Newborns feed very often, which means a lot of bottle cleaning especially if your baby is formula fed. Washing by hand is a hassle sometimes, trust me.
It’s no wonder that many parents ask, “can baby bottles go in the dishwasher?” Well, lucky for us parents, the answer is yes. There are just some things you need to know beforehand and I’ll tell you all about them in this article.
Let’s dive in.
Baby bottles are typically safe to put in the dishwasher. As long as they are secure and not put in with overly dirty dishes, the bottles will be safe.
In some cases, the baby bottle will come with a dishwasher-safe label or a square with a cup and fork icon indicating that it is safe to clean your baby bottles in the dishwasher after a feed.
It is the material used to make your baby’s bottle that will determine whether it is dishwasher-safe or not. In recent times, most baby bottles are made from either plastic or silicone, both of which are generally dishwasher safe.
One major concern when it comes to washing baby bottles in the dishwasher would be the potential leakage of microplastics and chemicals from the bottle into the water or milk.
This isn’t something you should worry about, though, because the FDA has banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and feeding equipment. This eradicates the risk of harmful chemicals leaking from the bottle into milk or water.
For silicone baby bottles, manufacturer use food-grade silicone which is heat-resistant and non-toxic, making it perfect for washing in the dishwasher.
If you’re still unsure, I’ve compiled some of the dishwashing instructions for baby bottle brands to put you on the right path.
According to the manufacturers, all Philips Avent baby bottles are dishwasher safe. Place small parts of the bottle on the top rack of the dishwasher, if any.
Mam anti-colic bottles are dishwasher safe but should be placed on the top rack at a maximum temperature of 65 C / 149 F. You should note that food colouring may discolour components.
The manufacturers say that Tommee Tippee bottles are dishwasher safe. Just make sure to wash them on the top shelf because they can get stained in the dishwasher. If they do get stained, they are still safe, just not as visually appealing.
Just like the other brands, Dr Brown’s baby bottles are safe for the dishwasher but should only be cleaned on the top rack.
The Chicco Duo baby bottle is dishwasher safe and has minimal parts, making it easy to clean.
The Life Factory baby bottles are dishwasher safe, although you may need to hand wash them for a thorough clean of the small parts.
The same instructions for a baby bottle go for bottle nipples in the dishwasher. Make sure to stack them neatly on the top rack so they get a thorough clean yet stay free of food stains from other dishes.
Most manufactures may recommend hand washing your bottle nipples as frequent washes in the dishwasher could damage them.
If you want to keep your baby safe then it is a must that you keep all their feeding equipment clean. This will prevent the growth of bacterias on the baby bottles and nipples.
Cleaning these items with a dishwasher is one of the most convenient yet thorough methods foir doing so. Here are some practical tips to aid you in clea ning your baby bottles.
This first step is very important when cleaning your baby’s bottles in the dishwasher. You have to separate all the bottle parts including the nipples, caps, rings, and any valves that come with them.
Also include your bottle cleaning brushes if you occasionally wash the bottles by hand.
As a pre-clean step, you should rinse all the parts of your baby bottle before putting them in the dishwasher. This is to remove any visible milk residue or dirt before the wash.
Soaking your baby bottles will do the job even better if you’re not in a hurry. Simply soak the bottle parts in water mixed with mild soap or equal parts water and vinegar. This effectively gets out any tough dirt.
The next step after rinsing would be to place the bottle parts in the dishwasher. Preferably on the top rack as this is what most bottle manufacturers recommend.
If your dishwasher has bottle washing jets, then you should place the bottles facing downwards and secure them with the provided clips. Otherwise, you can simply arrange the baby bottles pointing down during the wash.
I advise you to keep all the other parts like nipples and rings on the top rack with the bottle. This rack is farthest from the heating elements and will still give them the thorough clean needed.
Selecting the most thorough yet safe detergent for cleaning you baby bottles can be quite tricky, especially since there are several options out there.
The best detergent for an item as delicate as a baby bottle will be naturally-made detergents. These kinds of detergents are completely safe for cleaning the bottles in the dishwasher and they do a great job.
You’ll want to avoid the following ingredients when picking a dishwashing detergent for your baby bottles:
- Chlorine bleach
- Fragrances or perfumes
Many manufacturers recommend using the sanitize cycle for your baby bottles if your dishwasher has one. If not, the hot water cycle will do.
For this step, you’ll want to use the heated dry option for drying the bottles. Even still, they can come out a little moist and not ready for storage.
In such a case, your best bet would be to counter-dry them. You can get a baby bottle drying track and leave them out to dry or place them on a clean towel or paper towel to air dry.
Just make sure you aren’t pat drying them because this can transfer germs or lint onto the bottle. Just ensure that you air-dry them completely before storage.
The good thing with cleaning baby bottles in the dishwasher is that it doesn’t attract excessive cost. That goes to say that you don’t need any fancy accessories, you can just use your regular dishwasher with these accessories
This is a rather useful dishwasher feature when it comes to cleaning baby bottles in the dishwasher. They are typically used to wash dishes with narrow openings.
The jets are located at the top rack and blast water at a 45 degree angle into the bottles to get rid of any residue in it.
Some dishwashers come with an extra rack for cleaning small oddly shaped items which wouldnt otherwise fit in. They are usually removable and placed at the very top of the dishwasher. A perfect accessory for cleaning your baby bottle nipples
Your dishwasher may not come with a third rack but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. You can get a basket to hold the nipples and the rings.
A good one is the Munchkin Dishwasher Basket, which is used for my little one. It comes with a lid to keep the bottle parts in place while washing and always gets the job done well. The best part is that you can continue to use it to wash items like lids or measuring spoons after your baby has outgrown their bottle.
The sanitize cycle is a dishwasher feature that is great for removing germs and killing most bacteria in baby bottles and nipples. It cleans and sanitizes the bottles with a heat cycle of a minimum 150 F.
Some dishwashers come with an automatic sanitize cycle that cleans and stops on its own. Whereas others may require a timer so you can turn the cycle yourself.
You can start cleaning your baby bottles in the dishwasher as soon as you start using the bottles to feed your little one. They should be sterilised until your baby reaches 12 months old by which time you should be preparing to wean your child.
An item needs to reach 100 °C for a minimum of 5 minutes to be sterilized. The water in a dishwasher will likely not reach this temperature, even on a hot wash cycle. The bottle may look clean but may not be free of bacteria, which can upset your little one.
One way to keep your bottles sterile for up to six hours is with the use of an electric steriliser. The bottles are typically sterilised with steam for 10 minutes then can be left in the steriliser with the lids closed.
One downside to the dishwashing method is that the bottles lose their sterility once the cycle has finished and taken out. If they are not immediately used or transferred to a sterile container, there is a risk of bacterial growth in them.
So, it may be advisable to use a steriliser for your baby bottles and nipples up till your baby’s 12th month. This doesn’t eliminate washes in the dishwasher though.
We’ve already talked about the proper way to c;lean your baby bottles in the dishwasher so here is how to do by hand according to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention
- Use soap and water to wash your hand s for 20 seconds.
- Separate all bottle parts which include nipples, ring, caps, valves etc
- Use warm or cold water to rinse the bottle parts but do not set them in the sink.
- Place the items in a clean basin reserved for cleaning baby feeding items.
- Fill the basin with hot water mixed with some soap.
- Thoroughly scrub the bottle with a brush reserved for baby feeding items.
- Squeeze water through the nipple holes for proper cleaning.
- Rinse the baby bottles again.
- Allow the bottles to air dry on a rack or clean towel.
- Finally, clean the basin and brush.
- Naturally made detergent
- Basket for bottle parts
- Baby bottle drying rack
- Reserved basin and brush
- Mild soap
- Naturally made detergent
- Baby bottle drying rack
Next time you’re in a hurry, just know that it’s okay to wash your baby’s bottles in the dishwasher. They’ll still come out clean as long as you follow all your manufacturer’s instructions with all the right dishwashing settings.
How often do you wash your baby bottles in the dishwasher? Are there any tips I missed? Let me know in the comments section.
According to the manufacturers, Dr Browns bottles can go in the dishwasher.
Yes, baby bottles can be washed in the dishwasher with other disges. However, they should be place in the top rackl to prevent any food stains.
Yes, avent bottles can go in the top rack in the dishwasher.
If your baby bottle is made of doshwasher sdafe plastic, it can go in the dishwasher. You can check your bottle box or contact the manufactiurers to see if it is dishwasher safe.
A glass baby bottle can go in the dishwasher. However, you may want to sterilize the new ones in bioling water for 5 minutes beforehand.
- Philips Support, (2021, Oct 20). Philips. Are Philips Avent products dishwasher safe? https://www.usa.philips.com/c-f/XC000003114/are-philips-avent-products-dishwasher-safe
- MAM. Anti-colic Bottles https://www.shopmambaby.com/media/MAM-Product-Instructions/MAMBaby-Anti-Colic-Bottles-Instructions-English.pdf
- Tommee Tippee. Closer to Nature Bottles https://en.tommeetippee.com.hk/product-support/closer-to-nature-bottle
- Dr Brown’s Baby. How to Clean Dr. Brown’s® Baby Bottles https://www.drbrownsbaby.com/cleaning-dr-browns-bottles/
- Chicco. Duo 5oz. Hybrid Baby Bottle https://www.chiccousa.com/shop-our-products/feeding-and-soothing/infant-feeding/duo-5oz.-hybrid-baby-bottle/00021611300070.html
- Life Factory. Frequently Asked Questions https://lifefactory.com/pages/faq#:~:text=All%20components%20of%20Lifefactory%20products,top%20rack%20of%20the%20dishwasher.
- Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, (2022, Jun 15). How to Clean, Sanitize, and Store Infant Feeding Items https://www.cdc.gov/hygiene/childcare/clean-sanitize.html#:~:text=Wash%20feeding%20items.&text=Do%20not%20wash%20directly%20in,be%20sure%20they%20get%20clean.