What are the stickers for that come with ostomy bags?

What are the stickers for that come with ostomy bags?

Whether you're new or experienced in ostomy life, a question you may not know the answer to is "what are the stickers for that come with ostomy bags?"

We asked our Social Media & Marketing Specialist, Amy, who has had her permanent ileostomy since 2011, if she knows what the stickers are for and to our delight, she did, but admitted that it took her a good few years until she found out what they are for.

It is not surprising that some people do not know what they are for and a lot of ostomy bags do not come with instructions for them. We are here to bring you the lowdown on these stickers! Do you think you have the answer? Read on to see if you are right.

Stickers - a partnership with your ostomy bag filter/s!

On your ostomy bag, you will usually find at least one filter (We say "usually" because not all bags have them). These filters are most commonly made with carbon or charcoal and are integrated into ostomy bags to help with managing ostomy gas and odour. They help filter the gas out of an ostomy bag at the same time as neutralising the odour that comes with it.

When using stickers, as with everything with ostomy life, it is important to remember that everyone is different and medical advice should be sought such as advice from your stoma nurse if you are wanting to do a little bit of experimenting with these stickers or experience problems.

What do the stickers actually help with, then?!

These stickers are usually used for:

  • Preventing the bag from letting out too much air - If you experience pancaking, having no air in your ostomy bag can make this worse. These stickers can actually help to leave some air in the bag to reduce pancaking. It is important to note that you can remove the stickers temporarily (if not in water), to let some air filter out when you need to, or, you can empty air when you empty your bag.
  • Keeping the filter/s dry - when you bathe or swim. Wet filters usually mean ineffective filters that don't do their job.
  • Keeping the filter working & without leaks - Partially covering a filter with a sticker can help to ensure your filter works and does not become too contained with ostomy output, which can lead to filter leaks.
  • Helping to keep smells out - Sometimes when filters become too contained with ostomy output, they can become ineffective at neutralising odour. You may decide to use a sticker if you are not ready to change your bag and can see your filter is quite saturated, to help prevent the odour from leaking out.

How to apply the stickers


Do you have any experience or tips with using filter stickers?

Please leave us a comment below!

Disclaimer: As always, this post is from our Social Media & Marketing Specialist, Amy's, experience of living with a permanent ileostomy, Crohn's Disease and from what she has researched. Nothing in our blog posts should be taken as medical advice. It's always best to consult a medical professional if you have queries or concerns.

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    Thank you, Tracy! Wise advice :)


    Thank you, Dee, for your comment! We were just saying how these stickers will be contributing to so much waste, as they come in ostomy bag boxes regardless of whether people use them or not. It would be good to hear of ideas that people have to repurpose them.

  • Tracy

    Just a word of caution if you are windy do not leave sticker on for long periods or over night otherwise you will experience ballooning.

  • Dee

    Has anyone got any creative ideas on how to re use/ recycle all the stickers or how to request NO MORE STICKERS PLEASE I’ve been receiving them in with my ostomy bags for seven years and have no use for them imagine the tons of waste from other people who don’t use them!!! I have put a few sheets in with any donations I’ve given to charity shops to use for price tags but I’ve never seen them being used. There must be some creative person out there who has got suggestions.

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