Baby bottles are the most popular alternative to feed your baby, besides the breast. They come in all different sizes, brands, and styles. But, one thing is for sure, with most brands, they are hard to clean. It’s important to make sure your baby’s bottles are clean. Baby bottles, when not cleaned properly, can harbor harmful and dangerous bacteria that are unsafe for both you and your baby.
Some of the more popular brands of bottles are made with plastic. Plastic, as we all know, is a very porous material. Therefore, the problem of it absorbing, not only the formula or breast milk, but the soap you wash the bottles is very likely unless you take precautions.
So, how do you avoid your baby bottles building up harmful soap residue? Here are a few options to help not only minimize, but remove residue all together.
A lot of baby bottles are dishwasher safe. This makes cleaning them pretty easy, on your part. One of the biggest mistakes parents do, when using a dishwasher, is not to take the WHOLE bottle apart. The nipple and ring should be separated; this is one of the main places to find bacteria.
Most dishwashers have a wash, rinse, and sanitize cycle. Allow the bottles to run the full cycle. Removing the bottles mid-cycle will interfere with the cleanliness of your bottles.
Suppose your dishwasher doesn’t have an automatic drying setting. You’re going to find your bottles wet if you open the washer right after finishing. Resist the urge to dry them with a rag or wipe, allowing them to air dry before putting them away is best.
It’s recommended that once a month you bath the bottles you wash in the dishwasher in a sanitizing bath, either a VERY diluted bleach cycle, or a vinegar wash (link provided below).
If you are hand washing your baby’s bottle, don’t use the sink. The sink is a culprit of bacteria. Instead, use a separate basin designed just for your baby’s bottles. Using a separate basin will make it less likely to lose any of those small parts too. Included with the basin, find a separate scrubber, throwing out sponges that are over a month old. Prewash your bottles before placing them into the basin of warm water and soap. Thoroughly rinse your bottles in warm water. You are letting them air dry completely before storing them.
3. Specialty Dish Soap
There are special soaps on the market that are designed to be mild but not sacrificing their cleaning power. A lot of these brands are also vegan, biodegradable, and plant-based products. It is making them a great choice for moms with babies with allergies, or ones with dietary restrictions.
Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap (baby/unscented)
- As a mom of three, Dr. Bronner’s became my go-to for everything baby. Castile is a natural soap that is biodegradable and vegetable-based, so it’s great for everything from baby bottles to laundry, even body wash.
- Dr. Bronner’s is certified organic by the USDA, as well as certified Vegan by Vegan Action. Their Castile soap also comes in other scents, like lavender, and peppermint both amazing for bath times.
- A bit of a heads up. Dr. Bronner’s is VERY concentrated, so a little will go a VERY long way. Making sure you don’t use over the recommended amount of soap will help to reduce soap residue.
Babyganics Dish Dazzler Foaming Dish and Bottle Soap
- Babyganics is an amazing brand that is also non-allergenic. It uses natural ingredients, plus it’s free from SLS, phosphates, phthalates, sulfates, fragrances, and dyes. So, if you need a soap that is gentle but powerful, Babyganics is your soap.
- Another great thing about Babyganics is the foaming action. Not only is the foamy fun, but it also means you have to use less water.
Elysium Eco World Natural Baby Bottle Dish Soap
- With an ingredient list like Water, Apple Vinegar, Citrus Peel Extract, Corn Extract, Pineapple Extract, Coconut Extract, Glycerin, and Mint Extract, what could be more natural? This vegan-friendly, paraben, and SLS free soap is the right choice in a world of synthetics.
- If you or your baby suffer from sensitive skin or allergies, Elysium Eco World is the right soap for you.
As an extra way to sanitize your baby bottles, boiling is perfect. Boiling will kill any unwanted bacteria that could be looming around. Plus, boiling your bottles at least once a week for 5 minutes will help remove any soap residue that is building up.
Much like a bleach bath will sanitize items at a daycare. So, will vinegar, without the use of harmful chemicals. Vinegar is a natural way to neutralize soap. You are soaking your baby bottles in a pan of equal parts water and vinegar. Let them soak for 30 minutes before placing them on a drying rack to air dry.
This article isn’t specifically about baby bottles, but it’s got a lot of great information in it about vinegar baths. So take a look if you’d like more information about it.
With due diligence on your part, our baby bottles will stay residue-free. Something as simple as a vinegar bath once a week will help to make sure you never encounter soap residue in the first place. But, once you do, it’s very easy to remove.
Just remember, smile and laugh, enjoy your bundle of joy now, as they grow up too fast.