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Rinsing Out Bag?

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Posted by julianatheory151, on 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? 

Reply by Bill, on 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!

Reply by Penguins7, on 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

Reply by LadyHope, on 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

Reply by iMacG5, on 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.



Reply by James72, on 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

Reply by Beshlie, on 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.

Reply by iMacG5, on 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.  


Reply by iMacG5, on 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.


Reply by julianatheory151, on 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. 

Reply by iMacG5, on 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,


Reply by julianatheory151, on Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:41 pm

Thanks, Mike! I couldn't agree more. Smile

Reply by iMacG5, on 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.


Reply by LadyHope, on 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! 

Reply by Immarsh, on 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, 


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