I Finally Got Rid of Litter Box Smells With This Genius Hack

Traditional solutions weren't helping me make the litter box less smelly, so I tried something new—and now I'll never go back.

Solution for Litter Box Smells - Ubbi Diaper Pail
Photo: amazon.com

If you're a cat person, you know that the best part of their sometimes fickle habits and cat behaviors is that they take care of business on their own—and you also know the worst part is that they do it in your house. And most don't flush. Instead of tolerating those unpleasant litter box smells, I got creative and invested in a new sort of solution.

For the longest time, I was an apartment-dweller, and aside from a glorious three-month period where my cat learned to use the toilet, I've always battled the litter box smell. These days, I've upgraded to a house with a laundry room dedicated to the litter box. I'd finally found a pellet litter good for neutralizing urine odors, and life was good.

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But the addition of a second cat had me second guessing everything. The new cat hated the pellet litter, and we had to switch back to the regular old clumping clay.

I scoop the box daily, but unless you take the waste outside, it's still just in your home, smelling. After too much time spent vetting cat waste cans, which had mixed reviews, I decided to hack the system and try baby products.

Pet products of this variety require proprietary bags, filters, and replacement parts, and most of it is made of plastic, which is porous and allows odors to escape. But I eventually discovered the Ubbi Diaper Pail. (To buy: From $67; amazon.com.) These pails are made of powder-coated steel and come in 12 fun colors for your nursery—er, laundry room. They have a sliding top with a baby-proof lid lock and the opening is sealed off with rubber to prevent odor leaks.

It was a one-time purchase of about $70 that worked with any standard garbage bag, and it was top-rated for diaper pails—I figured it was worth a shot, and I was right. With the help of this little pail, I banished litter box odors for good. There's no smell, plus the Ubbi holds more waste than most pet counterparts, because they're designed for full diapers—up to 50, to be exact. With weekly clean-outs, mine is never full.

The pail stands at about 2 feet tall and fits right next to the box, rather discreetly. I still scoop each day, but now I dump the waste into the pail and down into the bag, which is anchored on a plastic ring under the lid. When I slide the top closed, the smell is sealed away. Once a week, I empty the pail, spray it down with the hose, and powder it with baking soda for a bit of added protection. (Ubbi doesn't recommend using water to clean its product; the company's guidance says a good wipe down will do the trick, but I find that water removes excess litter easiest.) Then I replace the garbage bag for another week of stink-free litter boxes.

I even bought it in a cute pink color, a frill that isn't an option if you're buying a product designed for cats—though if you ask my felines, it should be.

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