Ostomy Hack: Irrigating Your Ostomy Bag Using the Osto-EZ Vent

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a better way to flush your drainable ostomy bag with water every time you empty it? Here’s a cool trick using a product you may already be familiar with.

This tip will benefit colostomates and ileostomates who have thick output. Urostomates won’t have to worry about this.


Video

This will video will give you a quick overview on how to set things up and how to clean your ostomy bag using this trick.

Ostomy Hack: Irrigating Your Ostomy Bag Using the Osto-EZ Vent

By playing the above video you agree to YouTube's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Introduction

Some ostomates like to rinse their drainable bags every time they empty it. It’s not necessary, but it can help if you have problems with pancaking, and many ostomates simply like the feeling of wearing a totally “clean” ostomy bag. This can also help if you have difficulties emptying your appliance due to arthritis or other condition in your hands.

This desire has led several manufacturers to come up with their own custom appliances such as the “EZ-Clean System” by Schena Ostomy Technologies or the appliances by Ostomy SuperSan.

But while those systems offer some unique benefits, they also come with several drawbacks:

  • You have to use their appliance.
  • Not easily available everywhere.
  • May require special equipment to be installed.
  • Expensive.
  • Appliances may not suit all ostomates.

The method that I’ve come up with uses the Osto EZ-Vent (a product I’ve reviewed before) to achieve the same goal – with several other advantages.

Why my solution is more ideal:

  • Way cheaper.
  • Works on just about every drainable ostomy bag.
  • Can be used when your bag is in the vertical or horizontal position.
  • Doesn’t interfere with your bags filter (although using a filterless bag is ideal).
  • Doesn’t require special equipment to be installed on your toilet.
  • Still, allows you to “burp” your bag through he EZ-Vent.
  • May be easier to use than pouring water into the bottom of your bag.

In addition to offering you a better way to rinse your ostomy bag, you can also use the Osto EZ-Vent to relieve pouch ballooning (which is what it’s made for!)


Things You’ll Need

  • Osto EZ-Vents. (Buy on Amazon.com)
  • Drainable ostomy bags. Nearly any bag will work, but ones without filters on top may be more practical for this application.
  • A squeeze bottle that fits the EZ-Vent.
  • A pair of sharp scissors (for the EZ-Vent install). Cuticle scissors work really well!
  • (Optional) Rubbing alcohol. This can be used to clean the surface of your bag to help the EZ-Vent stick better.

Finding a bottle that fits the EZ-Vent will probably be the most difficult part of this entire process. You may be able to find loads of appropriate bottles online, but I’d suggest visiting your local dollar store with an EZ-Vent in hand and “test” the tip of the bottle to make sure it fits securely over the vent opening.

The bottle I use was found at a local bulk foods store and I hadn’t even purchased it to irrigate thought he EZ-Vent – it just happened to fit perfectly!

You can order the same one on Amazon.com if you don’t want to search around.

Make n Mold squeeze bottle
I may have needed to patch it up, but I’ve used the same bottle for years!

Attaching the Osto EZ-Vent

Attaching the Osto EZ-Vent to your bag takes less than a minute. You’ll save time by using a bag that has no cloth fabric on the front, but you can also cut out the cloth in the small area where the EZ-Vent will be attached to (I’ve done this many times!)


Irrigating Your Ostomy Bag

Here’s the fun part! You’ll probably want to take it slow the first few times you do this, or until you get the hang of it.

  • Position the outlet of your bag so that it’s facing into the toilet.
  • Open the bottom of your bag and allow stool to fall into the toilet.
  • Open the Osto EZ-Vent.
  • Secure the tip of your squeeze bottle over the EZ-Vent’s opening.
  • Gently squeeze water into your appliance through the EZ-Vent.
  • Once your bag is clean, detach the bottle, close the EZ-Vent, clean and close your outlet normally.

TIP: I usually refill the bottle at this point so that it’s ready for the next time.


Notes

  • While I prefer to empty my bag before rinsing it clean using this method, you can also keep the outlet closed and add water to your bag before giving it a little swish. Be careful when doing that as it may be a little messy :)
  • If you wear your bag sideways, like I do, then you can place the vent in a better spot depending on which way your bag points to.

Question: Have you tried this trick? Let me know what your results were!

guest
13 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Stephanie
Stephanie
6 months ago

New to the ileostomy family (2 weeks!) — and this is genius. I had my ostomy nurse order me some of the vents right away since I am a gassy person in general. One thing I am finding is that it’s hard to get bag lubricant all the way near my stoma, so sometimes my thicker stool will collect up there when sleeping, and it’s hard to get out. I found a squeeze bottle at home that fits and tried this out, and it’s great! I think this will be part of my morning routine — start the day out fresh haha.

Alice Davis
Alice Davis
1 year ago

Just my 2cents…

Alice Davis
Alice Davis
1 year ago

In reading the comments at Amazon for the Osto EZ Vent, I noticed a suggestion for using a bidet instead of this product for irrigating a colostomy bag since you can purchase one for under $50 (i found one for $25) which is cost effective in the long run. Maybe save the EZ Vent for travel.

GoatHerder
GoatHerder(@goatherder)
6 months ago
Reply to  Alice Davis

Posted by: @Alice Davis
In reading the comments at Amazon for the Osto EZ Vent, I noticed a suggestion for using a bidet instead of this product for irrigating a colostomy bag since you can purchase one for under $50 (i found one for $25) which is cost effective in the long run. Maybe save the EZ Vent for travel.

I’ve always used a bidet, decades before my ostomy. Rinsing out my bag with it takes seconds and I always end a potty run with a clean bag. Keeping the bidet jets cleat is very important, especially for those in the family also using it who are “normal” poopers!
The cheap units won’t likely work though as they have a limited range they can reach. I use a stainless steel, side mounted unit. Sitting slightly sideways on the potty, I can place the end of my bag right over the jets. Start with a VERY low water stream . I could easily damage my stoma if I hit it with full pressure! There is of course a contamination risk to yourself if the jets are not properly cleaned, and if you have well water as I do, there is a chance, though small of picking up a bacterial infection from the water itself. I do have filters on my bidet feed that are supposed to take out pathogens though.
 
 
 
 

GoatHerder
GoatHerder(@goatherder)
6 months ago
Reply to  VeganOstomy
Posted by: @VeganOstomy

@GoatHerder I’ve known so many people who have gone the bidet route and they’ve all said positive things about it. I wish my family would get on board with the idea so I can install them in our bathrooms, but unless it will benefit everyone, I’m fine without it.

Just install one on the loo you always use. The type I use, swings completely out of the way for those who don’t want to use it.  My 91 year old father in law was dead set against having one, until one day he used mine while visiting. I was installing one at his house within days!

I have this exact model. I find it perfect for bag cleaning. Have had it installed in the current house for 16 years, had same model in my last homes going back 40!

 

Here’s the one I use: CLICKY

Janine
Janine
2 years ago

Thank you so much for this hack! I have found these tips fit the Osto vent precisely and eliminate the leakage of water. They fit several bottles I had around the house including an empty eyeglass cleaner bottle from Walmart. Not sure why or how to edit the weird emoji by my name.
😉

I found these at my local Joanne’s Fabrics and on their website for slightly less, but couldn’t figure out how to share that link.

Plaid Tip Writers, 30728 (6-Piece) On Amazon
I couldn’t share link because my address was attached.

larryC
larryC(@larryc)
4 years ago

Hi Eric, great tip as always. I’m always curious why you choose to wear your bag sideways? At the moment I use a large 12″ bag that allows about 1/2 of it to tuck nicely below my belt line. What advantages do find when wearing yours sideways?
Thanks Larry