Cleaning your baby’s bottle seems to be the easiest and most direct part of being a parent. However, you need to pay attention to the heating level, brushes, and drying racks you use. It is also wise to consider what might be lurking in the soap and water you use.

How often should I wash my baby's bottle?

It is important to thoroughly clean the feeding bottle and its accessories after each feeding because the remaining milk and liquid can lead to the growth of bacteria and mold. This is especially important for baby bottles and pacifiers with silicone or rubber rings, as liquids may get stuck in these rings.

What is the safest way to clean baby bottles?

The safest way to clean a baby bottle depends on the type of bottle you use.

1. Find a non-toxic detergent

Not all dish soap is made from the same ingredients. Many traditional dish soaps are related to cancer, asthma, nerve problems, skin irritation, and other health problems…Don’t let them get close to your baby’s bottle.

To make matters more complicated, some products that claim to be "natural", "green" or even "safe for babies" may still contain worrying chemicals. Although you can wash off most of the dish soap you have used, in fact, some dish soap will remain in your body and then be ingested.

Ingredients to avoid in dish soap:

Fragrance (Note: No fragrance is not the same as no fragrance. Look for no fragrance)

Dye or color

Antibacterial agents like triclosan

Surfactants such as SLS and SLES (SLS is not as bad as SLES)

Preservatives such as sulfuric acid and methylisothiazolinone

2. Ensure water safety

Although the water supply is strictly regulated, there may still be pollutants that are not compatible with the human body. These substances include bacteria, nitrates, heavy metals, radioactive particles and disinfectants. Do you think you should only choose bottled water? Think again.

Bottled water (usually bottled tap water) may also contain harmful chemicals, which flow out of the plastic and enter the water; using bottled water will produce a lot of plastic waste.

3. Find the right bottle brushes

Buy a silicone bottle brush to properly clean the inside and small creases of the bottle and nipple. Look for a large brush inside the bottle and a small or thin brush inside the nipple. This will help avoid the growth of bacteria. Ideally, when drying the brush, keep it upright to reduce the accumulation of mold and mildew.

4. Find a designated drying rack

It is always a good idea to have a specific area in the kitchen, you can air-dry your bottles and other accessories yourself. This is an ideal way to avoid cross-contamination with other items in the kitchen. Look for a model that allows your bottle to dry with the opening facing down, it can collect dripping water (and is easy to clean to avoid mold), and it does not contain BPA, phthalates, and PVC.

5. Wash, rinse, and dry!

Now is the real cleaning part! As mentioned before, if you use plastic, you will want to avoid excessive heat. I like to wash the bottle with warm soapy water for at least 5 minutes. Depending on how clumpy the milk is, you need to scrub every nook and cranny. Rinse, rinse, rinse to ensure that no soap remains on the bottle or any accessories. Once satisfied, place the item on the drying rack-do not touch it.

Sterilizing baby bottles: how and when

Whether you are using breast milk or formula milk, the pediatrician recommends sterilizing the bottle every time you use it until you are one year old. This is especially important if it is new, passed down, washed with well water, or when traveling. It is also recommended that you must clean all accessories, such as bottle warmer, Baby Bottle Nipple, and accessories.

When it comes to disinfection methods, you have the following options:

1. Boiling water

2. Steam-microwave or electricity

3. Ultraviolet rays