How to get rid of ostomy bag odor

Written by melynda sorrels
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How to get rid of ostomy bag odor
Certain foods can contribute to making odours worse. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

An ostomy bag is intended to catch discharged waste from a surgical opening in the urinary or digestive tract. Though this procedure isn't optimal, it's often a lifesaving one. For those who have to live with an ostomy bag, the odour seems to only make the situation more unpleasant. Dealing with ostomy bag odour requires diligence and upkeep to keep the odours at bay. The result of the extra effort is well worth it as the ostomy bag odours can alter your intimate and social life with offending odours.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Mild soap
  • Damp cloth
  • Toilet paper
  • Tic Tacs

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  1. 1

    Bathe daily and be sure to pay special attention to the stoma area and clean the skin thoroughly with a mild soap and warm water. Keeping the area clean can help eliminate bacteria that leads to unpleasant odours.

  2. 2

    Empty the pouch when it is a 1/3 full. Ensure that the opening of the pouch is clean after you empty it; wipe it off with toilet paper or a damp cloth.Replace the pouch every 4 to 6 days, or sooner if you encounter a leak. Follow your doctor's instructions regarding emptying and replacing the pouch.

  3. 3

    Avoid foods that may contribute to odour. Cabbage, eggs, garlic, onions and spicy foods can all intensify odours and should be eliminated from your diet. If certain foods upset your stomach or noticeably worsen the smell, cut them from your diet as well.

  4. 4

    Place a Tic Tac in the pouch to help control odours. Be sure to use mint flavours, as the fruity Tic Tacs won't be as effective.

  5. 5

    Talk to your doctor about incorporating probiotic foods into your diet. That can help decrease gas by lining your intestines with good bacteria, curbing added gas odours.

Tips and warnings

  • There are numerous products available commercially to help combat odours from ostomy bags, such as sprays, liners and odorfree pouches. Talk to your doctor and visit a medical supply store to find what will work best for you.

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