Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Stink Bomb Went Off: Why Our Diaper Champ Is Retiring

We loved the Diaper Champ. That made its betrayal all the more heartbreaking.

This December, after 16 months of successful smell-proofing, our Diaper Champ started emitting a horrific diaper stench far worse than any single load of diapers. Our son's diet hadn't changed, nor had his diapers. The Champ just quit working (seemingly overnight).

We have always fastidious with the Champ, so we thought it would work effectively forever.

The designers however decided to integrate a cloth and foam gasket in the Champ (it isn't in the newest wide-based version which appears to have no gaskets). It seems to have sucked in the noxious fumes like a sponge and has recently turned from absorption to emission.

BabyGeek's room now smells the ape house at a disreputable zoo. The Champ seems irreparable without ripping out the gasket and replacing it with improvised parts. The only way the Diaper Champ can stay in BabyGeek's room is if we all add gas masks to our daily wardrobe.

We're replacing the Champ with a stench-proof steel trash can. It won't have the easy one-handed function, but the room probably will no longer smell like the circus has come to town.

We hacked the steel can a little to smell-proof it more. We filled the tiny gaps near the handle with silicone caulk and put a ring of caulk around the edge of the lid for extra stench-stopping, but the silicone will not cure (anyone know why?), so we're scraping it all off and repeating the whole process with hot glue.

Hopefully, this will clear the air.

Feb. 1, 2007:
PLEASE READ Update on Diaper Champ situation:


Anonymous said...

Or you can do what we do and use grocery store bags and IMMEDIATELY put the bombs in the garbage outside.

I'm sure the city guys just LOVE that they've switched to a mechanical garbage truck now.

LJ said...

Most manufacturers specify a shelf life of 1-year from date of manufacturer for silicone caulk in unopened tubes. I've not seen times for partially used tubes. Silicone will last longer than a year, but if it's old you must test it to see if it is going to cure. Silicone does not air dry, it has a curing agent. If a sample placed on a non-porous surface does not cure in 24 hours don't use it.

from http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair/caulk.htm

adrienne said...

Yay, John! That must be it!

The silicone was an unopened mystery tube that we found in the garage. Jim had bought a new tube for this project, but I (being a real cheapskate said, "Why can't we just use this unopened tube?" Odds are very high that the mystery tube had been there from when we stripped and recaulked a leaky shower door in 2004.

As I have yet to hot glue the lid, we may attempt silicone again- bypassing the other mystery tubes in the garage this time. I may even throw them all away (somewhere Jim is reading this and wondering if it's all just a dream).

I'm so glad we didn't use the caulk on something installed (like the other shower) to find it wouldn't cure. You've saved us many future headaches.

Thanks for the science!

Jim said...

Now the big question is...

Did we return the caulk that we bought for this project but decided not to use because we still had some?


If not, I think the caulk will work better than the hot glue.

JL said...

omg! Thank you! I thought I was going insane (still, a distinct possibility due to sleep dep.) After 10 months of fabulous use, complete cleanings, our Diaper Champ just started to reek the most unholy odors. I knew it had to do with that foam stuff... I wonder if the company will switch it out for a new one if we all write in?

adrienne said...


Let's give it a try!

Baby Trend
1567 S. Campus Ave.
Ontario, CA 91761

Customer Service: (800) 328-7363
Email: info@babytrend.com

If they will upgrade the product, I'd feel much better about the company.

megachick said...

good to know about this issue. we used a diaper champ 5 years ago with my daughter and figured we would get another this time around. but after hearing your story, maybe we'll just do it the way we clean the litter box-into a plastic bag and throw it out immediately. it's the only way we ever reuse all those plastic grocery bags.

adrienne said...

Yay- things may be looking up on this. See the update:

Jim said...

A clickable link for the previous comment:


Anonymous said...

Mommy of 2 said...

I have a diaper champ and it worked until I left 1 diaper in it for 2 weeks,and when we got back it was never the same, I washed it with about everything,I left it outside for several days and it didn't work until I took the seal out and the smell was gone. I love the diaper champ because you can use any bag, so Mommy's if you have this problem just replace the seal that's all. And change it every week.