A Mini Guide to Ostomy Supplies: Pouch Liners (w/ video)

Ostomy Pouch Liners


Mini Guide to Ostomy Supplies: Pouch Liners
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What Are Pouch Liners?

Pouch liners are used to collect ostomy output without soiling the inside of a standard ostomy pouch.  

The idea is to save money from having to replace expensive two-piece pouches, since liners are a fraction of the cost to replace.

How Pouch Liners Are Usually Sold

Liners come in boxes of 100-300 units per box, depending on the brand.  Most suppliers who carry pouch liners will offer two sizes to accommodate both large (57mm and larger) and smaller (up to 57mm) flange sizes.

I’ve seen at least two brands of pouch liners available in North America.  Colomajic is a popular brand, but the Attiva liners from Ostomy Essentials are nearly half the price (CDN$0.29 vs. CDN$0.16 / liner).  Colomajic does advertise that their products are 100% biodegradable, so that could play a factor.

The cost per box ranges from CDN$29 – $45 depending on the quantity per box, and they should be covered by insurance (my insurance company, Green Shield Canada covers them). As you can see, they are significantly cheaper than two-piece pouches, and can potentially save you a lot of money.

Basic pouch liner
Basic pouch liner

Purchase on Amazon

You can purchase pouch liners on Amazon (affiliate links): USA | CANADA

How to Use Pouch Liners

Pouch liners are used in two-piece appliances, but it doesn’t matter if the pouch is close-ended or drainable.

Note: Some liners require that you poke pinholes into special areas to allow gas to escape from your pouch, but some brands have holes included.

Using a liner is pretty easy in theory, but I find that they are awkward, especially if you’ve got to change one while your stoma is active!  The idea is to place a single liner into your pouch so that enough of the liner sticks out when you snap your bag onto the wafer (see photo).

Pouch liner inserted into a pouch.
Pouch liner inserted into a pouch.

Once your pouch reaches the point where it needs to be emptied (don’t wait until it’s FULL!), you remove your entire pouch, remove the liner, flush that liner down a toilet, put a new liner into your pouch and re-apply the pouch to your wafer. There are a lot of steps, and things can get a little messy if you’ve got an ileostomy, although colostomates shouldn’t find it nearly as difficult.

Ideally, this processes should be quick, but practice is definitely needed to become a pro.

While pouch liners are advertised as being “flushable” or biodegradable, I’ve written an investigative piece that tests those claims HERE.

Tips When Using Pouch Liners

  • While several manufacturers give you the impression that these liners biodegrade easily, I found during my research of the materials used that there are specific conditions that need to be met in order for the material to break down and biodegrade.  I don’t believe those same conditions are found in your plumbing or your local municipality water treatment plant, so keep that in mind if you’ve got a toilet that tends to clog often!
  • I found that dropping a full liner in a toilet while in mid-flush gets it to go down easier.
  • All the manufacturers I’ve seen offer free samples, which I highly recommend trying before you commit to a box of 300!
  • Keep a spare pouch with you in case the liner leaks.  This isn’t as important if you have a drainable pouch, but I’d highly recommend carrying a spare if you use close-ended pouches.

Are Pouch Liners Vegan-Friendly?

I don’t have information about liners, and have been trying to get more details on their ingredients.  The biodegradable liners from Colomajic use BASF’s EcoVio polymers which include PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) and (Polylactic acid), which can be obtained through non-animal sources, however, I have not been able to confirm this.

I will add any confirmed products to my list of vegan/non-vegan ostomy product list as information comes in.

14 thoughts on “A Mini Guide to Ostomy Supplies: Pouch Liners (w/ video)”

  1. Hello Everyone,
    Elderly family member received a colostomy just before Christmas 2020. Now that they are at home I’m charge of providing stoma care. I like the convenience that Colo-Majic liners offer, but am wondering what cheaper options frugal ostomates are using (considering that it’s just a little plastic bag that must cost a few pennies). Any ideas that are safe but much cheaper / more economical? I’ve heard of some people using doggie bags as liners! Thanks in advance and thanks for this great website…

    • Hey Sam,

      While I have not tried it, I think if you find the right doggie bag then it may just work. My biggest concern would be whether the liner might be too thick and pop the ostomy bag off the wafer. You’d probably end up spending more to replace that one bag than you would be replacing a half box of liners.

      If you do go the doggie bag route, look for the biodegradable ones. They are essentially the same material you find in compostable bags for your kitchen and should be thin enough to use (but test first!).

    • The doggie bags broke every time for me. I tried several different kinds too. and unless you get the biodegradable ones, you cannot flush them. The colo majic also break for me, but the Attiva hardly ever do. They are just harder to find in the US. I have only found one supplier here.

  2. I use the Attiva liners.. LOVE them… I use 2 pouches so before I remove one from my flange I have the 2nd ready with a liner in it.. This way I’m more likely to prevent a sudden surge that becomes a super soaker..

  3. Couldn’t I just pull more of the liner out so it won’t be messy? Great idea anyway and I will order some next month when I send in my usual order. Thanks for all your videos Eric. They are so helpful!

    • I say it’s messy because if you have liquid stool, it’s a challenge to remove your pouch when it’s full of liquid. Ideally, liners work best with colostomates who have drier stool, since there’s nothing that will spill out from the pouch :) If you try them, let me know how it works for you.

        • The cheapest place to get liners in the US is from Canada. 2 boxes (200 bags) 35.99 delivered. https://medicalwarehouse.ca/products/oos-fpl-2 Doggy poo bags are the cheapest way to go. Some rustle and make more noise than others. Right now I am using BOS small 9 x 15″ These feel similar to the bags that hollister sends with its pouches. I use a 2″ Nu-Hope ostomy support belt as a bag separation preventative. It also helps prevent peristomal hernias and helps prevent leaks. When using a leakproof liner you can modify bags to create more volume. Your ostomy bag is now just a bag holder. It does not matter if it leaks. Use 2 drainable bags and make one. I wanted a larger volume night bag. (colostomate) Liners made it easy. Liners make it possible to use an illeostomy drainable bag (larger volume) as a night bag. Hollister 18014 70mm. Spray lube/deodorant is used after putting the liner in the pouch. I have ordered a small spray bottle and will try some scented baby oil. 20 oz bottle at Walmart 3.98. 6 months with an ostomy an no ostomy nurse. Thank you Eric for the information you provide

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