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