How do I clean or sterilize supplies and pump parts?

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Please read the 2017 CDC guidelines for cleaning breast pumps and parts.

From New Zealand’s “Ministry for Primary Industries” “Safely Preparing Baby Bottles and Feeding Equipment: “If your baby is less than 3 months old, you must sterilise their bottles and feeding equipment.”

We encourage recipients to discuss their and their baby’s needs with potential donors.

The above website proceeds to explain the steps involved in cleaning and sterilizing:

“To clean:

  1. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water and dry them well on a clean towel.
  2. Make sure the area you’ll be working in is clean.
  3. Wash bottles and feeding equipment thoroughly in hot soapy water. Use clean bottle and teat brushes to scrub the inside and outside of bottles and teats. Make sure any traces of milk or formula are cleaned off.
  4. Rinse the bottles and feeding equipment well in hot water. Leave them to air dry, or else wash in a dishwasher.

Remember, dishwashers alone do not sterilise bottles or feeding equipment.”

To sterilise by boiling:

  1. Put the bottles, feeding equipment and preparation utensils in a pot. If using glass bottles, put a clean cloth in the bottom of the pot to help prevent chipping.
  2. Fill the pot with water. The water level should be high enough to cover all the feeding equipment.
  3. Bring the water to boil, then turn off the element. Keep the pot covered until you need the bottles or feeding equipment.
  4. Use clean tongs to lift out the feeding equipment. Place on a clean dry surface.
  5. If you aren’t using the feeding equipment straight away, cover and store in a clean place. Bottles should be stored with the teat upside-down in the bottle, or else cover the teat with the sterile cap.

For other methods of sterilisation follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. These methods include:

  • Chemical sterilization using sterilizing solution in a plastic container.
  • Microwave sterilization using a special microwave steam-sterilizing unit. This is not suitable for glass bottles.
  • Steam sterilization.”



When using #5 French feeding tubes for at-the-breast feeding or finger feeding, rinse the tubes with hot, soapy water and use a syringe to force soapy water through the tubes, followed by clear water after each feeding. Dry the tubes by pushing air through the tubes.

More information here.

The longevity of these tubes is not known. The tubes should be replaced when they become gummy, discolored, brittle, etcetera.

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