Ostomy Checklist: 15 Crucial Supplies for Those with a Stoma

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Tue Jan 31 2023.

Ostomy Checklist: 15 Crucial Supplies for Those with a Stoma

Have you or a loved one recently had a colostomy? Though rarely talked about, the procedure is more common than you may think. In fact, about 1 in 500 Americans toilet through a stoma, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

Colostomy changes the way waste exits the body by creating a surgical opening in the abdomen called a stoma. A pouch (or bag) goes over the stoma, collecting feces and other discharge as it exits the body.

If you or your loved one toilet through a stoma, it’s important to have certain supplies on hand. A fully equipped ostomy kit can improve your quality of life and reduce the risk of side effects. 

We’ve put together this all-in-one checklist so you know exactly which items to have on hand. 

15 Crucial Supplies for Those with a Stoma

1) Ostomy barrier ring/ Ostomy barrier seal: To prevent leaks and protect your skin

Eakin Cohesive Barrier Ring Seal 2", Small, 839002, 1 Each
Eakin Cohesive Barrier Ring Seal 2", Small

Price: $5.34 - $85.88

The barrier ring or barrier seal is one of the most crucial pieces of your ostomy setup. It protects your skin from discharge, reducing the risk of infection and irritation. 

We carry several types of ostomy barrier seals. They can be molded into a variety of shapes to prevent leakage or act as a filler to keep your ostomy pouch flush against your skin.

Hear it from a User: “Works pretty good with my ostomy bags.” - James K.

2) Adhesive remover: For pain-free barrier ring or barrier seal removal

UniSolve Adhesive Remover
UniSolve Adhesive Remover

Price: $11.77

Barrier rings and barrier seals should stick to your skin. But when it’s time to change your ostomy bag, a strong adhesive may make removing the ring or seal painful. Adhesive remover provides a gentle and pain-free experience.

Adhesive removers come in various forms, including wipes, ointments, and sprays. After application, they stop the barrier ring or seal from sticking to your skin. 

Hear it from a Caregiver: “Works great!” - Mareike M.

Hear it from a User: “This product removes my Free Style Libre sensor very quickly and painlessly. Thanks!” - Linda B.

3) Underpads: To protect furniture and bedding from leakage

McKesson Underpads, Ultra, 30"X 36", UPHV3036-BG10, Bag 10
McKesson Underpads, Ultra

Price: $16.99 - $47.49

There might be times when you need to change your ostomy bag on the go. 

Disposable coverings like underpads (also known as “chux”) make it easy to protect furniture, bedding, or upholstery from incontinence.

Putting a few underpads down before changing your ostomy pouch makes cleanup that much easier. There are reusable and disposable options, but all underpads offer reliable, waterproof protection, regardless of type.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “Great help. Size and absorbency is excellent! The material is soft as is strong and durable. Love them.” - Renee M.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “These work wonderful[ly]. I will definitely order them again. They’re one of the best priced deals for the size.” - Kelly K.

Hear it from a User: “McKesson does it again. Best quality bed pads at a good price.” - Kelly Q. 

4) Ostomy barrier paste: To keep the barrier ring flush with your skin

McKesson Skin Barrier Paste, 137-5723, 2 oz. Tube - 1 Each
McKesson Skin Barrier Paste

Price: $15.74

All stomas release mucus and discharge. While barrier rings and barrier seals provide some protection, they don’t always lie flush against your skin.

If there are small pockets or gaps between your skin, and the barrier ring or seal, fluid can leak beyond it, causing a rash or irritation. Ostomy barrier paste fills those openings, preventing any type of leakage.

5) Gloves: To keep your hands clean

Changing an ostomy bag isn’t hard, but it can be messy. Consider wearing disposable gloves if you don’t want to wash your hands after each step. When you’re finished, take the gloves off, and throw them in the trash.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “Very good product.” - Kerry M.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “They fit great and I did not have any tear when putting them on.” - Leonard L. Hear it from a Caregiver: “They are easy to put on, even for large hands. They fit as if you are bare hand[ed].” - AnneMarie H.

6) Lubricant: To prevent buildup around your stoma

It’s common for fecal matter to collect at the top of your ostomy bag near the stoma (something many in the ostomy community call “pancaking.”) 

Squeezing some lubricant into a new ostomy bag before its application can help prevent this buildup from happening. Also, many lubricants contain deodorizers, providing an extra line of defense against unwanted smells.

7) Ostomy pouch deodorizer: To neutralize odors

Speaking of unwanted smells –– make sure your ostomy kit includes an ostomy pouch deodorizer.

All modern ostomy bags have built-in air filters with charcoal, but deodorizers provide even more protection. These products attack and destroy odor molecules on contact instead of simply trying to mask unpleasant smells with perfume.

8) Support belt: To hold your ostomy bag in place

Hollister Adapt Adjustable Ostomy Belt, 7300, Box of 10
Hollister Adapt Adjustable Ostomy Belt

Price: $12.99 - $84.79

An empty ostomy bag weighs very little but gets heavier throughout the day. The more waste the bag collects, the more likely it is to detach from your stoma and leak. A support belt can prevent this from happening. 

Support belts are made of fabric and wrap snugly around your abdomen. They keep your ostomy bag in place whether you’re sleeping, running errands, or exercising.

9) Protective powder: To protect the sensitive skin around the stoma

The skin around your stoma is susceptible to infection, so it’s vital you keep the area clean and dry. 

The protective powder absorbs moisture and protects your skin from irritation. And, because it keeps your stoma dry between changes, it extends the life of your barrier rings and barrier seals.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “Excellent product and service.” - Kimberly H.

Hear it from a User: “I really like the Caldesene Protecting Powder. It shakes out of the container easily and the powder does a great job of keeping the sometimes damp areas dry.” - Danny D.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “My mom loves this powder. My mom has used talc body powder for years, and needs something with zinc oxide and cornstarch in it. This absolutely fits the bill! Thanks, Carewell!” - Patti H.

10) Gauze Sponges: To cover your stoma during ostomy bag changes

McKesson 8-Ply Gauze Sponges, Sterile
McKesson 8-Ply Gauze Sponges, Sterile

Price: $1.99 - $84.00

Cover your stoma with clean gauze whenever it’s time to change your ostomy bag. The gauze prevents discharge from touching your skin and reduces exposure to microorganisms like viruses and bacteria. 

When the new ostomy bag is ready for application, remove the gauze covering and throw it away.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “Great quality! The gauze is great for cleaning the wound and dressing the wound, and inside the box [the sponges] are separately packaged… Very sanitary hospital quality.” - Lyndon W.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “These are lifesavers to have around. Multiple uses for sure. Very handy.” - Christina L. 

Hear it from a Caregiver: “Cleans wounds well and is very soft on the wound.” - Cheryl H.

11) Adult Wipes: For an easy cleanup

Prevail Adult Wipes with Lotion, Unscented

Price: $4.65 - $43.39

Changing an ostomy bag is messy, but adult wipes can protect your skin and provide a more sterile environment. 

At Carewell, we carry adult wipes from renowned providers, including McKesson, Prevail, and Attends. Many contain ingredients like aloe and vitamin E and are specifically formulated to moisturize and support the skin.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “I liked the lid closure. The size was great and they are strong. Loved that I could find unscented wipes. Will buy them again.” - Susan D.

Hear it from a User: “Wipes well. Does not shred or fall apart.” - Sherise F.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “I am happy that I located and purchased the Prevail Adult Wipes. They are practical and most useful as they provide an adequate size vs. the smaller wipes.

I am comfortable in knowing that while using Prevail, the CNA assigned to my elderly parent will provide more cleansing in addition to using both soap and water vs. using the smaller wipes of other brands.Thanks.” - Deborah H. 

12) Soft paper towels: For drying your hands

McKesson Multi-Fold Paper Towels
McKesson Multi-Fold Paper Towels

Price: $9.85 - $48.34

Toileting through a stoma presents the risk of infection. So, it’s important to wash your hands with soap and warm water after each step. 

A roll of soft paper towels makes it easy to dry your hands or wipe things down –– fast. You don’t have to worry about doing laundry, either. Toss the used paper towels in the trash when you’re finished.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “Nowadays, paper towels on the roll are in short supply...these folded towels are great...we love them...Carewell has fast delivery… I'm very pleased with them… and with the paper towels.” - Jaine W.

13: Disposable Washcloths: For wiping up spills or cleaning your stoma

Prevail Quilted Washcloths with Lotion
Prevail Quilted Washcloths with Lotion

Price: $3.99 - $39.73

Want a more thorough clean? Substitute paper towels or adult wipes with a disposable washcloth. Always use a clean washcloth when changing your stoma bag, as a dirty cloth may cause an infection.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “Satisfied customer! My care recipient really loves these better than the other ones we were using and we’ll be switching to these.” - Saloma J. 

Hear it from a Caregiver: “My mother LOVES them. How they feel, the size are perfect. She especially likes the scent. She actually can’t stop talking about them!”

14) Laundry detergent: For hassle-free cleanups

Image of Tide Laundry Detergent product front
Tide Laundry Detergent

Price: $23.45 - $116.30

Ostomy bags are amazing tools, but they aren’t perfect. If you or your loved one toilet through a stoma, accidents and leaks will happen. This can be frustrating, but it’s part of the process. Stocking up on a good detergent can provide peace of mind and make things easier.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “It’s the standard by which all other laundry detergents are compared.” - John R.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “It was easy to order and I received it fast!” - Amber G. 

15)  Ostomy pouches: For the collection of waste

Assura Ostomy Night Bag, 2000 mL
Assura Ostomy Night Bag, 2000 mL

Price: $18.40 - $134.11

There are two types of ostomy pouches –– drainable and closed pouches. Drainable pouches are reusable, while the closed version is single-use.

Most experts recommend changing an ostomy bag every 5-7 days. Still, you may need to change yours more frequently, depending on the condition of the skin around the stoma, the climate you live in, and how much you sweat.

Hear it from a Caregiver: “Works well.” - Aaron H.

Remember to Consult with Your Doctor

After stoma surgery, it takes up to eight weeks for your body to heal fully. During that time, get plenty of rest and follow your surgeon’s recovery instructions. 

Living with a stoma takes some getting used to, and learning how to do so efficiently takes time. Your doctor can provide tips and tricks to make changing your ostomy pouch easier. They can also make recommendations to reduce the risk of common stoma problems, like skin irritation and prolapse.

Need More Help with Ostomy Supplies?

Choosing the right ostomy products can be overwhelming, which is why we’re here to help! 

If you or a loved one recently had a colostomy, you probably have lots of questions. Our caregiving specialists can help you find the items you need within your budget. 

Call (855) 855-1666 any time. We’re here to support you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.