Berkeley Parents Network >
I am using Avent stage 1 nipples for bottled breast milk and hand wash them in
scalding hot water with dish soap and really scrub them with a bottle scrub brush.
Although they appear clean and scum free when I am done it never fails once they
are dry they still have a film on the inside (the milk fat I guess). Do others have this
problem? Is it safe to use them like that? Can someone recommend a better way of
cleaning them? Thank you.
I use Dawn liquid detergent and scalding hot water. I have found that this
is the only detergent that succesfully removes all of the oil breastmilk
leaves in bottles and nipples, but the water MUST be hot for it to work
well. If anyone at home other than myself washes her bottles and nipples, I
find that I always end up having to re-wash them because of the oily film.
I soak them in the hot, soapy water for a few minutes to melt the oil down,
then scrub, then rinse in scalding hot water. Everything comes out sparkly,
just like in the commercials.
I am not familiar with the nipples you use, but keep in mind that rubber
nipples and pacfiers visibly ''wear out'' and look and eventually feel dirty
no matter how clean they actually are. I had to throw out some of my
daughter's favorite pacifiers because they always seemed sticky - the rubber
had been washed so much in hot water it was beginning to break down. I use
silicone nipples, and they come clean everytime.
I boil both nipples and bottles for a few minutes whenever they start to
I, too, used the Avent nipples and noticed a bit of residue after washing.
One thing that helped with me was a nipple scrubber. It's similar to a
bottle scrubber but much smaller, so you can scrub the nipples themselves.
(The only problem with it was that you could poke through the nipple hole
and tear it.) I found the nipple scrubber at the grocery store (I live in
the South Bay), usually in a package with a bottle scrubber. I believe
Gerber made it. However, I think a lot of what you're seeing is aesthetics
and will not harm your baby. The most important thing when Baby is young is
killing the bacteria, and if you're washing with soapy water and rinsing
with hot water (or using a bottle cleaner or the dishwasher), you should be
Oh, I'm so glad those days are behind me (the breast pumping and bottle
washing)! The only way I could get silicon Nuk nipples scum-free was to boil
them after a complete washing and often that didn't work! I gave up and just
used the ''cloudy'' ones, and it never seemed to harm my baby. I even called
the company (Evenflo), and they said they'd never heard of that problem
before but suggested a vinegar rinse (to no avail).
We are adopting an infant from Guatemala. Since I breastfed my
first child, I have a question about using bottles:
is it necessary to sterilize bottles after each use? Would it be
sufficient to wash the bottle in hot soapy water, or use the
dishwasher? I have seen bottle sterilizers (both for in and out
of the microwave), and wonder if they are necessary or a waste of
Thanks for any input that you can offer.
No, it is not necessary, according to our pediatrician and pretty
much everyone else we've talked to. Do sterilize new bottles
before the first time you use them (by boiling them in a pot of
Here's what BabyCenter says in an article called ''Bottle-feeding
Do I need to sterilize the bottles?
Before you first use new bottles, nipples, and rings, you should
sterilize them by submerging them in a pot of boiling water for
at least five minutes. Then allow them to dry on a clean towel.
After that, a good cleaning in hot, soapy water, or a cycle
through the dishwasher is sufficient. One caveat: If you have
well water, repeated sterilization of the bottles may be best.
P.S. I work at BabyCenter (it's in San Francisco). All BabyCenter
articles are checked by our medical advisory board.
I am now pumping for my second child. For my first I sterililzed
the bottles and pumping stuff for six weeks, but I then noticed
she was putting unsterlized clothes, teethers, etc., in her
mouth, and just started running things through the dishwasher.
For my second child, I sterlized everything just once, and then
used the dishwasher. I don't think sterilization is necessary,
unless there are some special health concerns. Even when I was
pumping in the hospital (2nd baby was early, and couldn't
breastfeed immediately), I was simply washing the equipment by
hand, which the both NICU personnel and my doctors thought was
After an initial boil when the nipples/bottles/caps are brand
new from the store, a dishwasher should be all that is necessary
to sterilize and clean the equipment. For pumping and storing
breastmilk, a dishwasher with a sterile cycle was a must for the
bottles and ''pumping cones'' (ie, washing in hot, soapy water was
not enough if milk was going to be in containers for more than
30 minutes even if refrigerated or frozen), and I often boiled
everything once a week just to make sure -- when I boiled the
Both our kids are adopted and we have never sterilized bottles
in the U.S. We did when traveling in Mexico with an infant,
due to questionable water. In the U.S. soap and water or the
dishwasher was always fine.
All I've read indicates that it's usually not necessary to
sterilize bottles. The practice of sterilizing bottles dates
from the time in which water supplies were unreliable and could
be contaminated. I do not as a matter of course sterilize either
the bottles or the pump equipment that I use to express milk for
my 6-weeks old daughter, and have not had any problems yet.
This said, there are situations in which sterilizing bottles
might be indicated, your best bet is to consult your new baby's
When I started working again, about a month ago, I was wondering
if I should sterilize bottles for breast milk. I asked neighbors
and my son's doctor. My neighbors said they always sterilized
bottles by boiling them for 20 min. and said this was a bit of a
pain. One of my neighbors was able to borrow a sterilizer and
thought it was great. However, my son's doctor said that soap and
water is good enough and so that is all that I have been doing.
So far we've had no problems even with storing the breast milk in
those bottles for up to 5 days. I think that with formula you
wouldn't have a problem either.
you should sterilize bottles before their first usage.
afterwards, it is usually sufficient to wash them as you would
Washing the bottles thoroughly and making sure they have
a way to dry should be sufficient. We also became parents
through adoption, and had no problems in months of bottle
use. At first, I sterilized bottles and nipples once before
using them for the first time, but after that, we just washed
them by hand or in the dishwasher. I think that when we
bought more bottles later I just washed them before use.
You can get a plastic lidded basket that holds the caps and
nipples to keep them from getting lost in the dishwasher.
We also found a bottle drying rack helpful. Both items are
inexpensive. By the way, we also found it unnecessary to
boil the water first when making formula--our pediatrician
told us that EBMUD water is clean enough so that we could
use it from the tap. Again, no problems (we used bottled
water or pre-made formula when camping and on trips).
I don't think it is necessary to sterilize bottles after every use.
Not to mention who has the time to do that. I sterilize my
bottles initially and then wash them in hot soapy water after
use, air dry. If it makes you feel better you could sterilze
them once a week or once a month.
Does anyone know how to restore nipples and other plastic/rubber
bottle parts to their original color? I accidently washed the nipples
in the dishwasher with a plate that had tomato-based food on it. The
clear nipples turned light pink. Any suggestions are appreciated.
If it's plastic, one thing that works for me with plastic
tupperware-style containers is just to set it in direct sunlight for a
few hours. Sounds crazy, but it works. It feels a little greasy
afterwards, so I always wash it, but the stain fades surprisingly
About the tomato stains - I get tomato stains out of clothes by washing
normally and hanging them in the sun to dry (this works for baby poop
stains, too). It might work on baby bottle nipples, too.
this page was last updated: Jan 30, 2005
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network