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

Irrigate bag with Osto EZ-Vent header blog small

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.


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
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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.


  • 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!

23 thoughts on “Ostomy Hack: Irrigating Your Ostomy Bag Using the Osto-EZ Vent”

  1. @shark I don’t agree that the bowel won’t empty. If I can go 48 hours without output, clearly, I have successfully emptied my bowel. I do agree that regular irrigation conditions the bowel to empty more readily, so regular irrigation becomes much more efficient than occasional irrigation. Because I only irrigate occasionally, I am not very efficient, it takes me longer, and I use more water. But it does accomplish what I want.

  2. @tigerlily hi, Thanks for all the good information. You’re right, even ostomy nurses don’t have a lot of experience with this. The only person my nurse knew was another nurse who did it every day successfully. She implied that intermittent irrigation for convenience (like if you’re traveling) was not useful and you have to do it every day or your colon won’t empty.  I don’t think intermittent irrigation will disrupt cyclic bowel function any more than an occasional enema would. Thanks very much for your comments and support.

  3. Hi Eric, Firstly, I want to thank you for your videos. I got my colostomy almost a year ago and had no training in how to manage it. The day I was discharged a wound care nurse in the rehab I was sent to gave me a paper printed from the internet about how to apply a one-piece or two-piece bag. That was my ostomy training! I watched the nurses change my bag (they never emptied it), different ways with each one. I knew I needed more information, so I searched and found your videos. I’m doing very well managing my colostomy because of you. Several months ago I saw your video on the Osto Ez Vent and thought that it would be great for washing out my pouch. I ordered the vents from Amazon to try them out and also bought (and returned) several types of bottles that were too big to fit in the vent’s hole. Then I had a brainstorm. I bought 8 oz bottles on Amazon with Luer-Lock caps ( https://amzn.to/3umzpCr ) and other 8 oz perineal bottles that were easier to squeeze ( https://amzn.to/3yEcIfm ) – I don’t have a lot of strength in my hands. Then I bought a set of Luer-Lock blunt tip dispensing needles 1″ long to try them out and determine which size will fit in the vent ( https://amzn.to/3NP9CK4 ) and 2″ long ( https://amzn.to/3P35lDK ). The sizes 10G, 11G (the 2″ needles I use), and 12G needles work the best and do a fantastic job cleaning out the pouch. In total, I spent about $40, which is well worth it for the multiple cleanings I need and they’ll last me forever. Both types of needles come in multiple sizes – your choice. I use plain tap water in the bottles and a screw to make the hole through the vent – scissors were too hard for me. The great thing about Amazon is that everything can be returned if they don’t work out. I hope this helps someone who can’t find a bottle to fit in the vent. One more thing, the Osto Ez Vents are covered by Medicare if you qualify.

  4. Posted by: @shark

    Also do you know of any info on your site about colostomy irrigation?

    We’ve discussed irrigation a few times on the forum as a few members do irrigate, but there’s no official “how-to guide" as this tends to be something you’ll want to consult with a stoma nurse on. 

    Since you have a sigmoid colostomy, irrigation would definitely be something to look into! 


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