How to Sterilize a Baby Bottle

Over time, baby bottles can accumulate harmful bacteria. This How to Sterilize a Baby Bottle guide outlines the steps for using the boiling, microwave, steaming and cold water methods.

Sterilizing 101

Your baby’s immune system is still developing during the first year of life, leaving your baby more susceptible to health risks from bacteria and viruses. That’s why it’s important to take proactive steps to create a healthy environment for your baby. Sterilizing your baby bottles is one important task in preventing health risks.

Task Overview

Estimated time: 15 min
Estimated cost: 0$ for boiling to $100 for electric steam sterilizer
Skill level: Beginner
Number of people required: 1


4 Methods

Prepare Your Baby Bottles
To start, separate the nipples from the rings and caps from the baby bottle. Check the nipples and bottles for any heavy discolouration, deep scratches, splits or cracks and throw out any damaged parts. Use a bottle cleaning brush to clean each part in warm, soapy water in order to remove all traces of milk or formula residue before beginning the sterilization process. You can also clean your bottle parts in the dishwasher if they are labeled as dishwasher safe.
The Boiling Method
Fill a large pot with water and submerge all the bottle parts, checking to make sure that there are no pockets of air left inside. Cover the pot and boil on the stovetop for at least 10 minutes. When finished, the parts will be hot so use metal tongs to remove them from the pot. Allow the bottle parts to air-dry. Once dry, popular storage methods include the fridge or air-tight containers.
The Microwave Method
Place baby bottles in a microwave baby bottle sterilizer, add water and microwave according to the manufacturer’s instructions (typically 5-8 minutes). Take care when removing the bottles as the inside of the sterilizer can get very hot. Bottles should be left inside the sterilizer until you’re ready to use them. 
The Electric Steamer Method
An electric baby bottle steamer is a quick and easy method to sterilize your baby bottles. It takes about 8-12 minutes plus cooling time to completely sterilize multiple baby bottles. Place the baby bottles with openings faced down. Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions, and be sure to find out how long bottles can be stored within the steamer before requiring re-sterilization.

The Cold Water Method
Your baby bottles and related gear can also be sterilized using a non-toxic cold water solution. There are a variety of cold water sterilizers available on the market, but any plastic container with a lid will do the job. You can use the feeding equipment straight from the solution, but you may feel more comfortable rinsing it off with cooled boiled water first.
Using a Sterilized Bottle for a Bottle Feeding
Clean and disinfect your work surface and then wash and dry your hands. Remove the bottles, retaining rings, nipples and caps from the sterilizer as you work. Place parts that will be used back onto the bottle. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine how long bottles and parts can be stored before requiring re-sterilization.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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