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Baby Care Tips: How to Wash and Sterilize Baby Bottles

Courtesy of patrisyu at 
Babies are vulnerable likewise is their immune system, proper cleaning of all baby feeding essentials used is extremely important and must be free from any form of bacterial contamination that might cause them harm. It is obvious that the common cause of infection in babies has to do with food poisoning, so you see why it is very important that you properly sterilize everything used to feed your baby.

After feeding an infant you must rinse and wash off the bottle of any milk residue to avoid microorganisms breeding in the bottles, cups, plates and spoon; this means the your baby feeding essential has to be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized before it can be used again


Wash your hands with soap and clean warm water before handling the baby bottles.

Be sure to have the following cleaning tools set aside “specifically” for washing your baby bottles etc.

  •  Safe, clean, drinkable water
  • Two clean bowls with lid for washing
  • Dish washing liquid designed specifically for baby bottles. This is very gentle and non-toxic and will not leave a soapy residue on the bottles
  • A bottle brush to help you clean residues from the bottle and a nipple brush for proper cleaning of the rings and rubber nipple
  • Baby bottle dryer

Wash the bowls thoroughly and fill with hot water, hot enough for your hands to handle.

  • Add some (small) liquid soap into one of the bowls
  • Disassemble all removable parts of the bottles  and submerged them into the soapy water to enable you wash carefully  
  • Use the brushes to wash the bottles, nipple or teat and rings carefully to ensure no milk particles are left in- turn the teat inside out and scrub to ensure nothing is stuck in the tiny hole
  • Rinse the bottles very well in the other bowl to remove soap residue. If there are bubbles in the water, rinse again to remove all traces of soap.
  • Use the bottle dryer/rack to dry the bottles to drain in a well-ventilated location. Alternatively, lay all the bottle parts, except the nipples and nipple rings on a clean dish towel to dry

The moment you notice the bottles are dry; wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before touching the bottles or feeding your baby.


  • Sterilizing your baby's feeding equipment doesn’t require much, You can either sterilize your baby bottle in an electric steam sterilizer, cold-water sterilizing solution or sterilization by boiling. 
  • With both types (microwave and baby bottle sterilizer) of sterilizer, the bottles are immersed in steam at a temperature of 100 degrees C, which kills off any bacteria. With the electric sterilizer, you add water, stack the bottles, rings and nipples (spaced well apart), cover with a lid, plug in and turn on. This sterilization process takes approximately 10 minutes.
  • With the microwave sterilizer, the process is basically the same. Once the bottles are in the sterilizer, place it in the microwave and heat on full power for 4 to 10 minutes, depending on the wattage of your microwave.

  • You can either sterilize with non-toxic cold water sterilizer in tablet or liquid form


  • Ensure you wash new bottles, nipples, rings, plates and breast pump before using it for the first time or after keeping it idle for a long time – it is safer for your baby
  • Always rinse your baby bottle or plates “immediately after you is done feeding your baby.  
  • If a bottle is not in use couple the parts together, cover and put it away in a clean place far from being contaminated.
  • Do not sterilize breast pumps and pacifiers in a microwave
  • It is important that you continue sterilization of baby feeding equipment should continue until the baby turns one, at this time the baby’s body system is strong enough to fight infections.

How to Clean/Wash Baby Feeding Equipment

Now you have come to understand that is necessary rinse your baby bottles after each use and how to keep your baby bottles clean at all times. In our next article you will learn the three different methods (electric steam, Cold water and boiling) of sterilizing baby bottles.
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