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Ostomy bag smells

Hi... I have a permanent colostomy since Dec 2009. My stools are always soft or watery. I use a Holister two piece system with large drainable pouch with no filter. I empty my bag many times a day and have to burp my bag many times. Note: I stopped using bags with filters because they clog up in one day.

The smell when emptying or burping my bag is very, very bad!!!!

Normally I use our upstairs bathroom and the standard exhaust fan does not cut it. The smell seems to be heaver then air and moves along the floor under the door and down the stairs.

I checked and the fan has a 50 CFM capacity. I have checked with a local electrical supply store and I can get a Nutone 300 CFM fan for ~$206.

Has anyone had good results pulling the smell out of their house?


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Are you using the anti-odor products that we have mentioned in several discussions. IT really is easier to control odor in the bag as opposed to after emptying. Obvously a good fan and a big window come in handy. I have found 2 products that make a huge difference in getting rid of odor. One is Ostofresh ( and get free sample) and another item is Devrom chewble pills. (called the internal deodorant) You chew a few up. They do thicken output. And they also seem to work if you place them in the bag. I have a ileostomy and the filters on the bag dont work for me either. Other products for in the bag are M9 drops. There also is aproduct called Just a drop which goes into the toilet about 20 seconds before you emoty which also helps. (It seems to mask the odor) But the best way is to do it IN THE bag.But use the items mentioned above. Most of these items will be covered by insurance. As far as venting a room goes I would assume though that the stronger the fan, the better it will work. And perhaps you are using these products and still have odor. Certain foods make it worse. garlic is a biggy as far as producing odors. You will figure this out!

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Try adding yogurt, parsley,and buttermilk into your diet. It cuts down on the smell. I use Hollister M9 drops into my pouch. Hollister also makes M-9 deodorizer spray that helps too. Try eating on a regular schedule and eat slowly.
Try not to swallow any air with your food.
Do not chew gum or drink through a straw. Both will make you swallow air.
Avoid carbonated drinks
Try to avoid foods that are diffcult to digest such as broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower etc etc
I also use Beano or Gas X too right before I eat say pasta. Most important drink plenty of water.

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my colostomy is permanient I use the convitect 2 piece system use the disposable bags with and a liner can empty 2 liners a day then leave the bag only until the AM then put the contents in a heavy black ziplock made just for Ostomy bags and I cant say I have to many compaints about order eggs are real bad I don't eat them

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All... I should have given you more history on me. Sorry I am new to this site.
- i am 64
- at age 10 I had regional Ileitis which is now called Crones. Had surgery to remove. Suffered with IBS ( Irritable Bowl Syndrome ) all my life.
- Been on a bland diet all my life.
- I am a type 2 diabetic
- Had a Colonoscopy at 61, found two large tumors in my rectum. Had chemo and radiation, surgery to remove tumors, have a permanent colostomy. As my friends say " I am an Ass hole without a hole" LOL. Had 18 more weeks of chemo.
- I am lactose intolerant
- One year ago I decided the American diet is killing us all and changed to a "Whole foods, plant based diet. I have blood work done every 3 mo. as follow up to my cancer and all my numbers are now in the normal range. If you want to know more about the diet watch the video " Forks Over Knives".
- My stools are always soft.
- After my surgery I was told I could eat all the same foods I ate before the surgery. They Lied ! When ever you have major abdominal surgery they pull your intestines out and they can never put them back the way they were. You have twists and kinks which can cause blockages. I have had 4. Two required hospitalization. We all have to watch out for blockages, this means not eating certain foods. ( Popcorn is a No-No )
- I use a Hollister two piece system with a large drainable pouch with NO filter. Filters are useless, they clog in one day.
- I tried the disposable bag but they don't make sense to me. They require me carry around a large supply of bags. The drainable is more natural. There are NO supplies to carry around.
- I empty my bag 8-10 times a day and burp my bag several time a day to release the gas build up.

Life with a Ostomy for me has been better the life with IBS. ( I don't worry about shitting my pants with a bag).

My only two complaints about life with a Ostomy are
1) dealing with the smell.
2) sex life. ( erectile dysfunction took care of that )

I checked into why the smell of burping the bag is worse then ANY fart. Answer from Hollister is, " It is not the shit that smells so bad, it is the bag" The bag is like a compost heap.

The smell is not that from eating gassy foods.

Every time I empty my bag I rinse it out with water.
I have tried;
- Holister deoderant lub
- Tic-Tac in the bag
- mouth was in the bag.
- drops

I hope this clarifies my situation and what my issues are.

Thanks for listening....

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I have been through 4 surgeries and yes I eat popcorn and drink water at the same time. I am in remission with cancer and your diet does play an important part as to how it smells. I also rinse my pouch out with 2 ounce of water. After 3 days the filter no longer works is my experience, I am glad your life is better with your surgery but it is something you will have to get use to. I tend to not let it bother me. Also try to put the drops into the toilet to mask the smell. I have an oleo stormy good luck. Patti

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Tell you one thing never rince out the bag with dish soap, what a mess. After that I used talkcom powder what a hoot, went out and my bag just came away from my stoma. Real nice especially going to the mall with friends. They do have bottles of fragience in the place where you get supplies

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Try lighting matches --- they kill toilet smells.

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Hey twhiston,

Hope you are still out there on this blog since I am getting in this one late. It sounds like I have a very similar situation (transverse colostomy in my case) as you but I manage the problem differently. I also prefer to take care of my pouch about 6-7 times per day and am quite concerned about odor when making the change. Generally, most of the literature I read and WOCN nurses I spoke with recommended a drainable pouch for my condition. However, I could NOT disagree more with this approach. Among other limitations, It simply takes too long and is too odor intensive to sit on a toilet and go through that process six or seven times per day.

Instead, I use closed-end pouches and make the entire change and dispose of each pouch in about 20 seconds. Hollister will provide you with a brown/tan colored disposal bag for each closed-end pouch. While these disposal bags aren't perfect, they will contain the odor for a day or so, giving you time to get them to the outside garbage bin. Changing the bag in such a short time will make a big difference in your ability to control the odor. While I hear about all kinds of odor drops, odor pills, and so on, it is really pretty simple. Just spray a generous amount of air freshener right after your pouch change.

Also, using the closed-end pouch option will make life alot easier when going places. For example, there are times in a restaurant when I know my pouch change will cause an embarrassing odor situation. In this case, I will go to my car in the parking lot and make the change in / near the privacy of my car and can do so since I don't need a toilet to change a closed-end pouch.

You mentioned that you tried disposable pouches but that you didn't like carrying around supplies. I suggest giving them another try. Keeping a supply in your car or carrying a couple around in your pocket is a minor inconvenience compared to dealing with the odor and inconvenience of drainable pouches. These challenges can stop people from going out at all.

You also mentioned that you have a major odor problem related to gas when you burp the pouch. Hollister said it was due to the odor of the reusable pouch and not so much the gas. This pouch odor will be eliminated by using disposable pouches. Also, you will find that the filters will be at least partially effective since you will only be using each filter for a few hours instead of for a few days as with a drainable pouch. I agree that the filters on drainable pouches are basically useless.

I am fortunate enough to have a Medicare Advantage plan which pays for 80% of my supplies. In fact, these plans are being advertised all over the television right now since they have "open enrollment" until sometime in early December. Really, anyone with an ostomy should consider a Medicare Advantage plan (assuming they qualify for Medicare) since these plans are less restrictive on the quantities allowed and will give people with ostomies much greater flexibility.

Hope this helps. i can assure you that almost everyone out there who has a colostomy and uses drainable pouches has your same problem and can benefit from this solution.

Let me know what you think.


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JohnRoy you are my kinda person as this is what I do also the smell is so much easier to control. The kids and the hubby use to walk in the house and right away I know mom is home (do to the smell) but after 1 year of all the cleaning out ect I said to heck with this. I also use the liners that you can just flush so if you are out and about you can so easily just flush like others and put in a new liner or get a second use of the bags which is what I have been doing lately 1 use withthe liner flush the liner and just reuse the bag then dispose of it for me usally in the AM and then get a fresh setup for the day

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I think your approach to use closed-end bags with the ColoMajic liner makes alot more sense than many colostomy patients who use drainable pouches. The only problem I found with the ColoMajic liner is that the two-piece coupling ring was not really made to accommodate a plastic liner inserted in-between it. What I found happens is that the liner "crinkles up" and I had odor seeping out of the coupling seal. Because of this and the fact that I have access to a significant quantity of closed-end pouches each month (through my Medicare Advantage Plan), I just use the closed-end pouches and dispose of each one.

Do you have this odor problem when using the liner?

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not unless I dont get the snaped down just right which only happens a couple of times you are very lucky to be able to get a large number of bags I also feel very lucky that I can also get enough and buy the liners and black baggies as there are so many that don't have the money but in my defense I do work 2 full time jobs one being an overnight sleeping job and the other a State job so I also have good insurance. but with the other urology problem that I have due to radiation is costs me in the range of 100-125 a month for depends but at least I am here to love the grandbabies which is my reason for living and the good Lord must have other plans for me also. Have a Great Afternoion ALL

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Thanks JohnRoy for your comments and insight into my issue with smell.

UPDATE. My smell issue is mainly a problem i my own home. As I mentioned earlier I was looking into the exhaust fan in my bathroom and found it was a 50 CFM. I bought a Nutone 300 CFM fan for $206 and had it installed. The installation was pricy ( $930 ) because the bathroom is on the second floor with a skylight and a cathedral ceiling, plus the new fan has a 6" dia duct that has to vent out the roof. I also got a replacement switch which has buttons for 5, 10, 15, and 30 minutes.
Works GREAT !!! Now I go into the bathroom push the 5 min. button, do my think, close the door and leave. The fan shuts off in 5 minutes and there is NO smell.

If anyone wants to talk more about this you can email me at

John one other thing. When I am at home I have a container that I use to pour water into the end of my drainable pouch, smush it around and dump into the toilet. ( I do all this sitting on the toilet.) Takes about 2 minutes tops. When I am out in public I use public restrooms ( they usually have industrial fans ) and I just sit on the toilet, open the pouch end, let the shit fall into the toilet, use toilet paper to clean off the pouch end, close it, flush and I am done. Take less time then taking a shit before my Colostomy.

The only supplies I ever take with me is a set of everything needed to replace my flang and bag. I keep a set in the cars for emergencies.

Have a happy holiday season....

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