The previous section dealt with the points to consider while choosing a baby bottle or a feeding bottle. However the fact remains that the choice of the bottle is only one of the key issues to be considered in order to ensure the health of the baby and protection from germs. The process and the tools used to clean the bottles can make a big difference.
We will quickly walk you through the key points to remember.
- The best time to clean the bottle is immediately after use. This prevents the residues from adhering to the bottle and making the wash process extremely difficult. If you are unable to wash immediately, please at least make sure to rinse the bottle to eliminate any residues. It is better to leave some water in the bottle as it prevents the milk particles from solidifying. If you are in a tearing hurry and the second option also becomes impossible, please put the bottle in the refrigerator to prevent any solidification.
- The bottles can be washed either by hand or in a dishwasher. If you are washing by hand, the process is outlined below.
- Separate out each and every piece of the bottle and throw the smaller pieces into a wide bowl filled with warm water. I bought a couple of these transparent bowls for this purpose. Here is a higher quality one in case you are interested. Fill the bottles with some water and let them stand.
- Pour some dish-washing liquid such as Dapple Fragrance-Free Baby Bottle & Dish Liquid into the bowl and the bottles and let them sit for a few minutes. This allows even the hardened residue to start melting off.
- The bottle can be scrubbed off first. OXO Tot Bottle Brush with Nipple Cleaner and Stand is one bottle brush that I highly recommend which works for most people There is no need to consider anything else – this one is durable and effective. These kind of brushes may claim to be useful for nipples as well but it is better to use separate brushes. For the bottle you might be tempted to use the Dr Browns brand but believe me the Oxo brush is better.
- The bottle caps and nipples can then be cleaned with a set of different brushes such as Baby Simba Lion Bottle Nipple Brushes. This will help clean out some of the more easier milk suds etc.
- Finally the nipples need to be cleaned with narrower small sized brushes such as these or Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Cleaning Brush. They are good to reach narrow ends of the nipples where milk suds or formula are likely to stick
- After the bottle and parts are washed well , it is necessary to rinse them under cold water to remove any sediments of detergents and other impurities.
- If you are intending to use your dishwasher for cleaning, it is even more important to follow the first step – which is to dismantle the parts and immerse them in some warm water with detergent.Use the top section of the dishwasher to allow a more gentler wash.
- Use the top section of the dishwasher to allow a more gentler wash.
- Always use a dishwasher basket such as OXO Tot No-Tip Dishwasher Basket for Bottle Parts & Accessories to keep the bottle accessories from being sprayed all over the dishwasher and being destroyed.
- Always keep the bottles face down for effective cleaning.
- Watch out for stains on the nipples and if necessary rinse it well after taking out. Avoid washing the baby items along with any other dishes.
- Nipples tend to wear out faster and so keep an eye on the nipples for damage.
- Finally the bottles and accessories need to be removed and dried. Air drying is recommended as it kills most of the germs . There are a number of good dryers in the market such as this one – Munchkin High Capacity Drying Rack, White. Keep the parts face down and allow the water to drip off. Here is another good one – OXO Tot Bottle and Accessories Drying Rack- Orange.
- Finally the parts need to be sterilized, especially if hand washed(high temperature of dishwasher water does the sterilization when dishwashed). Please find below a more detailed guide here.
Lot of friends never bothered to sterilize but germaphobe that I am, I did it once every week till the kids were 1 yr old. Not sure if it was an overkill and if the subjecting of my plastic bottles to heat caused more harm than good. But I did go ahead with it.