How to Sterilize Baby Bottles

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Sterilizing baby bottles is an important way to protect the health of a baby, and should be done after every use.

But what’s the right way to sterilize a baby bottle? And is it different for different types of bottles? Let’s look at the best ways how to sterilize baby bottles.

How to Sterilize Baby Bottles

Why Sterilize a Baby Bottle?

Sterilizing baby bottles kills germs and bacteria. Because an infant’s digestive tract and immune system are still developing, they are more vulnerable to germs that an adult body easily fights off.

Sterilizing their bottles and feeding equipment for the first few months protects them from germs, viruses, and bacteria, and gives their bodies time to build immunity to the microorganisms we encounter every day.

How to Sterilize Baby Bottles

Remember that you need to not only sterilize the bottle, but also the nipples, pacifiers, breast pump parts, and any other feeding equipment.

When babies start teething, you will also need to periodically sterilize teething rings and other items that are often in a baby’s mouth.

There are many different ways to sterilize baby bottles and many different appliances or products that can help you. Here’s how to sterilize a baby bottle.

Clean Baby Bottles Before Sterilizing

 To clean baby bottles, you should have:

  • A bottle brush that is only used for baby bottles
  • A smaller brush for bottle nipples that is only used for this purpose
  • A clean, disinfected surface to place your sterilized bottles (if you will use a dish drainer or dish rack, sterilize it with a sterilizing product or a solution of diluted bleach before placing sterilized baby bottles on them)


  1. Wash bottles, nipples, and other feeding items in hot, soapy water as soon as possible after use.
  2. You can wash these items by hand, using bottle brushes, or place dishwasher-safe items in a dishwasher. Bottle nipples are often not cleaned very effectively in the dishwasher, and often need to be washed by hand.
  3. After washing, rinse bottles and feeding equipment in clean, cold water before sterilizing.
How to Sterilize Baby Bottles

How to Sterilize Baby Bottles: Using the Microwave

When your bottles are clean, and your microwave is clean, you can easily use it to sterilize baby feeding items.

If your baby bottles are made of plastic with BPA, it is best to avoid microwaving them, but all other types of bottles can be sterilized in a microwave. Here’s how:

  1. Fill your baby bottles halfway full of water.
  2. Place nipples, rings, and other feeding items in a microwave-safe bowl, with enough water to cover them.
  3. Microwave on high heat for 90 seconds.
  4. Leave items in the closed microwave until they have cooled.

How to Sterilize Baby Bottles: On the Stovetop

Boiling is a simple and safe way to sterilize baby bottles but may harm plastic bottles and make rubber seals, nipples, and pacifiers break down more quickly.

To sterilize baby bottles on the stovetop:

  1. Place bottles in a large pot of water.
  2. If sterilizing nipples or plastic items that float, place something over them to keep them submerged in the water.
  3. Heat the pot over high heat.
  4. Once it has reached a rolling boil, allow it to boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove items from the hot water.
  6. Place on a clean and sterile drying rack to cool and dry.

How to Sterilize Baby Bottles: Using Bleach

Bleach is a classic and safe way to sterilize many household items. It can easily be used to sterilize baby bottles and feeding equipment, but it may cause the rubber to degrade more quickly.

Here’s how to sterilize baby bottles with bleach:

  1. Fill a large container with a gallon of water.
  2. Add two teaspoons of bleach.
  3. Mix the solution well.
  4. Place your bottles and feeding equipment in the bleach solution.
  5. Soak for two minutes.
  6. Run the bleach solution through the nipples.
  7. Remove feeding items and place them on a clean and sterile rack to air dry.

How to Sterilize Baby Bottles: Using an Appliance

There is a huge range of appliances available for sterilizing baby bottles.

Some dishwashers have a sanitizing function, and there are also countertop appliances and devices that work with steam, a microwave, UV rays, or hot water to sterilize bottles.

Always follow the instructions that come with your sterilizing appliance.

How to Sterilize Baby Bottles: Using Liquids or Tablets

Various commercial liquids or tablets that can be used to sterilize a baby bottle or feeding equipment and these can be a great time-saver, particularly if you are on the go.

Make sure you choose a product that sterilizes, not just cleans, and follow all the manufacturer’s instructions.


There are so many ways to sterilize a baby bottle and feeding equipment that you should easily be able to find the system that works best for you and your family.

Sterilize baby bottles often to keep your baby safe and healthy.

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