Make Your Own Diaper Sprayer for 29% Less

At some point during your cloth diaper journey you’ll notice something a little funky. Now don’t get me wrong, funky can be fun. But this type of funk is often a little bit foul. It may challenge your senses. You may need a little extra help.

Enter the cloth diaper sprayer, a handy tool for those who don’t want to use their hands. A diaper sprayer looks a lot like a kitchen vegetable sprayer, except for one important difference — you hook it up to your can.

diaper sprayer

Many branded models boast adjustable spray pressure, plumber-free installation, and a stream so strong that even the messiest diaper can be spritzed clean.

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I wanted one for a few reasons. I wanted cleaner diapers hitting my laundry, I liked the idea of less staining on my cloth, and I preferred the poop flushing down the toilet where it belongs. Less fuss, less mess. Sold.

bumgenius sprayer
Don’t pay to spray: Save 29% by making your own diaper sprayer.

The problem is both branded and generic models seem a little pricey for what you get (a hose that sprays?), and many product reviews cite leaking, breaking, and the inability to replace parts as common faults. For example, the bumGenius Diaper Sprayer sells for a pricey $69.99 on Amazon, and boasts as many negative reviews as positive. Not sold.

DIY diaper sprayer instructions

Why not just build one with quality components to last from diaper to potty? If something breaks (which is unlikely), then single parts can easily be swapped without the expense of replacing the whole unit. It’s like plumbing, people!

I wasn’t alone in my search for a handy DIY plumber-grade diaper sprayer. Blogger Nicole over at Gidget Goes Home gave it a go. So I took her lead to see if a DIY diaper sprayer could cut the cost with higher quality. Sold.

Here’s how to get the dirty job done.

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How to make your own cloth diaper sprayer

Start by getting the right plumbing parts. Carl avoided a few diaper changes by popping on over to Home Depot (Canada). The same parts are available in the United States and sell for less.

diaper sprayer parts

The stuff you need:

  • toilet connected with a 3/8″ compression fitting
  • compression T-fitting, 3/8″ x 3/8″ x 1/4″
  • 1/4″ compression connector for 1/4″ pipe
  • 1/4″ valve
  • kitchen sink sprayer
  • 1/4″ pipe nipple (or an adapter to connect sprayer to valve — varies depending on the sprayer)
  • Teflon tape
  • 1/4″ tubing for compression fittings (or a 1/4″ compression fitting ‘ice maker hookup’ tube kit)
  • towel, small container for catching water
  • adjustable crescent wrench (ideally, two)
  • small pipe wrench

DIY diaper sprayer parts

Total Cost:

  • Sink sprayer: $21.41
  • 1/4″ ball valve: $6.80
  • Adapt-A-Valve T: $6.59
  • 1/4″ brass pipe nipple: $2.12
  • 1/4″ ice maker connection hose: $5.57
  • 1/4″ compression connector: $2.02

TOTAL (after tax): $49.85

8 Steps: How to install a diaper sprayer

diaper sprayers

STEP ONE: Water shutdown. Turn off the water to your toilet. You don’t want a leaky can.

diaper sprayer leak

Place a towel and plastic container under the valve to catch any possible water drips.

STEP TWO: Disconnect. Use your wrench to disconnect the hose going from the valve to the toilet. Careful, some water is still going to be in the hose.

diaper sprayer toilet

STEP THREE: Assemble pieces. Connect the T-Adapter to one end of the tubing, and the compression connector to the other.

diaper sprayer T adapter
T-Adapter

diaper sprayer compression connector
Compression Connector

Tighten firmly, but do not over tighten.

STEP FOUR: Tape it. To create a water-tight seal, wrap a little Teflon tape around the threads of the compression connector (Yep, you just attached it to the tubing).

diaper sprayer teflon tape

Wrap the tape around the threads on one side of the pipe nipple.

STEP FIVE: Assemble valve. Screw the compression connector and the pipe nipple into the valve.

diaper sprayer assemble valve

diaper sprayer valve

Handle Position: Adjust the valve handle to your preferred position — it might be easier for you to use one way or the other. It shouldn’t matter which direction the water runs through the valve.

STEP SIX: Connect sprayer. Wrap a bit of Teflon tape around the other end of the pipe nipple (it’s attached to the valve), and screw the sink sprayer assembly onto it. (Yes, I really wrote the words ‘pipe nipple’ and ‘screw’ in the same sentence. Sigh.)

connect diaper sprayer

STEP SEVEN: Connect T-Adapter. Connect the T-Adapter to the water supply. One end will fit on the valve, the other end attaches to the hose leading to the toilet. Tighten firmly, but do not over tighten.

connect diaper sprayer water

Lefty or Righty? Use the T-Adapter to determine whether the hose points to the left or right. Handy for left-handed types or for those who favor their right hands.

STEP EIGHT: Turn the water on. Dry everything carefully. Turn on the toilet water. Check for leaks. Turn on the valve and give the sprayer a quick test. Check for leaks again.

DIY diaper sprayer

diaper sprayer water

Got leaks? If your diaper sprayer leaks, carefully tighten the leaking joint. If water is leaking from the valve or sprayer, take them back to the store — you may have bought a faulty part.

diaper sprayer check leaks

Next Steps:

Go ahead and spray those dirty cloth diapers clean. Your diapers may stain less, should launder fresher in the laundry, and you won’t get dirty in the process. Sold.

bumgenius diaper
Put a cork in it: A clean demo for a dirty topic.

Besides, when diapering is done and the kiddlet is potty trained, convert your diaper sprayer to a vegetable sprayer (kidding) or use it outside to hose the kids down on a hot summer’s day (sorta kidding). Dirt always finds the kid, right?

Love,
Kerry

Your two cents:

  1. Rob July 11th, 2012

    Basic plumbing, neatly done.

    And since you’re not getting poop on the actual sprayer(I hope!), you can use it for whatever you want once the offspring is attending to his/her own bum.

  2. Jennifer July 11th, 2012

    I bought my diaper sprayer along with my cloth diaper stash from Mother-Ease. I’m pretty sure the sprayer was only $40 (though that obviously doesn’t include shipping and taxes). Worth every penny though!

  3. Deb July 11th, 2012

    This is such a cool idea, wish I had know when my kids were small. I noticed, as well, that this looks much like the spraying devise found beside the toilets in the pictures of homes in Vietnam. I’m assuming used for personal hygiene purposes. I’m wondering if this diaper sprayer could be used for the same purposes here?

  4. Kerry July 11th, 2012

    Deb, Are you thinking a sprayer bidet? Many people around the world use a sprayer to turn their toilets into a bidet.

  5. Maggie July 11th, 2012

    Diaper sprayers didn’t exist when my babies were small. We just soaked their especially messy diapers in the toilet, then flushed the BM down. It really wasn’t a big deal at all. Of course we were meticulous hand washers! I’m sure this is a great idea, but I don’t really get it. Babies seem to need more gear now. . .

  6. Amy July 12th, 2012

    Dang, I just used a $1 spatula. Seriously, the dipaers are so absorbent that 90% of the poop fell off into the toilet without effort…

  7. Christa July 12th, 2012

    Thanks for the great instructions Kerry! I really thought we needed a diaper sprayer. My husband wasn’t convinced about the extra expense. So, we bought a package of two spatulas for $1 at the dollar store. We keep them in an old yogurt container under the bathroom sink. I’m actually glad we didn’t get the sprayer. The spatulas are simple and work on all but the runniest eliminations. I’m not sure even a sprayer could help with those though.

  8. Emma July 12th, 2012

    When I told my husband I couldn’t stand NOT having a sprayer anymore (about a year ago), he priced out the parts and came to the same amount you did – about $50. Luckily we were able to buy the bumgenius one for the same price – I guess the price has gone up considerably!

    At any rate – if you’re doing cloth diapers, and really don’t like the thought of getting in there and scrubbing with your hands, this is seriously one the best investments you can make. It makes dealing with diapers SO much less gross and I can’t help but think it’s more sanitary, too. I think it will make dealing with a dirty potty a lot easier, too.

    I have also heard ladies say they are great for post-partum rinsing.

  9. Jo July 12th, 2012

    We did the same thing when we had bubs – but we used an el cheapo plastic garden hose sprayer – about $5, and a piece from the end of our garden hose. It was also useful for cleaning bedding on leaky nappy days, and when the inevitable gastro bugs came visiting…

  10. john melia July 13th, 2012

    Re, make your own diaper spray, only ONE very important item left off your DIY list, a ” back flow preventer valve”, its function is to prevent contaminated water and fecal matter being sucked back into the homes potable water pipes in the event of a broken watermain causing a ” vacuum ” in the supply pipes. No plumber with a government issued Licence would install the system described. Good luck with the lawsuits, John ( retired plumber.

  11. Debbi July 18th, 2012

    Thanks for the tutorial.
    I found the bumGenius for $50 at sogreenbaby.com but going to see if hubby can devise this first :)

  12. Dean July 25th, 2012

    Ha! I thought it was just me that sprayed messy diaper wraps and baby/parent clothes. I ended up just using an old garden hose and using my thumb to vary the pressure. Not fancy, but it worked.

  13. heather July 28th, 2012

    this is brilliant! my kids are long out of diapers, but i have been looking for a scheme for a spray bidet. thank you!

  14. Cheryl October 31st, 2012

    I loved the first diaper sprayer so much I bought another one – for cleaning my bathtub…. and like another commenter mentioned, they are wonderful to have around to the inevitable GI bug when you have kidlet(s) around. I too initially balked at the price of the diaper sprayer, but found mine for about $40 at littletreehugger.com. I looked into the DIY option, but my (rough) calculations put the price at higher than the $40 kit – and this way I got the handy-dandy hanger for on the side of the toilet.

  15. Daisy April 3rd, 2013

    Or you can do what I did, and join one of the many cloth diapering co-ops on facebook. I got my diaper sprayer for a total of $15 + $5 in shipping.

  16. Erin July 18th, 2013

    I followed these instructions and my sprayer is leaking at every connection. I put plenty of teflon tape on the threads and tightened everything up. Help :(

  17. Cindy July 24th, 2013

    You may have to much or not enough Teflon tape. First try tightening the connections if no go try less Teflon. I tried washers w connections and that worked

  18. Passerby August 18th, 2013

    Re: backflow and lawsuits:
    Did you actually read this tutorial? At no point is poop going into the sprayer. What on earth are you talking about?

  19. Gourd September 25th, 2013

    Re: backflow

    Having one is NOT an extravagance. A properly set up toilet has a means of backflow prevention aka an air gap where water free falls into the refill tube without a continuous path from the bowl back to the house piping.

    If you take the cover off the tank and look, and your toilet is properly set up, you will see a flexible hose that water jets from into the refill tube. See how there is an air gap? This acts as a backflow preventer or a vacuum break.

    It doesn’t take much for fecal bacteria to spatter or carry on a fine mist, get on a bidet or diaper sprayer head, then slowly grow back through your water system. A back flow preventer would help prevent this, since you can’t easily put an air gap on a sprayer system.

    They are even mandatory by code in a lot of areas. That’s why /some/ (unfortunately not all) diaper sprayer kits and the majority of ASME certified Bidet kits have backflow preventers right in the box. Such as the Bum Genius.

    I’d rather make a unit myself, but it is disturbing that I have yet to find a DIY that includes a backflow preventer.

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