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Why Baby Bottles Turn Yellow and How to Prevent It

A Common Concern: Yellowing Baby Bottles

Have you noticed your baby bottles turning yellow, despite your regular cleaning routine? This discoloration might have caught your eye in the midst of your daily activities. The sight of a yellowed baby bottle can be quite off-putting, especially when feeding time is approaching, and you have no immediate replacement at hand. Yet, it’s essential to remember that yellowing doesn’t necessarily equate to dirtiness. This guide will help you understand why your baby bottles turn yellow and provide effective cleaning solutions.

Understanding Your Baby’s Needs with

Providing a clean and safe environment for your baby is an integral part of ensuring their health, happiness, and good sleep patterns. If your little one is apprehensive about using a yellowed bottle, it could disrupt their feeding and sleep schedule. At, we are committed to helping you navigate such challenges. We offer numerous resources on baby sleep, feeding, and overall care to make your parenting journey a little easier.

Why Are My Baby Bottles Turning Yellow?

Yellowing baby bottles are typically a result of prolonged use. This discoloration often occurs due to factors such as exposure to various liquids like milk, juice, and formula, or due to sterilization processes, water deposits, calcium buildup, and frequent dishwasher use. The ingredients in your cleaning products, artificial coloring, and baby formula may also contribute to the yellowing. However, a yellowed bottle doesn’t imply it’s dirty or unsafe.

Effective Ways to Clean Yellowed Baby Bottles

White Vinegar Soak

White vinegar is known for its stain and odor-removing properties. To clean your yellowed baby bottles, consider a soak in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and distilled or drinking water. Usually, an hour-long soak should suffice, followed by a thorough rinse with cold distilled or drinking water. If you’re pressed for time, placing the bottles in a dishwasher with a cup of white vinegar can also yield satisfactory results.

Baking Soda Treatment

If your baby is a juice lover, their bottles may stain more quickly. A simple overnight soak in warm water mixed with baking soda can help remove these stains. This alkaline compound neutralizes the acidic residues from the juice, causing them to form a salt-like substance that easily washes off, leaving your baby bottles looking new.

Dealing with Odor

If sour milk odor is an issue, add a teaspoon of baking soda to a bottle filled with warm water. This mixture will effectively eliminate any unpleasant smells.

Purchasing Stain-Resistant Baby Bottles

If yellowing baby bottles become a recurring problem, consider investing in stain-resistant alternatives. Many renowned brands manufacture such bottles using various materials, like plastic, glass, and silicone, each with its pros and cons.

Plastic Baby Bottles

Plastic bottles are durable, lightweight, and now BPA-free. However, they are prone to staining and scratching and should be replaced regularly.

Glass Baby Bottles

Contrary to regular glassware, glass baby bottles are heat-and-shock resistant, offering an extra layer of protection. They are heavier and require supervision during feeding to avoid potential breakage. The significant advantage of glass bottles is their resistance to staining.

Silicone Baby Bottles

Silicone bottles are the lightest, with a soft texture that babies find comforting. Their flexibility makes them user-friendly, albeit a pricier option. As a newer material in the market, ongoing research is determining their ability to prevent chemical leaching.

Understanding Yellowing in Baby Bottles

Why Do Baby Bottles Turn Yellow?

Baby bottles can turn yellow due to a variety of factors. Prolonged usage, exposure to various food substances like milk and juice, regular sterilization, and water mineral deposits can cause this discoloration.

Why Do Specific Brands Like Avent Bottles Turn Yellow?

Regardless of the brand, baby bottles can turn yellow due to the aforementioned reasons. If Avent bottles are turning yellow, it’s likely due to extended use, frequent sterilization, or exposure to colored food substances.

What Causes Yellowing in Other Baby Items like Pacifiers?

Similar to baby bottles, pacifiers can turn yellow due to prolonged use, exposure to food substances, or regular sterilization. They also come into constant contact with saliva, which could contribute to the discoloration over time.

Addressing Yellowing and Discoloration in Baby Bottles

How Do You Remove Yellow Stains From Baby Bottles?

Yellow stains can be effectively removed by soaking the bottles in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and distilled water for about an hour. An overnight soak in warm water mixed with baking soda can also help eliminate these stains.

How to Clean Yellow Baby Bottle Nipples?

Baby bottle nipples can also be cleaned using the vinegar or baking soda solutions. Soak the nipples in the solution for about an hour and then scrub gently with a clean brush before rinsing.

Why Did My UV Sterilizer Turn My Bottle Yellow?

UV sterilizers can sometimes cause discoloration in baby bottles due to the high intensity of UV light. If you notice your baby bottles turning yellow after using a UV sterilizer, it may be beneficial to reduce the frequency of UV sterilization and alternate with other cleaning methods.

Can Yellowed Plastic Be Whitened Again?

Yes, yellowed plastic baby bottles can be whitened again using methods like vinegar or baking soda soaks. Remember, the efficacy of these methods may depend on the degree of yellowing and the material of the bottle.

Concerns and Precautions Regarding Yellowing Baby Bottles

Can Discolored or Cloudy Baby Bottles Be Used?

Yellow or cloudy bottles are usually safe to use as the discoloration does not indicate a lack of cleanliness. However, they should be replaced if the plastic starts to crack or break down, or if the discoloration is accompanied by a strange odor or taste.

Should You Throw Away Yellow Baby Bottles?

Yellowing is a common occurrence in baby bottles and doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be discarded. However, if the discoloration is accompanied by other signs of wear and tear, like cracking or strange odors, it’s safer to replace the bottle.

Can You Save Baby Bottles for the Next Baby?

It’s possible to save baby bottles for your next child, provided they are well-maintained and show no signs of wear or deterioration. However, nipples should be replaced as they tend to degrade faster.

Does the Color of the Baby Bottle Matter?

The color of the baby bottle doesn’t impact its functionality, but a clear bottle can help you notice any discoloration or residue buildup more easily, ensuring better maintenance and cleanliness.

Is Dawn Dish Soap Safe for Baby Bottles?

Yes, Dawn dish soap can be used to clean baby bottles. However, ensure to rinse the bottles thoroughly to eliminate any residual soap.

Maintenance and Replacement of Baby Bottles

How Often Should You Replace Baby Bottles?

Generally, baby bottles should be replaced every 4-6 months, or as soon as you notice signs of wear like cracking, discoloration, or odors.

Do Baby Bottles Go Bad?

Baby bottles don’t necessarily go bad, but over time, they can deteriorate due to wear and tear, high temperatures from sterilization, and regular exposure to food substances.

How Often Do You Need to Sterilize Avent Bottles and How Long Do They Stay Sterile?

Avent bottles, like all baby bottles, should be sterilized before their first use. After that, a thorough cleaning in hot soapy water or a dishwasher should suffice. Sterilized bottles remain sterile until they are used or come into contact with germs.

Do I Need to Sterilize Baby Bottles Every Time?

After the initial sterilization, it’s not necessary to sterilize baby bottles after each use. Regular cleaning with hot soapy water or in a dishwasher should suffice. However, sterilization might be necessary if your baby is ill or younger than 3 months.


Yellowing of baby bottles is a common occurrence due to regular use and exposure to various substances. Although this doesn’t affect the bottle’s functionality, it’s important to keep your baby’s bottles clean and replace them timely to ensure your child’s health and safety. If you have any more concerns or queries related to your baby’s sleep and other related topics, feel free to visit for more information.

At, we understand the concerns that arise with baby care. Our aim is to provide reliable, evidence-based advice to ease your parenting journey. For more helpful tips and guides on baby sleep and other related topics, feel free to explore our resources.

2 thoughts on “Why Baby Bottles Turn Yellow and How to Prevent It”

  1. It’s such a bizarre thing to happen, especially when you’re already doing everything you can to keep them clean. I remember when I had my first baby, Jack, and I was living in New York City. It was winter, and everything was just so gray, and then there were these yellowing bottles. An unexpected pop of color, but not in a good way!

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    One thing I found extremely useful is the Munchkin Sponge Bottle Brush. It has a great scrubbing head that really gets into those hard-to-reach places and the nipple brush stored in the handle is a bonus. It was my secret weapon against that yellow menace!

    As the article says, white vinegar can do wonders to remove stains from bottles. But getting the vinegar smell out can be tricky, so I switched to using Dapple Baby Bottle & Dish Liquid. It’s plant-based and baby-safe, plus it smells so much better than vinegar!

    Now, I’m not gonna lie, despite all the cleaning, some of those old plastic bottles just stayed yellow. That’s when I decided to invest in Philips Avent Natural Glass Baby Bottles. They’re a bit heavier, but they don’t stain as much, and I feel better knowing they’re BPA-free and super safe for Jack.

    One more thing – I noticed that my UV sterilizer was partly to blame for the discoloration. I had this Brezza Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer, which is an absolute lifesaver, by the way, but using it all the time was yellowing the bottles. So, I started alternating between the sterilizer and good old boiling water.

    Good luck, fellow bottle cleaners!

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