Best way to eliminate smelly odors from colostomy bags 

One challenge I’ve found with ostomy care is the foul odor associated with it. You may have noticed the unpleasant smell when walking into a room with a patient who has an ostomy bag.

Over time, they may not be aware of the smell and become oblivious to it. Some ostomy bags have filters to reduce odors, but these don’t work perfectly.

The best way to eliminate the odor from a colostomy bag is to block the air from easily escaping. You can do this by taping the filter and manually opening the bag.

In this post, I’ll explain how to better reduce the odors from ostomy bags.

Pouch alternatives and deodorizing drops

If you don’t want to manually drain the pouch every time it fills up with gas, you can try a pouch with a charcoal filter that may decrease some of the smell. This isn’t a perfect solution and these pouches can be expensive, but it’s a decent alternative, especially for people who have a lot of gas.

You can also purchase deodorizing drops, gels, or tablets to help reduce the smell. This can be helpful when the patient is bloated, and it can actually reduce the smell by quite a bit.

Avoid foods that increase gas 

Avoiding foods that increase gas is a great way to reduce odors and reduce gas. Here’s a list of foods you might stay away from. 

  • Fried foods
  • Alcohol
  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Coffee
  • Cake
  • Dairy
  • Sweets

You can also eliminate gas by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking enough water, and eating nuts.

Create a good seal

Creating a good seal should be your number one priority. For best results, try out different bags, contact an ostomy care nurse and watch a handful of useful tutorials.

If you have a good seal, you’ll find it much easier to prevent leaks. Just avoid anything that could rupture the bag. 

The other major problem with ostomy bags is gas. Gas can increase the size of the bag and cause a rupture, and it can also make the smell of the room quite unpleasant.

Completely eliminate odors from an ostomy bag

Ostomy bags have vents to allow air and gas to escape, but those vents can quickly change how a room smells. Eliminate those odors by using medical tape over the vents. When the Ostomy bag becomes full of gas or air, carefully open the bottom drain to allow the air to escape.

How to avoid colostomy bag ruptures

Ostomy bag ruptures can be prevented by avoiding any restrictive clothing or movement near sharp objects or edges. This may include wearing clothing that is more loose-fitting and avoiding belts.

You should also be more careful when leaning close to sharp table corners. Avoid parking too close to another vehicle, so you won’t rupture the bag when exiting the car.

Colostomy bags are made out of plastic, so it doesn’t take much to experience a puncture or leak.


Ostomy bags come with challenges, but you sooner you understand these challenges, you sooner you’ll be able to do your daily activities. I hope this was helpful.

Subscribe below to learn more occupational therapy tips and tricks, and don’t forget to check me out on youtube and instagram.