If you have decided to cloth diaper, you are going to need to think about where and how you will be storing the dirty diapers. I recommend a diaper pail or bucket with a locking lid so a mobile baby will not be able to get into the diapers even if they manage to knock the bucket over. You can use a wet bag in place of a diaper pail, but even a zip up wet bag may not contain odors as well or last as long as a diaper pail. You can purchase items like these at cottonbabies.com or use a large cat litter bucket with a lid as a cheap alternative for your dry pail.
When using the wet pail method to store dirty cloth diapers, you will need a diaper pail with a locking lid to protect your child from a potential drowning hazard. You do not want to leave an open bucket of water on the ground no matter how good you are at supervising. You will want to fill your diaper pail half way or more with water. You can also choose to add about ¼ cup of baking soda, vinegar, or a few drops of essential oil to help eliminate odors and prevent staining. After a diaper change, shake diapers off over the toilet or rinse, then unroll and toss in the diaper pail. Never soak cloth diapers in detergent or bleach.
You may choose to use the wet pail method to store dirty cloth diapers because it may hold less odor than other methods. It may also prevent staining and eliminate the need to presoak diapers before washing. Some parents may feel that it is unnecessary to rinse diapers before placing them in a wet pail which saves time. You may decide against the wet pail method if you dislike having to clean the pail often. The diaper pail will be heavy because of the water, it can create a mess if spilled, and may smell badly because of stagnant water.
When it is time to wash your diapers, dump all of the contents of the diaper pail into the washing machine. You can run a spin cycle to eliminate excess water, then launder and dry as usual.
If you decide to use the dry pail method, you can purchase a waterproof bag to use as a liner in your diaper pail or use the bag alone to store soiled diapers. You can toss the bag in the washing machine along with the diapers when it is time to wash them. After a diaper change, shake diapers off over the toilet and unroll the diapers. Toss dirty diapers in the diaper pail along with your cloth diaper wipes. You may sprinkle a little bit of baking soda over diapers after each diaper change or as often as necessary to control odors.
With the dry pail method, you may experience more staining than you might with another method, but you may feel safer with this method than you would with a diaper pail full of water in a home with small children. Your diaper pail will be much lighter to carry on wash day when using a dry diaper pail.
Presoak your diapers for a few hours or overnight in cold water with ¼ cup of baking soda or run a cold prewash after placing diapers in the washing machine. Then launder and dry as usual.
With either method you choose, you may also decide to rinse your cloth diapers in hot water after you shake them off over the toilet. This may help reduce the ammonia in the diapers, reduce odors, stains, skin irritation, and the necessity to strip your diapers often.
Remember to take necessary safety precautions when storing used diapers around children and pets.