the IT city, the I.T. Baby


You can use a normal trash bag with a Diaper Genie

The Diaper Genie EliteWhile I’ve probably expressed my hatred for the Diaper Genie quite a few times, the fact remains that it’s in my life, two of them now actually as the first was so badly broken that I thought it was not repairable and I wanted to use the three remaining expensive refills.

Maggie’s poo was also reeking in a flip-top trash can, so the nasal decision had been made. While I managed to repair once again the impossibly badly constructed Diaper Genie Elite (never had any problems with the replacement I ordered as a note,) I decided since I had two of them to do a test and see if I could drop the disposal price of a diaper from about two cents a diaper with standard refills to in the neighborhood of two cents or less per Genie load.

What you’ll need to use a normal trash bag with a Diaper Genie

  • You’ll need an old used Diaper Genie refill. So basically just don’t throw it away.
  • A tall kitchen trash bag with a drawstring (pictured here is a medium kitchen trash bag)

hacking the Diaper Genie for use with a normal trash bag

So not very much. Seen above is a generic Diaper Genie refill that’s run out of refill and a medium/short trash bag with drawstring.

Hacking the Diaper Genie Elite

Step 1. take the tall kitchen trash bag, and pull the side with the drawstring through the hoop. Pictured below is a medium trash bag and works, but is slightly too short.

hacking the Diaper Genie for use with a normal trash bagYour next object will be to slightly cinch up the drawstring. You’re not attempting to use the drawstring for what you think you’re attempting to do, you’re just using it to stuff in the empty space of the refill container where there used to be bags coming out of.

The idea here is that the drawstring will prevent the bag from slipping much while not posing a huge headache to pull the thing out. To repeat: The drawstring is just to stuff into the empty refill.

Step two. Wrap and tuck.

hacking the Diaper Genie for use with a normal trash bagAlthough I have tied the cinch in this picture, it is nit tight. It’s just enough to keep the bag from slipping out. You can use the tuck method, this was a short bag and would fall in if it weren’t cinched.

If you cinch, made sure it’s only tight enough to prevent it from going back over with a heavy diaper load. Too tight and diaper won’t go through.

Step three. Install.

With a closed Diaper Genie, press the foot pedal or open depending on your model and put the bottom of the bag in. Pop the top and pull the bag through and position the wrapped empty refill oval where it needs to be.

Step four. Uninstall.

Keep in mind this is going to fill up with baby poop and pee, so at least for the first few times make sure you know how to remove the thing in the event of an emergency.

You’ll need to understand that you will be required to slightly raise the bag/oval in order to get the bag to release. This isn’t hard to do unless you tied the drawstrings really tight or let two hundred pounds of baby poo accumulate.

Step five. Profit

It makes no cents to pay that much to dispose of stuff
It make no cents to pay that much to throw out with poo

While I can’t find an exact pricing of the ones I purchased, it seems like it was in the neighborhood of $14 for 150 trash bags at Costco although the best price I can locate online seems to be $23.51 for 200 and I think these might be the medium versions.

So let’s say there’re 100 trash bags for $20 to do a comparison. That’s not unreasonable to assume we can find that bargain. It costs $18 to dispose of 810 diapers assuming you believe the Diaper Genie Refill hype. If you go to Costco you might be able to get 1080 diapers for $20 so let’s assume that.

So best case scenario with a diaper genie refill is $0.0185 per diaper, or $18.52 per 1000 diapers to dispose of them.

I find that I can reasonably expect to get at least 20 diapers in a bag that’s been stuffed into the Diaper Genie. This is $0.1175 per trash bag, or let’s call it 12 cents a bag, which if I only managed to get 10 diapers in (you can fit about 30 realistically) the price would come out to $11 per 1000 diapers to dispose of them

Realistically however you’re looking at the difference between $4 per 1000 vs $18.52 per 1000. At ten diapers per day this breaks down to $14.60 per year (trash bag) vs $67.60. A $53 savings the first year.

Of course, you may not want to use the trash bags, they might not work for you, but it’s worth a shot to save a hundred or so dollars over a couple of years. All the little savings you can get really do help. You’d be amazed. Also can get your Diaper Genie back up and running while you wait to go to buy refills.

On a side note, I wrote this and then searched for it, other people have videos. Le sigh, I thought I was so cool and had discovered it… oh well.


Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.