Strong odor from colostomy bag - need advice!


A little back story.... My mom just got her colostomy after she went septic and had emergency surgery. I've had 23 days to come to terms with it but she's been so out of it she just realized yesterday what exactly was coming out of her stomach.

We got home from the hospital Saturday and I was warned that the smell might be potent once opened but the smell is strong all the time. Is that normal? Or am I applying the bag wrong? I changed it while we were in the hospital. She wasn't eating a lot but she had started eating normal hospital food the last week or so and the smell wasn't bad. We got a lot of different kinds of bags at the hospital

And I just figured it was the "filtered" bags. But I put a regular bag on her and it's just as bad. Can anyone help??? She's very upset about it.

The smell is determined by what you eat. There are liquid deodorizers you can add to your bag or you can use baking soda. I use pouches with filters. If a filter gets wet, it will stop working. Some filters are better than others. I have had a colostomy for 13 years. Message me if you need more info.

We've been really watching what she eats and gone by the strict "list" so far. She's been eating the same as in the hospital mostly and the smell wasn't noticeable until you emptied the pouch. It's not a "stinky" smell, just strong. It bothers her more than anyone else. But the bag with filters seemed even worse. How do you put the deodorizer in it?

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Just put it in the opening before you put it on. I use M9, 3 little squirts in the regular bag and 2 in the mini bag. There are lots of posts on odor you can look up.

Hello notmyproblem.  This problem has cropped up in posts many times  and you can have a read of them in  'content' section, then --premium content -- odor and ostomy. You will find this on the left-hand side of you screen.

I hope you find this information helpful

Best wishes


Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister


I had huge issues with the smells, so much so that I would throw up every time I changed my bag. I can say this is what I experienced:

1) The first month is the worst. You never know what it is going to do. Also, sometimes the person wearing the bags smells things in ways others don't.

2) Find the right bag. I loved the two-piece disposables. You can change them easily.

3) I pinned an essential oil patch to my shirt for the first month so I didn't smell my bag.

4) I really like the drops that funnygurl mentioned.

I would add to these comments: A few Tic Tacs dropped in the bag will help. Another thing that helps is to tear off about 3 squares of toilet tissue and put half a teaspoon of mouthwash on it, put that in the bottom of the bag.

I have heard that you can get chlorophyll tablets at health food stores and taken with meals will reduce some of the smell. Good luck, hope this helps.

Jenterprise mentioned the 2-piece disposable ones, is that the Hollister? I call it my Tupperware because they snap together. It seems to not smell on the outside and it is pretty easy to change if you have the "stuff" you need. I take it, fold it over, and wrap it in aluminum foil, that seals away the odor. Then I put it in a small plastic bag and knot it, and it goes in the outdoor trash can. Works great, I had some samples of mesh bags or whatever but I didn't have a clue what to do with them so I just stuck with these. It's also easy to "burp" if it fills with gas, but do it in private lol. My other trick is I don't like the belt, so I've been using a 6" ace bandage that wraps a little more than around the waist. It has a Velcro closure, which I trim so it doesn't stick to my skin and that smooths out my bag, is comfortable and discreet. I couldn't find anything like panties or bands that work better.

Ugh. Anyway, thanks everyone!

Oh well, it's not letting me delete.

I love this site but I only know.

The two-piece disposable I had came from Coloplast. I am a fan of their Sensura product line. Save your plastic bags from the grocery store!! You are right, it is easy to change and just tie up in a plastic bag.

I love Coloplast Sensura. I have tried a lot of brands. I use doggy doo bags to dispose of my pouches.

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