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Bottle hygiene and equipment sterilisation

  • 0-1 Years
  • 1-5 Years
  • Feeding and eating
  • Staying safe and accident prevention
Washing up dishes in a sink with yellow gloves

It is important to clean and sterilise all your baby’s feeding equipment, including bottles, teats and breast-pumps. You should do this until they are at least 12 months old. Cleaning and sterilising the equipment will help protect your baby against infections such as diarrhoea and vomiting.

Difference between cleaning and sterilising

Cleaning and sterilising can easily be confused. These are the differences:

Cleaning is when you remove any remaining dirt or remaining milk from the bottles and equipment using soap and water.

Sterilising is when you remove all bacteria and germs from the bottles and equipment. You cannot sterilise without cleaning first as the dirt will still be on the bottles and equipment.

Ways to sterilise equipment


Other sterilisation products

You may see products with alternative methods to sterilise bottles and equipment such as ultraviolet (UV) sterilisation. We would not recommend these products or methods. They can be ineffective at sterilisation and potentially dangerous to both you and your baby. 

After sterilising

Once you have sterilised your babies feeding equipment you should:

    • leave bottles and teats in the steriliser or pan until you need them
    • wash and dry your hands before handling sterilised equipment, where possible use sterilised tongs
    • when you take them out, put the teats and lids on the bottles straightaway
    • assemble the bottles on a clean, disinfected surface or the upturned lid of the steriliser

It is important to not contaminate (introduce bacterial and germs) the equipment after it is been sterilised. If this happens, sterilise the equipment again.

Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023


Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about sterilising your baby's bottles and feeding equipment, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

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