How to clean baby feeding bottles

How To Clean Baby Feeding Bottles: An Easy Guide

To clean baby feeding bottles, rinse in cold water, wash with warm, soapy water using a bottle brush, rinse thoroughly, and allow to air dry to ensure hygiene. 


As a new parent, keeping your baby safe, healthy, and thriving is the top priority. One key area that requires some diligence is properly cleaning and sanitizing your little one's feeding bottles and accessories. With multiple parts to wash and the need to kill any lingering germs, it can seem daunting at first. However, by following some simple steps, you can easily get into a routine for spic and span bottles every time.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the best practices from preparation to sterilization, along with tips to make cleaning bottles easy breezy. Let's dive in!

Getting Ready: Bottle Cleaning Supplies

Before starting your cleaning routine, make sure you have all the proper supplies on hand. Here's what you'll need:

  • Bottlebrush - Look for ones with a nipple cleaner on the end
  • Dish soap - Choose a fragrance and dye-free variety
  • Baking soda - An eco-friendly sanitizing agent
  • Bottle drying rack - Allows bottles to fully air dry
  • Microwave sterilizer bags or pot for boiling (optional)

Gather all your cleaning tools together and get your cleaning station set up near the kitchen sink for easy access.

Step 1: Soaking & Rinsing

As soon as your baby finishes feeding, give the bottles and parts an immediate rinse with hot water. This will help prevent any residue or formula from drying onto the surfaces and becoming harder to scrub clean later.

Once rinsed, fill a washbasin or the kitchen sink with hot, soapy water. Allow all bottle components to soak for 10-15 minutes. Soaking will help to break down dried milk and loosen any stuck-on gunk.

Step 2: Scrubbing

With everything soaked, it's time for a good scrub down. Use the bottle brush to thoroughly wash both the inside and outside of every bottle and component. Pay special attention to grooves, ridges, and hard-to-reach areas where buildup can occur.

A bottle-cleaning tool with a nipple brush on the end is a must. Push the brush all the way through each nipple to clean the insides. The slits and grooves can trap residue, so give those a vigorous scrub.

For stubborn dried milk deposits, make a baking soda paste by mixing it with water and use that as a gentle abrasive.

When you're satisfied everything has been properly scrubbed, give all pieces a thorough rinse under hot water to wash off any remaining soap residue.

Step 3: Sanitizing

Once bottles are washed and rinsed clean, it's important to also sanitize them to kill off any lingering germs or bacteria. You have a few options for sanitizing:

  • Use sterilizing microwaveable bags designed for baby bottles and follow instructions.
  • Boil bottles and parts in a pot of water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Run bottles, nipples, etc. through a hot dishwasher sanitizing cycle.
  • Submerge in a diluted bleach solution for 2 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

If boiling or using bleach, allow the water to cool to a safe temperature before immersing parts. Avoid harsh scrubbing with abrasives before sanitizing as this can impair the surfaces and lead to bacteria growth.

Step 4: Air Drying

Bottles and pieces must be allowed to fully air dry on a clean drying rack or towel before reassembling and storing. Any moisture left can create a breeding ground for germs and mold. Ideally, leave bottles open with all parts separated to allow as much air circulation as possible.

Once fully dry, bottles and nipples can be stored in a clean, sealed container until the next use. Nipples and pacifiers should be replaced regularly as the rubber can break down and become unsanitary over time.

Extra Tips & Tricks

  • Clean bottles as soon after feeding as possible before milk has a chance to really dry on.
  • Consider purchasing several bottles so you always have a clean rotation on hand.
  • Give bottles a vinegar rinse occasionally to remove any soap buildup.
  • Replace worn or damaged nipples, rings, and other components.
  • Don't let bottles sit with formula at room temp more than 2 hours before cleaning.
  • Get the whole family involved in cleaning routines for more hands-on deck!

Soft Touches, Happy Beginnings: Born Babies

Congratulations on your new arrival!  Born Babies is here to be your one-stop shop for everything you need to welcome your little one into the world.

We understand the journey of new parenthood can feel overwhelming. That's why Born Babies offers a wide range of products that cater to every aspect of caring for your infant and yourself. From the moment your baby arrives, we've got you covered for their comfort, safety, and healthy development.

Quality You Can Trust:

At Born Babies, your baby's well-being is our top priority.  That's why we meticulously select and test every product to ensure it meets the highest standards of safety and comfort.  We use only the gentlest materials,  like soft, hypoallergenic fabrics for clothes and BPA-free materials in feeding supplies.  This gives you peace of mind, knowing your baby is surrounded by safe and nurturing items.

Born Babies - More Than Just Products:

We believe parenthood is a journey, and we're here to support you every step of the way.  In addition to our high-quality products, we offer informative resources and helpful guides to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Wrapping Thoughts

While keeping all those little parts clean may feel like a chore at first, you'll quickly get the hang of it. Focus on a simple routine using basic supplies and plenty of elbow grease on those brushes. Remember, cutting a few corners when it comes to your baby's bottles is never worth the risk. With some diligence, you can ensure your little one's feedings are safe, hygienic, and no biggie!

How To Clean Baby Feeding Bottles: FAQs

1. What's the best way to clean baby feeding bottles?

Start by rinsing bottles in fresh, cold water immediately after use. Then, use warm, soapy water and a bottle brush to scrub the inside, including the nipple, cap, and any valves. Rinse thoroughly under running water and let them air dry.

2. Can I clean baby bottles in the dishwasher?

Yes, you can clean baby bottles in the dishwasher. Place them on the top rack and use a hot water cycle along with a heated drying cycle to ensure they are sanitized. However, check the manufacturer's instructions first, as not all bottles and sippers cups are dishwasher safe.

3. Do I need to sterilize baby bottles after every use?

It's essential to sterilize bottles before their first use. After that, thorough washing with soapy water is usually sufficient. However, you may choose to sterilize them periodically, especially if your baby is under 3 months, was born prematurely, or has a weak immune system.

4. What type of soap should I use for cleaning baby bottles?

Use a mild, fragrance-free soap designed for washing dishes. It's important to avoid antibacterial and heavily scented soaps, as they can leave residue and odors in the bottles.

5. How do I clean the bottle nipples?

Use a small nipple brush to scrub the inside of the nipple thoroughly, ensuring you remove all milk residue. Rinse it well under running water. It's also beneficial to periodically boil the nipples for deep cleaning.

6. Is it safe to use a bottle sterilizer?

Absolutely, using a bottle sterilizer is a safe and effective way to ensure your baby's feeding bottles are free from harmful germs and bacteria. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.

7. How often should I replace baby bottles and nipples?

Inspect bottles and nipples regularly for signs of wear, such as cracking or discoloration, and replace them every few months or sooner if they show signs of deterioration.

8. Can I leave clean bottles to air dry?

Yes, air drying on a clean, unused dish towel or a dedicated bottle drying rack is recommended. Ensure they are completely dry before assembling and storing to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

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