If you’ve undergone a colostomy, it’s normal to be concerned about odor. Before the surgery, you dealt with going to the bathroom every day, but you didn’t have to see and smell it the way you do now. Keeping the smell controlled is a constant concern.
It doesn’t help much to tell yourself that other people who haven’t had the surgery aren’t constantly washing themselves after using the toilet. Since you need to either empty and clean/reuse or dispose of your colostomy bags, you can’t exactly get away from your solid waste concerns.
If you are concerned about odor coming from your colostomy bag, you have options. One way to deal with the issue is to add a capful of 2% hydrogen peroxide to the bag when you change it. You can find this product in a pharmacy or a grocery store. This may not be the right solution for everyone; some people are put off by this product's tendency to fizz up. It works by oxidizing hydrogen sulphide, the chemical responsible for the stank you get a whiff of when you change the bag. Adding it to your colostomy bag won't just mask the funk, it will go on a search and destroy mission and wipe it out.
Take some minty mouthwash and add it to a spray bottle with some water. You can also use one of the pocket breath-freshening sprays. Make sure you spray it before you empty the bag; it will keep the smell from getting out into the bathroom and making it all funked up.
Tic-tacs are tiny little breath mints, and they can pack a big punch of taste. Who knew they could also be used to freshen up a colotsomy bag, too? That's right; but you have to make sure to buy the minty ones. The fruity tic tacs won't do nearly as good a job. If you want them for this purpose, you may need to find a place that sells them by the case. Just place the tic-tac in the pouch to keep the odor at bay. It's a cheap and sensible solution to the problem.
Adding a few drops of peppermint oil in the end of each bag you use is an effective way to neutralize the smell of a colostomy bag. The peppermint does have a strong scent that you may find challenging to get used to. It is definitely preferable to the alternative, which is to stink like poop. We'd recommend going for the peppermint.
Getting some air on the subject is one way to deal with the issue of a stanky colostomy bag change. If you can open the window and let some air into the bathroom while you take care of the business of emptying it, the process will be a whole lot more pleasant. Be sure to leave the window open for a time after you have finished emptying the bag, since the smell will not dissipate all at once. Leaving the bathroom door open to allow some air to circulate through the room will also help the cause, too.
Turning on the fan in the bathroom will help to diffuse the smell. If the fan is on a timer, set it for several minutes and let it go. You don't need to worry about going back into the room to shut it off; it will stop automatically. Turning on the fan will also cover up the sound of any noises that result from 'burping" or allowing built-up gas to escape from the bag.
When you are emptying your colostomy bag, make a point of flushing the toilet a couple of times. The double flush will help to wash away odor and leave the bathroom a bit fresher smelling after you are done. Be sure to inspect the toilet area for any spills and wipe them up before you leave the toilet area and go to wash your hands.
My son, aged 32, stated he doesn't like coming here any more because of the
"smells" in the house, specifically since my husband now has a colostomy bag,
and there seems to be some sort of residual smell throughout the house. I have
been told fragranced air fresheners make the stench even worse.
What can I do now??
Thanks, in anticipation,
I have been a nurse for many years and a patient once taught me 2 things about
ostomies. 1. Spray the inside of your bag with Pam cooking spray, just a
little and smooth it around using the outside of the bag. This helps prevent
the stool from sticking to the bag and increasing odor. 2. put a teaspoon of
pure vanilla flavoring on a cotton ball and put it in your bag. I still use
these 2 techniques 20 years later and they work. Good luck