Rinsing Ostomy Bag: Pros and Cons

Jan 22, 2018 8:05 pm

This subject is something timely for me. I have always cleaned my bag, I use water to rinse and then I put a few drops of baby oil in to my bag, make sure it runs into the body of the bag. It cuts down on the messy aspect of the bag, the odor, and allows me to know how long it takes for something to pass through my system. Recently, I was going through a bag about every 12 hours which leads to a very sore stoma, (Gertrude) and accidents, which no one wants. I wrote to the company who sells our supplies, asking if the oil could weaken the strength of the bag. They replied "ask your physician". Made me mad. So, if anyone has had any results, pro or con, please respond. I have never had a bag last me a week, I usually go for 3 to 4 days with one. I think we all learn from this, kinda fly by the seat of our pants thing. I might be showing my age by that reference. I could care less. I consider this has allowed me to live much longer, sometimes when I've got a case of the "poor me". I count the blessings this has allowed me to experience. I can name several of them, grandchildren first, then great grandchildren, new car, new appliances, joy just busting out all over. Have you ever googled an ostomy? They've been around quite a while, we are lucky we weren't the first guinea pigs. So have a great day, love life, if you have anything to say, please say it. Bye, Rene Moon

NJ Bain
Jan 23, 2018 3:34 pm


When I first had ileostomy surgery, I was rinsing out my pouch every time I drained it. But I realized that it's not really necessary. If my waste is thick, I just use my fingers in the front and back of the pouch and slide it out like a tube of toothpaste. If it's watery, I just swish it around a little bit and drain it normally.

As far as baby oil goes, it might make the wafer break down faster but I've never used it for that purpose. Since your stoma is still part of your digestive system, I would suggest something your body can absorb like food. You can use Pam cooking spray or olive oil. The best bet is to talk to your ET/wound nurse. If he/she doesn't know, I'm sure some more people will chime in here.

And going through a bag every 12 hours is a tad much. Depending on if you use a 1 or 2 piece system, the pouches and/or wafers should last anywhere from 3-7 days. I use a one-piece drainable by Convatec and they usually last me about 3-4 days before I have to change it.

I hope this helps.


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Jan 23, 2018 8:06 pm

Thanks for your input. I believe baby oil is probably cheaper than olive oil. I am thinking it is not harming the bag unless I soak it in oil. I get a bit snappy if I have to change it often. I am glad to hear everyone's opinion. Weigh in if you like. Thanks, Rene

Jan 23, 2018 9:35 pm

I don't think you need oil. I change my adhesive wafer every 4-5 days, the same schedule for 42 years. I use a sustainable pouch, which I do re-use. I use a new one on more of a monthly schedule. Hope this helps. Send a note if you would like.

Mike Q

Remember, if Tony nursed don't wear these appliances so they often can't help much on the ins and outs of Tony's pouches, wafers, and faceplates. I think you've come to the right place to ask.

Jan 28, 2018 2:42 am

Hi Rene,

I also rinse my pouch just about every time I empty it. I just feel better knowing it's been rinsed out. It's personal preference. As far as oil, well I used to use baby oil gel because it's a bit thicker. I don't recall it breaking down the pouch, but if you use a two-piece system, you won't have to change the wafer part every bag change. There are also pouch liners I hear good things about but have yet to try them.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Jan 30, 2018 10:59 am

Hi Rene, in my experience if I let any oil near my stoma plate then I'm sure to get a leak. Normally I have dry skin and I believe, without any scientific proof, that I'm lucky as my bags stay secure longer because I am dry not oily.

Why not try giving the oil a break and seeing how things go? Good luck!