How to keep your stoma clean

May 30, 2024 Private Nursing, Stoma Care

How to keep your stoma clean

Having a stoma can be a life-changing experience. Depending on the underlying medical condition, a stoma can be either temporary, allowing the digestive system to heal, or permanent. Ensuring that a stoma is properly maintained and remains healthy is essential for minimising risks and having confidence in managing your stoma effectively.

Appearance of a healthy stoma:

  • Red and moist
  • Protruding from the skin
  • Opening of stoma should be in the centre
  • Surrounding skin should be intact

Stoma Pouch Change


  • Clean stoma bag
  • Scissors and measuring device (if pouch is not pre-cut)
  • Gauze
  • Warm tap water
  • Disposal bag
  • Adhesive remover (if needed)


  • Thorough hand wash with water and soap or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • In case of using a drainable bag, empty contents into a disposable container before removing the bag.
  • Slowly and gently peel the adhesive away from the skin with one hand, applying a gentle pressure to the skin with the other hand.
  • To prevent spillage, fold the bag in two and place in a disposable bag.
  • Soak a piece of gauze in tap water and wipe away the excess faeces or mucus from the stoma.
  • Check skin and stoma for any abnormalities (ulcerations, sores etc) – if all appears healthy, you can continue. For any abnormalities, report this to stoma care nurse, physical healthcare practitioner or medic.
  • Wash skin and stoma with gauze soaked in warm water until clean.
  • Dry skin gently and thoroughly.
  • If no pre-cut bags are available, measure and cut appliance leaving a 3mm gap.
  • Apply the clean bag.
  • Dispose of soiled tissues, containers and used bag.
  • Wash hands using soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.

Risks to consider

A healthcare professional must be notified if any of these occur:

Signs of infection

  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Discharge
  • Odour

Signs of blockage

  • No output
  • Liquid stool  (if this is not a usual occurrence)
  • Bloating and/or abdominal pain
  • Cramps
  • Swelling at the site
  • Nausea and vomiting

Bleeding from stoma site

This may be a sing of skin issues resulting in:

  • Eroded skin – gradual breakdown of the skin
  • Over granulation – excessive tissue above the surface of the skin around the edge of the stoma
  • Ulceration or wounds to skin around stoma
  • Maceration – an area of wet skin around stoma that may appear white
  • Mucocutaneous separation – separation of the stoma and the skin surrounding stoma

Why choose us

All our private care nurses provide 24 hour or, 12-hour stoma homecare. Our priority is to ensure you or your loved feels safe and we know that finding the right nurse is part of that process. This is why each nurse or carer is selected based on your individual needs, and we aim to keep the same nurse throughout.  This ensures familiarity with you and your family allowing for a seamless homecare service.

If you would like to discuss your private nursing, post-operative care or stoma homecare needs, please do not hesitate to contact, call 020 3008 5210 or email us at


About the Author…

Misha Zemkova

Operations Assistant

Starting her career in Health and Social Care with a Certificate of Higher Education from the Open University, Misha Zemkova is committed to making a positive impact.

As a former volunteer at North London Action for the Homeless, Misha stands out for her exceptional ability to connect with people through active listening. With seven years of invaluable experience as a Key Worker for adults with diverse learning disabilities, Misha brings extensive experience and a deep understanding of caring for individuals with unique needs.

Now a pivotal member of the operations team at Cavendish Homecare, Misha actively supports Nurse Managers and the Bookings team in delivering high-quality care. She has demonstrated outstanding commitment to supporting charity partner Cruse Bereavement through events such as the Virtual TCS London Marathon and Light up the Night.

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