Babies need to be frequently fed and for new parents, hand washing every bottle may seem like an added stress. Washing baby bottles in the dishwasher with other dishes may have a bad reputation as an easy way out but it is not.
A quick cycle in the washer relieves you of that extra pain but you must take extra caution as infants’ weak immune systems are more prone to viruses and bacterial infections than adult humans.
We will take you over to the basic steps that you can strictly follow to safely wash baby bottles in the dishwasher with other dishes.
Things You Will Need to Wash Baby Bottles in Dishwasher
Here, we’ll introduce the things you’ll need before you get started.
Start by choosing the right baby bottle and make sure that it comes with a ‘dishwasher-safe’ label. There are three kinds of materials for you to choose from:
Glass: Glass bottles are sturdy and less inclined to discoloration, but they can be heavy and expensive to use.
Plastic: Made from a hard type of plastic called polypropylene, they are easily available in the market and highly affordable. However, they have a shorter product life and wear out faster than other materials.
Silicone: Devoid of chemicals like BPA, PVC, and Phthalates, silicone baby bottles are heat resistant and are the safest for microwave, dishwasher, and sterilizer use. But high-quality food-grade silicone might not be easily available in the market and may be hard to afford.
Here are some of the expert’s choice on dishwasher-safe baby bottles which are highly rated by users for their reasonable pricing and good quality:
- Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle
- Dr. Brown’s baby bottle, Options+ Anti-Colic Narrow Bottle
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Natural Bottle
- Medela Breast Milk Bottle Set
- Comotomo Baby Bottle
All infant feeding items must be cleaned with detergents that are specially designed for children’s bottles. Avoid using normal household cleaning agents as any residue left can be too strong and harmful for infants.
In your local markets, look for the best dishwasher detergents for baby bottles that are made from non-toxic, hypoallergenic materials and are formulated to clean all milk residue and sour odor.
Read the ingredients list to choose chemical-free, fragrance-free, antibacterial products that would be the best for your baby’s delicate immune system.
If you are worried about losing small parts such as nipples, valves, disks, and caps, try purchasing a dishwasher basket to keep them in. Designed to hold each item separately and upright to ensure proper cleaning with sanitation, these baskets are quick favorites for new parents.
Depending on the number of bottles you have, look for a basket size that would accommodate all your items. Most baby bottle dishwasher baskets can easily fit 8-10 nipples on top and the rings and valves on the bottom without you having to worry about them being washed properly.
How to Clean Baby Bottles in the Dishwasher
Here, I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step;
Step 1: Empty the Bottles First
Pull apart and separate the items of bottles. Empty out the extra milk by dumping them in the sink.
For better cleaning, you can soak them in warm soapy water for 10 to 20 minutes beforehand. This would rinse out any solidified milk particles.
Step 2: Place the Small Items in the Basket
Next, secure the nipples in the sanitisation lid of the dishwasher baby bottles basket, which is usually the top section, and throw the rest of the parts in the bottom section. Shut the box tightly.
Put it on the corner of the highest tier of the dishwasher for gentle cleaning.
Place the bottles upside down beside the basket, with the opening facing downward. This ensures that the spray gets inside them and prevents anything else from falling in.
Step 3: Pop the Baby Bottle Dishwasher Detergent Pod into the Socket
You must do this with dry hands. Do not use a rinse aid as ingestion of the chemicals over time can be poisonous.
Step 4: Sterilise the Bottles
Use a 1-hour cycle with hot water setting to sterilise the products alongside cleaning and run the longest drying cycle.
Make sure the items are completely air-dried in the washer before transferring them into a sterilised container to stop any microbial growth.
Wash your hands properly before touching them for extra sanitation. Also, do not use towels to dry as they may transfer germs.
If you decide to wash baby bottles in the dishwasher with other dishes, remember to avoid placing any greasy or oily plates with food in them. Lightly pre-washing the dishes beforehand would prevent the bottles from discolouration or developing a disgusting tint.
Sterilisation usually happens by placing the bottles into boiling hot water of 100 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. However, this step is unnecessary as the hot water in the dishwasher is at a close temperature and can perform a similar job.
Still, you may feel like sanitising baby bottles for newborns or infants with weak immune systems and you do not need any fancy machine to do it. If you are unsure on how to sterilise plastic baby bottles, look no further than down below.
The easiest and most basic method is to use heat. First, you place the disassembled items into a pot and fill it with water. Next, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Finally, remove the items with tongs and transfer them to a clean container to airdry before assembling them to put away.
Sterilise plastic bottles at most twice a week for a longer product lifetime. Frequent exposure to heat may cause them to degrade faster and leach harmful chemicals which is why you should never microwave plastic bottles even if they come with a microwave-safe label.
Disadvantages of Using a Dishwasher
While using a dishwasher is equally as beneficial as hand washing, there are, however, a few cons to it as well.
- Regular use can damage the items and wear them out faster
- Discolouration may occur due to insufficient rinsing
- Damage can happen to plastic and silicone bottles because of high amount of heat
It does not matter what method you choose to clean your baby’s feeding items as long as they are safe for their health and growth. If you are satisfied with washing baby bottles in dishwasher with other dishes and you think it does a good job while saving you some time, it is completely okay to follow your heart.