How to sterilise baby bottles

Keep nasties at bay the easy way!

18 Oct 2021

If you’ve got a little one on the way, it probably feels like there are already a million things on your to-do list! We hear you. But one of the most important ways to keep your baby safe is by sterilising their bottles. So finding the right kit to do it is super important.


Watch our video on bottle sterilisers below!


Why do I need to sterilise my baby’s bottles?

According to the NHS, you should be making sure all your baby’s feeding gear is sterilised right up until they’re at least one year old. Not just for the obvious stuff like teats, dummies and bottles either. Things like breast pumps as well as anything your baby might put in their mouth – toys, teethers – is worth giving a good old clean.

All kinds of bacteria can end up on those seemingly harmless bits and bobs. If it gets into your baby’s tum, they might get an infection. The last thing you want is a sick baby, so getting rid of those nasties is a must!


How do I sterilise my baby’s bottles?

Good news – there are plenty of ways to keep those bottles sterile and safe. Whether you want to go the old fashioned way or get a helping hand from tech, here’s how to do it.


Sterilising in boiling water

A cooper pan full of boiling water

The plus side of sterilising this way is that it’s pretty much free. All you need are your bottles, a large saucepan and boiling water. Stick them in the pan and make sure they stay under the boiling water for at least 10 minutes.

The downside? Anything you sterilise using this method has to be safe to boil. Be sure to check before you dunk them in or you might end up with a load of broken or melted stuff. Not everything can take a long whack of heat like that. For the same reason, boiling can really wear out your teats and bottles after a while - so you’ll need to replace them more often.


Sterilising with a UV steriliser

The star of the show here is UV light. The UV rays from this kind of steriliser break down bacteria and viruses so they can’t multiply – stopping them from making their home in human!

Because there’s no heat or steam involved, UV sterilisers can be a lot less faff than some other types. You don’t need to use any water or chemicals, and the steriliser doesn’t need descaling either. You don’t need to wait for the bottles to cool after sterilisation either, so you can use them straight away.

Plus, with some models you can leave your bottles in there to keep them sterilised. Take this Tommee Tippee Ultra UV 3-in-1 steriliser. It’s got a special storage mode which emits UV light every 2 hours, keeping everything sterile inside.


Sterilising with a steam steriliser

A Tomee Tippee electric steam steriliser in front of its box

Electric steam sterilisers turn the water inside them quickly into steam. Like with boiling, it’s the heat that kills any germs. You’re obviously using less water though, so it doesn’t take as much time to create the same amount of heat. It’s also quicker than a UV steriliser and usually cheaper too.

This Tomee Tippee electric steam steriliser takes just 5 minutes to sterilise your baby’s bottles. And if you leave the lid on, everything inside will stay sterile for up to 24 hours.


Sterilising with a cold-water solution

With this method, you need to mix water with a special sterilising fluid. Once you’ve made up your sterilising solution, you leave whatever you’re sterilising in there for at least 30 minutes. The chemicals get to work and break down whatever bacteria’s in there. This way probably takes the longest of all of them and you need to make sure you’re changing the solution every day.


Tips on using a steriliser

No matter what kind of steriliser you’ve picked, there are a few basic things you need to do to keep your kit sterilised. Otherwise you’ll undo all the work you’ve put into getting them clean!

  • Wash your bottles in hot soapy water- both before you sterilise them and after you’ve fed your baby.
  • Don’t forget to clean the teats! And make sure you don’t use salt or salt-based cleaning products, as they might be harmful for your baby.
  • After you’ve washed everything, be sure to rinse it in cold running water before it goes in the steriliser.
  • Have all the bottle and teat openings facing down in the steriliser, and try to place the bottles so they’re not touching each other. That way, every surface will get a proper clean.
  • When you take your bottles out, put the lids and teats on straight away.


Want to learn more about making things easy for your new arrival? Check out our guide to tech to make caring for your baby easier.

Shop sterilisers

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