How to Clean a Used Ostomy Bag?

After having ostomy surgery, an ostomy bag becomes an essential part of daily life. However, for economically disadvantaged families, frequent replacements can impose a financial burden. As a cost-saving measure, some individuals choose to clean their ostomy bags at home. However, it's important to understand that ostomy bags are designed for single-use. Excessive cleaning can compromise the integrity of the bag's structure, leading to inadequate odor control. Therefore, how can we effectively and appropriately clean ostomy bags?


Cleaning method for a one-piece ostomy bag:

First, open the bottom opening of the ostomy bag and empty the feces into the toilet or a dedicated garbage bag. Clean the bag opening with toilet paper and seal it. It is generally not recommended to flush the ostomy bag while wearing it. If you must flush it, pour water from the bag opening into the bag or use a special flushing pot for the ostomy bag to clean the bag, then wipe the bag opening clean with toilet paper and seal it.


Cleaning method for a two-piece ostomy bag:

Separate the ostomy bag body and baseplate and replace the bag body with a clean one. Rinse the used ostomy bag with water, then dry it and keep it for next use.

If you don't want to separate the ostomy bag, follow the cleaning method for one-piece ostomy bags.



1. Avoid using alkaline cleaning agents such as laundry detergent or soap when cleaning, and avoid excessive rubbing or scrubbing of the bag to prevent damage.
2. Keep the ostomy bag away from direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to heat can cause the plastic material to deteriorate and affect its quality and functionality.
3. Avoid using hot water or warm water, when cleaning the ostomy bag, as it can compromise the bag's odor barrier and potentially irritate the surrounding skin.
4. To minimize odors in the ostomy bag, consider adding a few drops of ostomy-friendly air freshener or odor-neutralizing drops to the cleaned bag.
5. It's important to note that repeatedly washing the ostomy bag over an extended period may diminish its odor barrier function. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines and consider replacing the bag as recommended to ensure optimal performance.

Remember to always consult with your healthcare professional or stoma care nurse for specific instructions and recommendations on caring for your ostomy bag.

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