Cleaning Pumping Supplies
CDC GUIDELINES for Washing Breast Pumping Supplies:
💧 WASH- Wash parts and bottles in hot soapy water in a separate basin (Your sink may contain bacteria from food prep and washing) with a bottle brush. You can use regular dish soap or specialty dish soap for baby bottles.
♨️STERILIZE- The CDC says sterilization is optional. I suggest sterilizing parts more frequently for medically fragile babies. I personally used microwave sterilizer bags once a day. These are good for 20 uses, or you can get a more environmentally-friendly reusable option.
💨 AIR DRY- Use a bottle rack with FULL air circulation in and around bottles and parts. If your parts are fogging up setting on a dish mat, consider using a rack instead. They even make travel sized dying racks and travel bottle soap! (These are great for work, too.)
❓ WHAT PARTS DO I WASH? Wash anything milk touches. Make sure to fully disassemble and reassemble each time, taking care to gently remove your valves each time!
TUBES? If your pump is closed-system (like Spectra, which has a back for protector) it’s not necessary to wash the tubes. (I have a separate post about Medela tubes!)
❄️ What about the FRIDGE HACK? Some mothers store their pumping supplies in the fridge between pumps and wash more infrequently. ⚠️The CDC does not recommend the fridge hack.
The CDC advises washing pump accessories and baby bottles in a separate bowl or basin, NOT just in your sink where food prep (raw meat- gross!) has taken place. I use the basin from the hospital, or you can find a cheap basin at the dollar store or a collapsible one like THIS one on Amazon.
Can you wash your pump and bottle supplies in your dish washer? YES! The CDC recommends placing disassembled parts on the top shelf of your dish washer with a heat dying cycle for sanitization. Air dry if items come out still wet after the dishwasher has finished running.
It’s a great idea to get a small container like THIS (pictured above) to keep smaller parts safe.)
AIR DRY your bottles and pump parts with FULL AIR CIRCULATION!
The CDC recommends air drying as the safest way to dry your pumping parts and baby bottles. Don’t have a snazzy rack especially for bottles? Get a regular drying rack at the dollar store and use it for your baby stuff only (to avoid cross contamination with the rest of your kitchen dishes!)
Milk getting into your tubing? The original Medela Pump In Style pumps (not the white “flex” version) doesn’t have backflow protectors so there is a possibility of milk getting into your tubes. If this happens, soak in hot soapy water, then rinse by flowing clean water through the tubes. Then, go outside and whip the tubes over your head like a lasso (not kidding- it works!) If they are still damp inside, plug only the tubes into your pump and run it for 5 minutes without anything else attached.
* If your pump is closed-system (meaning it has a backflow protector) you never have to wash the tubing.