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Rinsing Out Bag?

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Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:49 pm

I've been given mixed information as far as rinsing out my ileostomy bag between changes. Yay or nay? 

I had a lot of issues with leaking barriers early on, and one of the suggestions was to NOT rinse inside the bag. But it seems like if the barrier holds up with liquid output, water should be fine? 

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:44 am

I agree with your theory that the bag should hold out with rinsing. However, I suppose if the output is coming from the stoma into the bag, it may not be getting between the skin and the barrier quite as much as if you are rinsing the bag out.   I suppose that would depend on the technique used for rinsing. 

Just a thought!

Best wishes


Maybe it's about experimenting to see what works best for you!

Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:36 am

This is a good topic as i rinse my pouch out with water only when the output gets very pasty and it is hard to drain.  I have a squeeze bottle that works very well and i try not to get too much water around stoma when rinsing.  As long as you have a good seal and a snug fit with the wafer you shouldn't have any issues with rinsing.  Stay well.  Penguins7

Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:35 am

I rinse my bag almost every time I empty.  I helps lessen odors and it gets the stuff out.  That being said, I do not rinse the stoma area because I do not what to compromise the integrity of my seal.  If you do, no big deal, just be prepared that your wear time may lessen.  You will see the erosion of the wafer speed up.  Take care.  LH

Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Everyone agrees it starts with a good seal.  I use the moldable Convatec stuff which would probably seal OK but, being just slightly paranoid, I start with wiping on 3M Cavilon Barrier Film, then an Eaken Seal or a Hollister Adapt® Flat Barrier Ring SoftFlex®.  I reshape that seal so it's way thinner than when it comes out of the package. Then the wafer which I warm a little with a hair dryer.  I rinse the bag each time I empty it by pouring warm water into the bottom opening then swishing it around until it's pretty clean.  

Mine is a colostomy so the output can be pretty thick at times.  This process works for me and I would be so happy to answer any questions about reshaping, heating, rinsing and even my paranoia.



Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:29 am

It’s only recently I’ve ever even heard about rinsing out my Stoma bag. I have never had it mentioned to me by my Stoma nurse etc. and have always just emptied and wiped just inside with a bit of tissue. 

Just worry I’d end up making more of a mess and adds time to an empty. Have no issues with odours etc. but keen to hear if there are other benefits I’m just not aware of. Thanks

Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:43 am

I rinse my bag out when it needs it and have no problems at all.   I use one of those water bottles that hockey players use with the long spout.   I also have a hose which attaches to the tap and the other end goes in my bag whileI am over the toilet  .  In the beginning I had a few mishaps and neede 3 hands, but it is fine now.

Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:28 pm

Hi James.  When I think about it I wonder if it's really necessary.  I consider the pouch to be an outside rectum.  I never rinsed out my inside rectum after pooping but I couldn't see what was left in it.  


Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:35 pm

Hey Beshlie, There's no limit to what we might be able to do if we had that third hand.  I worry a little about my dexterity diminishing as I age and how the whole ostomy thing might be affected.  

Some folks might ask, "when does the bag NEED to be rinsed out?" 

Thanks for your input.


Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:59 pm

For me, it seems like sometimes the output is so thick and gooey that it's hard to empty. In these instances I'm tempted to just change the bag only ( I wear a 2-piece system). But I don't want to waste bags as I only get 20 a month.

I suppose it doesn't need to be rinsed out, I just feel like the bag would be lighter and cleaner if I were able to completely empty it. Plus it helps with my self-esteem for the bag to be as clean and empty as possible. 

Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:25 pm

Hi Julian.  Here we are sharing our thoughts about cleaning out bags of poop and self esteem in the same compositions.  The two are connected, they're connected and we need to address both.  Folks might feel differently about these things and I respect all perspectives.  I probably feel like you relative to the cleanliness of the bag.  Lots of folks couldn't care less.  Addressing it from OUR perspective I suggest trying very warm water.  After cleaning I also use a little Hollister lubricating deodorant (50788500) in addition to the M9 drops.  

Good luck,


Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:41 pm

Thanks, Mike! I couldn't agree more. :)

Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:53 pm

Holy crap!  I forgot to mention, since the stoma has no feeling on its surface, we need to be careful with the water temperature. I'm sure hyou knew that.


Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:52 am

Hi Everyone, I posted an answer to this question already but I wanted to add another thought.... Rinsing the pouch with water does reduce the weight of the pouch.  I feel the profile against my body is more streamline and overall I feel fresher. Another post asked if rinsing is more messy and causes more trouble in the long run.  In my opinion, it does not.  I actually feel that rinsing the pouch cleans the tail of the pouch thoroughly and my time in the bathroom is reduced.  There are days when I am not able to rinse out my pouch when emptying, and the pouch feels full and looks messy to me.  I also use cold tap water not warm water.  I figured cold water will never hurt me or my skin.  Good luck! 

Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:09 pm

Hi All,

Everyone has very good answers.   I havve my ileostomy for over 50 years, and back years ago, w hen the  pouches were reusablle rubber, I rinsed out all the time.    But since the disposables ( I get a week of wear),  I think as Mike does.   I never rinsed out my rectum, and the pouch is the " holding Place", so I dont' rinse out as a regular thing.   I have a friend who has her ileostomy for as long as I do, and she always carries a cup with her, and rinses out all the time.    I think it's a purely personal issue.   If I eat something " stinky" like fish, I may opt to rinse or change the pouch altogether..    Otherwise, I don't  even think about it..   I hope this helps...   Best regards, 


Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:22 pm

Hi Juliantheory:  You are right.  I have been rinsing my pouch for two years.  Many times our output is very liquidy, so water should not hurt it.  To me, if you do not rinse, things will build up around the stoma, and could make changing the flange not only messy, but painful.  Moostly i use cold water, but on occasion, I will use warm water.  I even will use3 a light spray of household deoderiser to keep it from smelling.  As mentioned earlier in a post, I also use a pste, and don't have a problem even at night.  Keep it up, and stay in touch.  As rule, I will get 6-8 days with my flange.  Something worth mentioning also, is that I purchased a beday, and what a difference it has made in cleanning out my pouch.



                                                                            Best regards,





Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:39 pm

I am Jan, 77 y.o, and a new member. I noted you use Convatec also. Have you had problems getting them? I'm only about 5 months since surgery for cancer, and never had a problem until about 2 - 3 weeks ago when I tried placing an order and was told they were back-ordered due to a flood and they had no idea at all when they would get them in. When I googled it, apparently Convatec moved from the US to the Caribbean and were hit by the hurricane in October. They did send me a Convatec bag, which I suspect to be old model, to use in the meantime. Good part about this bag is it has a wider funnel end making it easier to clean out the bag.  However, there is more leakage at the closure.  However, they have no idea at all when they might get supplies in. I was using the wafers and transparent bags which were cleanable rather than the throw-away bags which I have tried and dislike at this point. I have never tried any other brand. I use Edgepark to order my supplies.

Just wondered if there are others of you having problems ordering and getting your Convatec bags.

Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:54 pm

I too rinse out my bag several times a day with hot tap water with no problems and change the bag about every 4 - 5 days. My stoma nurse told me if odor was a problem to put several drops of Cepacol mouth wash in the bag. I was told to only rinse up to 1/3 the length of the bag. However, I now rinse and clean everything out up to the bottom of the flange with no problems. At first I couldn't attach the bag on to the already attached wafer, so I attached everything together first and then attached the wafer and bag to the skin. My stoma nurse suggested I try foaming soap and put a little inside the recessed area in the flange and it then allowed me to easily attach the bag while the wafer was already attached to the stomach. Thus I line the recess with the foam, put the wafer on and can hear the clicks when I press on all sides of the wafer so I know it is well attached. I just put some foam on my finger and put it through the entire recessed area. Made it much easier. Am currently using Dial foaming soap but I would imagine any foaming soap would work well.

Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:42 pm

I have on rare occasions, rinsed out my stoma bag. I have done it only if the stomahesive wafer is somewhat new. If it is more than two days old, I just change both.




Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:32 pm

Since I am limited to only 20 bags and wafers per month, I try to stretch out the amount of time I wear my wafer and bag. However, I have never had a problem with the wafer or stoma. I rinse my bag out regularly because I am too fussy and fastidious to be sitting to eat with a bag of crap on my lap. I also rinse before bedtime for the same reason, just don't want to be lying and crushing any stool in the bag. I have also been lucky to eat about anything I want with no problems yet. I just wish Medicare and BC-BS would allow a bag every day if needed.

Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:08 am



I am confused. Are you talking about emptying or rinsing? It seems that you mean the former.


Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:55 pm

Sorry for the confusing post. I have never had a problem with the wafer. They stick well for me. I rinse and drain the bag 2 - 4 times a day. I change wafer and bag around day 4 or 5. Only problem I found with the replacement Convatec bag is that there is more drainage of liquid from the sides of the closed tightly closure. No feces, just liquid which stains clothing. It doesn't seem as good as the original transparent post-surgery bag with the Invisiclose tight closure.

Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:28 pm

To clarify further, to me rinsing and emptying are synonymous. I cannot empty bag without rinsing on a two part system. Therefore I use a peribottle of water and squirt it into the bag several times which helps liquify any solid to semi-solid stool and allows one to empty the bag.  If I am wrong on using these terms, please do let me know.

Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:22 pm

Hey Mamatembo, I think you're right and using the correct terms.  I am concerned about the leakage you alude to.  I'm not sure why that is.  Stained clothing and/or odor should not be accepted.  You could call Convatec for help.  They want to know stuff like this.

Please keep us posted.



Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:26 pm

Hi Mike:

Thank you for your reply. Glad I got the terms correctly. I have let Edge Park know about this, but they are in a difficult place with not being able to get some of the Convatec bags due to the factory moving from NC to Puerto Rico and being hit by the hurricane. They have no idea when they will be able to get the backordered bags. Will try to see if I can contact Convatec directly about the issue as you suggest. I see the stoma nurse next month and will ask them to suggest a bag just like the Convatec transparent 2 piece bag where I can request samples.

Thank you again for your reply.


Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:06 pm

Hi Jan.  Please let us know how you make out.  Lots of us could be affected.

Appreciate your help,


Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:28 pm

Hi I am like you I have an ostomy also I just got my cof ostomy reconnected 2 years ago and now have an illeostomy but I have leaks just like you I have a two piece no matter what you put it leaks not a lot but enough  I buy from byram health and they give you 4 boxes of bags 2 of curved plastic things on top of it and then I tape the thing and it still leaks  I do clean the bag with water after every time it get filled  because you don't want it dirty boy does this suck and when your trying to date people are very judgemental so it's hard aND  not only that there are only certain things you can eat oh well I guess we are all in the place talk soon

Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:50 pm

Will do Mike.  Thanks again.

Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:08 pm

Hi Rhdjailer:

Yes, the leakage from the sides of the exit point (funnel) is annoying. Luckily I've had no problems with the wafer as others have.  But I really don't mind the colostomy itself or rinsing out the bag when needed. What does bother me is that occasionally I have pancaking on the stoma, usually just after a change of wafer and bag. I suspect even though I blow into the new bag and put Adapt in it, perhaps the upper part of the bag isn't resilient enough and sits on the stoma. It doesn't happen all the time, but I have to gently push the feces off the stoma and down into the bag before it could damage the stoma. So glad I don't have your problem of dating. I can see where it might be problematic. Luckily I haven't had any food problems and can eat just about anything I want, for which I am thankful.

Thank you for your reply.



Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:08 pm

Hi Mike:

Update: I called Convatec today, 3-16-18, and spoke with a nurse there. She explained that their branch that had been "down" was their Dominican Republic plant. They were not flooded out but did have some issues that have now been rectified. She told me Convatec here in the US was due to receive an order this week from the plant and they would most likely be received by their suppliers next week.

I told her I had had no problems with the 2 piece transparent 413312 bag, but had a lot of seapage from the substitute bag, 416418. She asked me for the lot number and said she would report it.

Thus hopefully it appears that Convatec is on their way to being up and running successfully again.  Will keep fingers crossed that it is so.

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