Rinsing Bags: Experiences and Tips - Extend Bag Lifespan!

Mar 22, 2020 4:31 am

I have read where some people rinse their bags and some don't. I always rinse mine but thought they broke down quicker. I read this and thought it interesting. What are your experiences with it? Keep a water bottle in the bathroom with your ostomy supplies to rinse out the pouch after emptying it. This, of course, works best with drainable pouches and applies more for ileostomy and colostomies. But the idea is simple: the output from your intestines is acidic, meant to break things down for digestion. The longer it stays inside of the bag, the more time it has to slowly break down the material. Over the course of days, this can cause the "smell life" of the bag to be reduced, or even cause breakdown in the adhesive around the stoma. Rinsing the appliance out even occasionally can help 'reset' the appliance and slow that breakdown process.

Mar 22, 2020 5:12 am

Hi Lovely,

My experience has been the opposite........water breaks down my barrier/ring and my output does not. I've done experiments with Hollister barriers and rings, so my experience is only with that brand. Water breaks down the polymer compound pretty quickly. It makes the polymer soft and causes it to dissolve. My output didn't have the same effect. I talked to Hollister and they told me to avoid flushing the barrier/ring material with water, but if I was to do so, do it quickly. It's been awhile since I did those experiments, so I should probably check it again. Just my 2 cents.



Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 34,000 members who truly understand you.

It's not all about ostomy. We talk about everything.

Many come here for advice or to give advice, others have found good friends, and some have even found love. Most importantly, people here are honest and genuinely care.

🛑 Privacy is very important - we have many features that are only visible to members, ensuring a safe and secure environment for you to share and connect.

Create an account and you will be amazed by the warmth of this community.

Mar 22, 2020 6:58 pm

I carry an empty water bottle with me wherever I go. Whenever I empty my bag, I flush it with water. Every time.

If I'm out in public, I flush the toilet at the same time I'm emptying so you won't hear the splash!!

Mar 22, 2020 8:02 pm

Lovely, I agree with you completely.  I've only used Convatec stuff so I can't relate with Bob's experiences.  I actually use pretty warm water and haven't had a problem.  I also use diluted mouthwash to help clean the drain part.


Mar 23, 2020 6:12 am


I use Convatec 2 piece, which I change every 7 days. I rinse it out with warm water once or twice a week by bending the bag before applying water to stop it from going all the way down to the bottom. It works for me.

( :

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Mar 24, 2020 2:07 am


I always rinsed the two-piece drainable pouch, but recently changed to the closed end and I just pop it off into a zip lock baggie and pop a new one on. It has cut down on the odor by not being exposed so long. I still wore the barrier and pouch for 10 days then. The barrier material did move away from my stoma some, but I would swish water in there to clean it out so as not to have poo against the skin. Seemed to work well.

Mar 29, 2020 8:13 am

I wear Hollister products and rinse my bag out frequently. I have never had any issues and seem to get the same amount of wear time. I usually get 7 days. I guess it's just what works for you.

Audrey Warren
Oct 31, 2022 6:17 pm
Reply to she76wolf

I use Coloplast Sensura Mio one-piece drainable transparent and rinse my bag every day with very warm water. I do this until the bag is as clean as possible. I do have to swish it around several times. Then I use Brava lubricating deodorant. Close it up and dry it with a hair dryer. Bag never compromised.

Will start carrying a water bottle with me as one person suggested. Women can carry lots of stuff in a large purse. Will also carry a baggie with marshmallows.
I've been staying close to home and need to get out more. One-year anniversary coming up November 8