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You want to keep your baby safe from germs, and sterilizing baby bottles can help.
You don’t necessarily need to sterilize bottles after every use.
Often, washing the bottles in a dishwasher with a heat cycle is enough,and you should always wash them before sterilizing them.
However, you should still sterilize the bottles every so often, particularly if your child has been sick.
You can sterilize your bottles by boiling, through steaming, or with a cleansing soak, and all methods are equally effective.
Sterilizing Glass and Boil-Safe Plastic Bottles by Boiling
Place the bottles in a pot. Fill a large pot with water.
Put the bottles in the water, filling them up with water as you do.
Cover the bottles with water.
You can also add the nipples to the water.
Make sure your bottles can be boiled before you try this method.
This method is best for glass bottles, but you can also use it on plastic if they can safely be boiled.
Keep the pot just for boiling bottles.
Bring the pot to a boil.
Cover the pot with a clean lid. Set the pot on a stove burner.
Turn the burner on high, and wait for the water to come to a boil.
Pay attention to when it starts boiling, so you can start timing it.
Keep the water boiling for 15 minutes.
After the water comes to a boil, let the water keep boiling to fully sterilize the bottles.
Try waiting at least 15 minutes before turning the burner off.
Pull them out with sterilized tongs.
You don’t want to use your hands to pull out the bottles because they aren’t sterile.
Instead, plunge the end of the tongs in the boiling water while it’s boiling, leaving them in there to sterilize, and then use those to pull the bottles out once they’ve cooled off a bit.
Dry the bottles.
You can simply dry them on a clean towel to get the excess water out.
Turn them upside-down so they dry well.
Once dry, place the nipples on the bottles so they’re ready for use.
You can also shake out the water.
Place the nipples on the bottles, and then keep them in a fridge in a clean container to help keep bacteria off of them.
Check the nipples for damage.
Over time, this method can cause damage to the nipples.
Inspect the nipples often to make sure they aren’t cracking or breaking.
Cracks can harbor germs.
Sterilizing Heat-Safe Plastic or Glass Bottles by Steaming
Place the clean bottles in the sterilizer.
A steaming machine is used to steam bottles clean.
The bottles and nipples go upside down in the sterilizer so the steam can reach all the nooks and crannies.
You can find baby bottle sterilizers at most stores that sell baby goods.
Many plug into the wall, though you can find a few that you can use in the microwave.
Make sure your bottles can go in a steamer before using this method.
Add water to the machine.
Once you’ve got the bottles inside, water will create the steam.
Each machine is a little different, so check the instructions for where you should pour in the water in your machine
Run the cycle
Once you’ve figured out where the water goes, you’ll close the machine.
Start the cycle based on your machine’s instructions.
You’ll likely just need to hit a start button to get the cycle going.
Remove the bottles as needed.
Make sure the machine has cooled down, as you don’t want to burn yourself with the steam.
It’s a good idea just to leave the bottles in the machine until you need them.
Your machine should also have information on how long it’s okay to keep bottles in the machine before running a new cycle.
Sterilizing Any Bottle with a Sterilizing Solution
Mix the cleaning solution into water.
A sterilizing solution uses (safe) chemicals to sterilize the bottles.
Most of the time, they’ll come with a special bucket to use for sterilizing.
You’ll need to mix a certain amount of cleaner into water in the bucket to create your cleaning solution, based on what the instructions say.
You can find special cleaning solutions for baby bottles online or in most big box stores.
Make sure you only use these cleaning solutions to sterilize bottles.
Put the bottles in the solution.
Submerge the bottles and nipples in the solution, checking to make sure each bottle fills up with solution.
Most buckets will have a device at the top to help keep everything underwater.
Let the bottle soak for half an hour.
Most of the time, the bottles will need to soak for a certain amount of time before they are considered sterilized.
Thirty minutes is usually the time it will take to completely sterilize the bottles using the chemical solution.
Create a new solution each day.
While you can leave the bottles in the solution, you need to renew the solution every 24 hours.
Remove the bottles, and pour out the solution.
Clean out the bucket with soap and water, and then start again from the beginning.
While you don’t need to sterilize bottles everyday, it’s often easiest just to leave the bottles in the solution, which keeps them clean.