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Rinsing Out Bag?

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Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:02 am

I personally rinse my bag after empyting. I have a low output ileostomy (due to my motility issues) and my output is typically very liquidly. I tend to have more gas then anything. No one told me to do it or not I just started doing it on my own. I use a disposable cup to empty my ostomy 2-3 times a day and I only empty at home (Unless I am on a road trip, I always empty whenever we stop, and even though gas station bathrooms are almost always private). So I squeeze all the contents out of my bag, pour the contents in the toliet, rinse the cup out, fill the cup up with water, pur it in my ostomy bag, massage the bag, pour the contents from the bag out, and wipe off the end of the bag with toliet paper. Then I rinse the cup out put the lid on and go on with my business. I have never had any issues with leaking since I perfected my suppplies about 5 weeks ago. I use the Eakin rings as well and they are my favorite rings. The adapt ones are fine but are thick and the coloplast ones are too thick for me and they really expand too much. If you are having issues with leaking get the Coloplast Barrier Strips, they are like bandaids for your wafer or bag border. I have been using them for 5 weeks and no joke I have had one leak in the past 5 weeks. I change my bag Mondays and Thursdays like clockwork right after my bath and I have had one leak. Before I got my bags I needed and those barrier strips (I use the Marlen Minimax One Piece Drainable Convex Opaque Bags with filters so they have to be special ordered) I was having to change my bag every day or every 2 days due to leaks and blow outs from too much gas in the pouch at night. I like rinsing the pouch because it makes me feel clean similar to how someone after they poop would wipe their butt lol

Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:09 pm

Hi Julian:  I always rinse my bag out with warm water.  Just my opinnion, but it makes for a more sanitised bag, and it makes it a lot easer when it is time to change the flange.  I still get between 7-8 days before I have to change  I guess what it comes down to, is what you are most comfortable with.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:16 am

I am about to have surgery and am VERY concerned about odor and cleanliness.  Always have been!

Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:17 am

Please don't be worried about odor or cleanliness. Hopefully your hospital will have stoma nurses who can advise you so that you will feel comfortable before going home. If it is a colostomy you are having, they will most likely give you a peribottle to take home. When the bag is about 1/3 full, put some water in the peribottle and spray into the bottom of the bag, then gently massage the bag and empty the contents into the toilet. Add more water until the bag is clean. I usually do this 2 - 4 times a day, (only takes about 5 minutes) each time, so the bag always appears clean except for the area directly over the stoma. They do advise not to get the stoma wet while cleaning the bag. People differ on how frequently they change the bag. I change mine every 3 - 5 days - some go longer with the cleanable 2 part bag with adhesive wafer which can be cleaned out. There are also 1 part bags which you can change twice a day and then just throw out (Medicare allows 2 bags a day but you will need to re-use the wafer again as Medicare allows only 20 wafers a month). You can get bags with filters. I prefer not to use one with a filter because I want to control when gas is expressed from the bag, not having it done automatically. If the bag becomes bloated, on a 2-part bag with wafer it is easy. Just go to the bathroom or empty room and lift one of the 3 plastic "handles" gently and gas will escape. Then you can freshen the room with air spray.

A hint the stoma nurses gave me was to purchase BagItaway X-bags. When I am ready to put a new bag on, I place the old bag and wafer in one of these X-bags and seal them and just put in the regular garbage bin. There is no odor that escapes from the sealed bag and because of its dark color there is no visibility of what is in the bag.

Good luck with your upcoming surgery and please do let us know how you are are getting on after.

Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:45 am

I don't know what type of surgery u r going to have, but that should not b a big concern.  When I had my ostomy about 7-8 yrs ago unfortunately the hospital did not have a ostomy nurse handy to explain things to me.  A nurse who has dealt with just a few patients was able to help me out a little bit.  I basically had to learn how to do all the changing and cleaning business.  I had some severe problems with leakage and developed a severe skin rash due to my skin reaction and my skin wafer would not stay on due to the mositure caused by my skin rash.  For almost 3 mos I had to deal with this problem on my own.  Yes I did have a "in-home" nurse come by 2 times per wk which help me somewhat, but she was not a ostomy nurse.  I had to tell here what needed to be done. 

I finally got a full time ostomy nurse, from the old school I mite add, who really basically saved me "arse".  We tried several different skin wafers and finally settled on Coloplast, which did not give me any skin rashes at all.  But other problems kind of came up.  My skin wafer would not stay attached to my body very well.  Everytime that I would bend over to put on socks, put on shoes, etc., the wafer would pop off.  Thank goodness coloplast had those Brava (sp)) strips.  That basically saved my life.  Not really, but you know what I mean.  

Anyway I have pretty much become a "pro" when it comes to changing, fixing, and coming up with some of my own ideas on how to help myself to make this situation that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life much easier and much more in step with the things that I enjoy doing without too many problems with my ostomy.  

I hope that u get a good ostomy nurse who will help u get a handle on how to deal with ur situation.  Proper changing and keeping things clean, etc.

I wish you the best Akail.  There are many people on this site that can give u suggestions and good advice as to help u out with almost any problem(s) that may come up.

Take care and b safe out there,



Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:23 pm

I've rinsed with water since my surgery in 2005. It's the only way to properly clean without leaving material behind. I use stomahesive which I believe helps keep the wafer protected from infiltration. I will always use water  to clean. The "sit on the toilet and use toilet paper" method is terribly ineffective.

Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:54 pm

Hi juli I've got both colostomy and urostomy and when cleaning the colostomy bag i use either warm water and it helps flushing out the stuff. And i use cold water to. And i use convetic 2 piece and the bag has a charcoal pouch at the top of the bag and there brown. And i got my colostomy up in Colorado but i live in tx but went to Colorado back in April 2011 and found out i had cancer of the rectum and did the chemo and radiation and radiation burned me inside and melted my penis to my groin so no regular sex and can't even get a erection. And i asked Dr's up there in Colorado and only 2 Dr's knew what radiation did to me but they said nothing i found out through a medical transcript that radiation did alll this damage oh and in 2014 lost my bladder and prostate so I've been pretty pissed since. I'm 58 and fexin to be 59 in 2 months and I'm sorry but i hate my life. Sorry for the long message 

Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:57 pm

I do not rinse and the bag clears nicely.. if you do rinse it will make the bag's life shorte.  I was told to rinse in the shower if I felt the need to but onece they are rinsed they seem to last less than a day

Wed May 09, 2018 3:55 pm

I have a colostomy, I rinse my bag out probably three times a day, I have very soft liquid output, and it is basically all day, it is always soft. My diet I am sure causes this. I don't eat a lot of meat. I do a lot of vegi's and fruit smoothys. I do eat nuts. But when rinsing my bag I hold the bag tight around the flange to keep the seal intact and shake the water all over inside so that it cleans it well.  I agree that when securing the bag you need to get a secure seal. I found that I liked the paste better than the wafers, it is softer than the wafer and I can get it spread easier and I leave a good seal on the flange. In the beginning my home health care nurse used wafers and they leaked and I would have the bag fall off. With the paste I have never had a problem with it falling off or a leak unless when I clean the bag I don't hold the flange and give it suppoert then it seems to cause weaking of the paste seal and then it will leak.  I hated having my ostomy and I am still not happy with it now I have had it sense April of 2017. I have accepted it and that was the key for me acceptance. I never have the pain and blockages that I had for over 30 years. Now I wonder why this surgery wasn't given to me before because of all my hospital visits, two or three a year. I am still learning about my ostomy and have decided that I don't want the reversal because of the fear of having all the blockages again and the pain return. This devil is new to me so now I live with the devil I know rather than a devil I don't know. Good luck on your journey to finding the right solution for you, and you will.

Mon May 21, 2018 3:24 pm

For all of you who clean your bags with water, I have come across something that has made this job a lot easier. On amazon there is a bidet sprayer that attaches to your toilet and is just a hose with a sprayer on the end. It has variable pressure with the handle on it so you can spray very gently into the bag or you can use the more powerful spray for cleaning the toilet afterwards. I have actually used it more for toilet cleaning than anything else. Anyway, this has been a game changer for me and I believe it was less than $20. They have more fancy ones that have hot/cold and other features but I just went with the cheapest option and it’s great. Super easy install anyone could do and it doesn’t leak at all.

Mon May 28, 2018 4:35 pm

Sorry for the late reply. Yes, I ALWAYS rinse my appliance with water. I use stomahesive to protect the integrity of the seal but rarely have any problems. I use a large plastic pop bottle to pour the water inside and it works great provided I don't shake the contents like a can of spray paint. My appliance lasts 5-6 days on average depending on activity levels, sweating, etc. I couldn't imagine not cleaning my appliance thoroughly.

Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:08 pm

I like the feel of a clean pouch,so after a poop i use a styrfoam cup of warm water and slush it around and drain it, the bag is nice and soft after as well, I guess its up to each hs own, what ever makes you feel better, go for it...

Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:02 am
I rinse my bag....with cold water. No issues.
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:20 pm

A good tool to use for rinising out pouch is a "Cleansing Bottle" filled with water.  Any medical supply or amazon carries them. Stay well!  Penguins7

Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:11 pm

I am using a baby bottle. Give it a squeeze, and all is good!!!

Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:22 am

I didn't think it would ever be possible to rinse as I had high output and real issues with keeping my bag connected (hence burnt skin, which is difficult to have appliances stick).  For me confidence was key.  I finally found a set up that gave me 2 to 3 days between changes and could even shower minus any set up on my change days.  My skin then loved getting a rinse (we have tank water) so I worked a method where I could rinse in the shower with lovely warm water and let the stoma sit in the warm water which helped it relax and move through those larger pieces.  Yes, it did gross me out initially but the benefit of a happy, relaxed stoma let me get past it. 

I believe it is such a personal decision and what works for one may not work for others.  Give yourself a safe, stress free environment and try a few different methods (be prepared your setup might not like it.  It may burst and you might need to change.)  Allow a good amount of time and monitor your setup.

I wish you luck with whatever you choose to do.

Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:49 pm

I like to rinse out my pouch as well, as it feels lighter against me, i have even dumped it and then removed it"when at home" and really washed it out good,used a blow dryer to dry the outside then snapped it back on"i use a 2 piece system" and find i get alot more wear out of a pouch..When i rinse when its attached i do not rinse at the top around the stoma as i have had it cause a leak..Good Luck.

Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:41 pm

I rinse my bag entirely every time I 'empty' it.  My output is so thick and heavy that my bag gets pushed, not emptied.  I always pour water into my bag and give ita good swish.  Then I empty the water out and do it again--making sure that the curves and corners and area around the filter are clear.  I have had no trouble with adhesion and my stoma loves water and being freed from waste.  For me, I feel so much cleaner and my bag feels so light!  I carry a small 4 oz. bottle of water with me in case I have to 'empty my bag' someplace other than home.  I could really use a bag with a zipper...dls

Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:11 pm
I rinse mine every time. It cuts down on "incidental odors". Usually the best ideas comes from fellow Ostomates. We have lots experience at this. If you need advice or have questions or concerns....just leave a note, and one of us will reply back. Take care.

Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:45 pm

A zipper...............goodness that would be something!

Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:48 pm
I also rinse my bag every time I empty it, I feel cleaner doing this and don't fear the odor. I clean the opening with either toilet paper or handy wipes (free and clear).I use a paste when adhering my flange, I have tried the Cera Plus flange with out paste and fear that with the output I would get skin problems so use the paste to keep the output off my skin. I also feel safer with the added help in securing it. I have never had a problem (knock on wood) sense I have been doing this, I go as many as 5 days and have gone seven but just feel cleaner changing at 3-5 days.
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:34 am

Since you had problems. with leakage before, then you shouldn't use water. I made the mistake of using too much water and the result was disastrous!! Now I use it very sparingly.

Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:58 pm

Whatever works for your needs.  I do a thorough rinse with my one piece every time I empty my bag, otherwise my bag is lined, not empty.  Yes water can be a mistake if you don't have one thing: excellent adhesion. There is an 'early warnig system' for imminate (sp?) leaks.  Alhough our stomas have no nerve endings, our peristomal skin and our abdomens certainly do.  When I rinse my one piece, I pay attention to 'how the water feels'. If I feel cool water between my skin and wafer, my seal is deterorating and will soon need a change.  If I only feel the water pressure and movement, my seal is holding.  I rinse my bad about 4 times a day and depending on circumstances, have had a six day run with no 'Water Warning'.  If I get a warning and can not change immediartly, I tape up or use Elastic barrier strips--they will hold for a full day and even overnight.  I've water rinsed with the barrier strips or waterproof tape and not sprung a leak (I do get nervous).  Water WILL erode your adhesion but with decent products, you get good wear time.

Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:45 am

I think I've ALWAYS rinsed out my bag.  I learned early on, though, to use only cold water so as not to compromise my wafer seal.  (I use a Coloplast, non-filter, one piece.)  I rinse the entire bag.  I use a rollator due to arthritis.  I have purchased a multi-pocketed messenger bag and have it loaded with all my supplies and affixed to my rollator.  I can make 4-5 changes and feel much better about leaving the house now.  I bring my water bottle with me as well.  But I digress...

I'm not the neatest person, but I do get picky about my bag.  Maybe because my arthritis limits my ability to wipe out the neck of the bag, or, I just prefer the lighter weight (as previously mentioned), or just not having to look at it...

Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:40 pm


i did not start out rinsing my pouch out but found out very soon that to be more sanitary and feel clean, I needed to do that! I don’t usually do it if I am away from home but it is the first thing I do when I get back! I irrigate so have little output now but on occasion, due to treatment, I get some surprises! 

It just keeps things smelling and looking better! I love my pouches that have peek-a-boo slots to check on things. If my stoma is covered in poo, I cannot check it out properly! 

Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:21 pm

I rotate my bag at night meaning its noramlly horizontal like a belt all day. and at night I rotate it vertical straight down to floor witha strap to hold it tighly.  i rinse before I rotate it.  we all know how thick that stuff can be. u dont want it pouring out if u disconnect to rotate it.  i always use the two piece system. it works for me and cleaning with warm or cold water is a good idea when prior to  rotating . also i tend to think its a fresh bag after doing so. i feel cleaner after bouncing that water around and let it go it toilet is just something to adjust to. still nasty but good outweighs bad, 

Last edited by warrior on Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:23 pm

I rinse mine but i use a 2 piece and snap it off so i can really clean it and snap on, good to go..

Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:30 pm

that's cool.  sounds like alot of work though plus the ickiness of it all.  i find rinsing with pouch attached cleans pretty good and is not as messy.  i just hate this thing and less time doing anything for it serves me happy. :). Also, I dont know how to rinse would help with a one piece. unless there is a an open bottom end.  that makes sense.  just can't picutre it right now.  so much equipment out there, nice to have variety.

Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:25 pm

Rinsing out the two piece does make you feel as if you have changed you pouch . I rinse till I can clearly see my stoma thru the peep window! May help the life of the pouch as well, getting all that acidic yuck out of there! 


Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:16 pm

I'm pretty new to all of this as I just had a temporary ileostomy procedure done in April after having surgery. After a few weeks, once my outputs changed from being liquid to very thick, I started rinsing my bag to help clear it out. I currently rinse three to four times a day, with lukewarm tap water from a cup. So far I've had no issues with my seal. I use a Hollister 2-piece bag, I change out my bag every two to three days, and change my wafer twice a week. Rinsing the bag makes it cleaner and lighter, and it doesn't feel like it's pulling on my skin 

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