If you are a new parent and your baby is currently being bottle fed, you may be wondering how to clean those bottles and their nipples effectively. Plus, you want to do this while still preserving their quality and longevity. Given the hectic and frequently overwhelming routine that comes with caring for a newborn, a dishwasher can seem like a very enticing option.
But, can you put baby bottles in the dishwasher without risk?
There is no straightforward yes or no response to this. This is exactly why I have decided to write an article about this topic!
There are a few factors you will want to consider before you go ahead and toss baby bottles in your dishwasher. These include the kind of bottle and nipple material, as well as the temperature settings of the dishwasher that you are using.
Without further ado, let’s get started reviewing the ins and outs of putting or not putting baby bottles in the dishwasher.
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Can You Put Baby Bottles In The Dishwasher (Plastic & Glass)?
It is no secret that as a parent one of the things you will want to be certain of is keeping your baby’s bottles and other utensils clean and free of germs. But you also want to make sure that you are not compromising the items in any way either.
Busy parents want to find the easiest and most convenient ways to get things done. With that said, it would make sense that parents and caregivers would want to toss baby bottles and nipples into the dishwasher to save time.
But, you may still have that nagging voice in the back of your mind that keeps asking whether using the dishwasher to clean baby bottles is safe. Well, this next part will probably make you smile.
The answer is mostly yes, you can put your baby bottles in the dishwasher.
As long as your bottles have a “dishwasher safe” label on them, they can go in the dishwasher. This rule applies to both plastic and glass baby bottles.
It is especially important to have this label when it comes to plastic bottles. You will also need to make sure the dishwasher temperature is at a high enough level to kill off bacteria and germs in the bottles.
Can You Put Baby Bottle Nipples In The Dishwasher?
We have established that it is safe to put baby bottles in the dishwasher, as long as they are labeled “dishwasher safe”. But, the next question that arises is if you can put the nipples in there too.
Keeping bottle nipples clean and free of build-up and germs is just as important as keeping the bottles clean. My personal preference was to wash nipples in hot soapy water in a sink because this allowed them to last longer.
The high temperature of a dishwasher can cause silicone and rubber bottle nipples to warp, tear and deteriorate with regular exposure to high heat. However, if you just love the dishwasher you can put nipples in there.
I would recommend getting a dishwasher basket specifically made to put bottle parts in. Just understand that you might need to replace the nipples more often if you use this method.
Can You Wash Baby Bottles In The Dishwasher With Other Dishes?
Let’s move on to when and how to actually wash your baby bottles in your dishwasher. It is not as simple as just putting them in with everything else.
Although you may not want to have to put your dishwasher on several times, it is probably not the safest option to wash your baby bottles with other dishes. The main reason is because of the possibility of cross-contamination from the other dishes.
If the dishwasher is not thoroughly cleaned between cycles, harmful bacteria can spread from one dish to another, potentially contaminating the baby bottles. But, does it really make sense to run your dishwasher with just bottles though?
If you don’t want to do that, you can opt for a special dishwasher basket. This basket will hold baby bottles upright and keep them separate from other dishes. Plus, it will hold all the additional bottle pieces and parts too!
Which Dishwashing Detergent Is Safe for Baby Bottles?
An added factor to consider when you choose to wash your baby bottles in the dishwasher is which detergent to use. You might want to invest in a baby-safe detergent that is free from harsh chemicals and fragrances.
Chemical-laden detergents can leave behind harmful residues. And if you are washing plastic baby bottles in your dishwasher, it could accelerate the deterioration of the bottle over time.
The good news is there are many options available nowadays for baby-safe detergents. I personally recommend Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent. You can safely wash bottle nipples with this kind of detergent as well.
How To Wash Baby Bottles In The Dishwasher
There is a certain way you should wash your baby bottles in the dishwasher to avoid any unnecessary damage to the bottles (and nipples if you choose to wash them in the dishwasher too). Here are the steps you should take before putting your baby’s bottles in the dishwasher.
- Rinse the bottles – Removing any milk residue from the bottle and nipple can help to avoid buildup in the dishwasher.
- Put bottles in dishwasher basket accessory – These baskets ensure the bottles and nipples stay in one place and do not fall over and fill up with water.
- Separate the pieces – Disassemble the bottles and place all parts in the accessory basket. Then, place the basket in the dishwasher. This allows all relevant pieces to get perfectly cleaned.
- Use the right dishwasher setting – Run the typical washing cycle. Next, use the ‘sanitize’ setting on your dishwasher to ensure that the bottles are sterilized properly. This will kill any germs or bacteria that may be present in the bottles.
- Dry bottles properly – Remove bottles from the dishwasher and allow them to air-dry completely before putting them away. This will prevent the growth of mold or mildew in the bottles.
Which Baby Bottles Are Dishwasher Safe?
Although we have established that you can wash most baby bottles and nipples in the dishwasher, there are some that are more dishwasher-safe than others. Below is a list of the best bottles I would recommend because babies love them AND they are dishwasher safe!
Philips Avent (Glass & Plastic)
Philips Avent baby bottles are extremely good quality and have a very long lifespan. They are very safe for your baby and they are definitely dishwasher-safe. These bottles are my personal favorite too.
Philips Avent bottles can withstand even the hottest temperature in your dishwasher. This is true for both the plastic and glass variants due to their high quality. Other features of this baby bottle include:
- Anti-colic design
- BPA-free materials
- Various sizes available
- Ergonomic and easy to hold
- Dishwasher and microwave-safe
Dr. Brown’s baby bottles are also top of the list when it comes to quality and high standards. You can choose to hand wash them in hot water or place them in the dishwasher.
If you are choosing not to use a baby bottle basket, make sure to place your Dr. Brown’s bottles on the top rack only. Additional features of this baby bottle include:
- Clinically proven to prevent colic
- BPA-free soft silicone
- Variety of sizes (including for preemies)
- Dishwasher and microwave-safe plastic and glass variations
- Various flow options
If you have chosen to go with the trusted Tommee Tippee brand of baby bottles, you will be pleased to know that they are certified dishwasher safe. It is suggested to rinse them out before placing them in the dishwasher and make sure to place them on the top rack.
You can sterilize them again once they have been removed from the dishwasher, but it is not always necessary. Additional features of this baby bottle include:
- Made from soft silicone
- Nipple provides a comfortable feeding experience
- Anti-colic air valve
- Mimics natural breastfeeding
- Anti-static silicone coating keeps the bottle clean and hygienic by repelling dust particles
- BPA-free and toxin-free
Medela baby bottles are made from BPA-free materials and can withstand the hottest of temperatures in your dishwasher. As with all the other bottles, you will want to rinse them first before you place them in the dishwasher and either use a bottle basket or place them on the top rack. Additional features of this baby bottle include:
- Microwave safe
- Perfect if you are using a Medela breast pump (compatible with all Medela breast pumps)
- Great for long-term storage of breast milk (formula should be used or discarded as recommended on the container)
- Available in 5oz and 8oz bottles
Comotomo baby bottles are a less well known brand. They are on this list because moms love these bottles and they are made of silicone, which is unique.
You will be pleased to know that they can be safely washed in a dishwasher. They are also microwave-safe. Ideally, you will want to disassemble the parts and place them in the basket or on the top rack. Additional features of these bottles include:
- Mimics natural breastfeeding
- 100% safe silicone
- Dual anti-colic vents
- Squeezable to mimic the let-down reflex that occurs when baby is breastfeeding
The Nanobébé baby bottles are made from flexy silicone which makes them very soft and comfortable for your baby. These bottles are BPA-free and certified dishwasher safe. Again you will want to rinse them of any residue before placing them in the dishwasher. Additional features of these bottles include:
- 2 Sizes – 5 oz and 9 oz
- Variety of colors
- Microwave safe
- Wide bottle neck
- Natural feel
- Anti-colic design
Does The Dishwasher Sterilize Bottles?
Before I sign off, you may be wondering if the dishwasher sterilizes bottles too. If you have a dishwasher that has a sanitization setting, you can do a separate cycle using this setting.
Most baby bottles are dishwasher-safe!
I am sure it is very good news for you as a busy parent to know that most baby bottles are dishwasher-safe. This can absolutely save you a lot of time and effort.
The most important takeaway from this article is that you should read labels carefully before just throwing bottles in the dishwasher. Ideally, you want to use a dishwasher basket when putting baby bottles and accessories in the dishwasher.
Always be sure to rinse bottles before loading them and sterilize them after washing. By doing all of this, you will save yourself time and ensure your baby’s bottles are clean, safe to use, and have a longer life-span.
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