Friday, June 25, 2010

Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail by Munchkin {Review}

With June quickly coming to an end already, when I look back at this month there aren't too many exciting things that happened around our house. Big Sister E started summer "camp" and loves it, as I knew she would. Little Sister B went in for her 18-month checkup... which made me wonder how in the world 18 months have passed since she was born.

And, also high up there on the list of fun events, our house got a smell makeover thanks to Mom Central. Being notified that I was able to be a part of their Diaper Pail Test Team meant that the system we had been using went directly out into the garage, taking all of its annoyances and odors with it.

Instead, we rotated back and forth between the Playtex Diaper Genie II Elite and the Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail by Munchkin to check out the features and highlights of each one. Sounds easy enough, right? From reading my Diaper Genie II Elite review, you know that I was pretty happy with many of the changes that Playtex made from their older diaper pails to get to their current one, so from the first time I opened the box, Munchkin already had a fairly tough act to follow.

However, I immediately had to give the Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail an extra point due to the fact that I pulled it out of the box fully assembled. Not that the Diaper Genie II Elite took more than a few minutes to put together, but it was great to not even have to deal with that. Right under the lid I found the baking soda cartridge waiting to be slid into place and then we were ready to go.

I found that opening the lid to Munchkin's diaper pail could be done one-handed, simply by pushing down on the easy lever and lifting up the lid. To use the pail, push the diaper down through the seal into the bag and close the top. When that occurs, two things happen to make sure the odors of dirty diapers aren't wafting through your home.

First, this diaper pail is equipped with a self-sealing system, meaning that every time the lid is closed, the bag twists shut, keeping any smells tightly inside. Second, just to make sure that any lingering scents don't escape, the Arm & Hammer baking soda dispenser sprinkles a dusting down every time to absorb any odors whether the diaper pail is being used or not. After approximately 90 days, simply refill the cartridge with more baking soda and it will keep on doing its job.

Not having to hold my breath every time I opened Munchkin's diaper pail was easily another point in their column. Whether during use or just sitting in Little Sister B's room, it really did completely eliminate the dirty diaper unpleasantness, which is something that the Diaper Genie II Elite couldn't fully claim.

Also, for their third point, when it came time to change the bag in the Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail, I don't think that Munchkin could have made it any easier than their Snap, Seal and Toss design.

Due to the convenient door on the front of this diaper pail, all that is required to empty it is to snap the bag shut, pull it down through the seal and remove the whole thing out the front. No hassle, no cutting, no tying or trying to determine how to get the next portion of the bag started... just pop in a new refill bag (it comes with three) and you're done.

Unfortunately, the Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail also loses a point due to its innovative front door based on its flimsy quality. Even though it has a locking mechanism, just by putting your fingers in the opening, you (or an older child) are able to pull the door right open. I don't know about you, but giving my toddler access to dirty diapers is just not all that great of an idea. In my opinion, the inadequate locking of the door is a major flaw in the design that wouldn't be all that difficult for Munchkin to fix with a little ingenuity and higher quality materials.

So in the end, which diaper pail reigns supreme?

Around our house, the votes are split. I prefer the Diaper Genie II Elite due to its higher quality, taller height, foot pedal and that it can be fully used incredibly quickly with only one hand (remember, you can see more about its great features in my review). However, I do admit that it doesn't contain the odors as well when it is open and changing the bag requires slightly more work.

As for my husband, according to his own words, "I'm all about odor prevention." The Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail by Munchkin provides almost complete odor-elimination before, during and after using it. The Snap, Seal and Toss bags that twist close with each use not only keep the smells away but make disposal a breeze. However, I'm not a fan of the lower quality of the diaper pail as a whole, the door that opens too easily and having to squish the diaper in through the seal (especially when the diaper is full. Eww).

As more innovations come along, I'm sure both Playtex and Munchkin will make improvements to their diaper pails and hopefully in the future one will exist that combines the best features from both of these. Until then, thanks so much to Mom Central for giving us all the opportunity to breath a little deeper around here and actually like what we smell!

I am a member of the Mom Central community and I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central, sponsored by Diaper Genie, and received a free Diaper Genie diaper pail and a free Munchkin Arm & Hammer diaper pail to facilitate my review.


Mandee said...

He he...I like the last paragraph!
I have been trying to decide what sort of diaper pail I am going to buy for our new baby. I am hoping to cloth diaper, but plan to start off the first few weeks in disposables b/c I still have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to cloth...ha ha!

Jenna said...

Great review! I like the picture you posted of the door...that was the same problem we were having too. Kaelyn was able to open it too easily.