Always wash and clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water before using a baby bottle.

Sterilizing and cleaning baby bottles are important because breast milk and prepared formula are susceptible to bacterial contamination if not handled properly.  

Before you use a baby bottle for the first time, it is recommended that you submerge the bottle in boiling water for about 5-7 minutes. However, once that's done, there are many other methods to safely clean a baby bottle.

Here is one way to clean a baby bottle:

  • Fill sink with hot water and add dishwashing liquid.
  • Disassemble the bottle and then pre-clean bottles, nipples, caps, rings, preparation utensils and other supplies.
  • Pour hot, soapy water into bottles, and rotate a baby bottle brush inside until the bottle is clean. Wash away all soapy water under running water.
  • Use a nipple brush to wash nipples and nipple holes. Squeeze the hot, soapy water through the nipple hole to flush out any trapped milk.
  • Thoroughly rinse all utensils under running water to wash away all traces of soapy water.
  • Use sanitized tongs to remove bottles, nipples and other utensils and place them in the dish drainer to dry.

Even if you use disposable plastic bottle liners and ready-to-use formula, you still need to make sure the bottles and nipples are clean.

How about cleaning a baby bottle in the dishwasher?

Washing and drying in a dishwasher is completeky safe. It is important though that you clean the baby bottle in the dishwasher only with hot heated water and a hot drying cycle. But before doing so, check the manufacturer label to make sure items are dish washer safe.