified urine (only). This summer I gently took the pullups apart and put the urine-soaked padding in full sun on my backyard hillside. The hot sun dried them out and deodorized them. I put the dried results in the garbage for the dump. They were very light weight at that point, and didn't stink. But now winter is coming. No more hot sun drying. I don't know what I can do now that is as energy efficient and cost-saving as the sun-drying method. Any suggestions?


100% helpful
BeScensibles answered...

Many people who wear pads find Scensibles bags to be the perfect solution. The bags are pink on pink floral design with tie handle closure. They are embedded with a fragrance, an antimicrobial additive to inhibit odor-causing bacterial growth and an ox-biodegradable additive. The bags are interleaved folded-for easy dispensing-50 per box. Clean, easy, discreet. Find them on Amazon and at Scensiblesbags.com


100% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

Take a look at the S.A.C. Adult incontinence disposal bags by Golden Group International. The bags are available in a box of 50 or travel packs that fit in your pocket for discreet and sanitary disposal while out. They have a draw string to close and seal the items inside. There is a dispenser that can be purchased separately. This dispenser can be mounted on a wall, partition or behind a door making the bags easily accessible when needed. These bags are very easy to handle, even for those with arthritis. Take a look at them: S.A.C. DB8010 by Golden Group International, Ltd.


50% helpful
Mcowan answered...

Maybe I am old fashion, but most of my relatives have lived into their 90s and are still driving to Dollywood, dancing, and very active in spite of their incontinence. What do they do? A little olive oil in their bathing water (no soap!), pat dry, and then use silky corn starch as a powder if necessary in hotter weather, vaseline sometimes, too. None of them have ever suffered from sores or rashes, so sometimes the old fashioned remedies help.