Written by Tenley Haraldson. Reviewed by cleaning expert Sean Busch.


Wondering how to clean a baby bottle? You’re definitely not alone! In addition to ensuring the most effective cleaning process, our guide outlines why choosing baby safe dishwasher detergent and dish soap is so important. 

How Often Should I Wash Baby Bottles? 

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises washing baby bottles after each feeding. As parents, we know you’re going to be busy, but at the very least, rinse them out immediately to help prevent caked-on residue. 

how to clean a baby bottle

Don’t Forget About Washing Your Baby Bottle Cleaner Tools

It’s best to run your cleaning tools (like brushes) through the dishwasher every few days or spray them with our hydrogen peroxide-based Disinfecting Surface Cleaner. Families with infants under three months old, premature babies, or babies with weakened immune systems should wash cleaning tools after every use.

When Should I Sterilize Baby Bottles?

If you have a newborn, premature baby, or an infant with a weakened immune system, it may be wise to consider sterilizing bottles every day.

Always check the bottle manufacturer's instructions to ensure that bottles and parts are safe to be sterilized with our technique: Boil the bottles in a clean pot of water for 5 minutes, remove with a clean pair of tongs, and lay them out to dry on a clean surface.

We recommend sterilizing new bottles using the same methods.

Can You Wash Baby Bottles with Soap? 

You don’t need a dishwasher – you can absolutely wash baby bottles with dish soap.

wash baby bottles with soap
  1. Wash your hands. 
  2. Fill a small wash basin with hot water, adding enough Natural Dish Soap to make a thick foam. 
  3. Separate each component (e.g. nipples, caps, rings) and rinse them with fresh water. 
  4. Submerge them in the soapy water and use a brush to scrub the insides until they’re thoroughly clean. 
  5. Rinse with fresh water, shake off excess, and dry upside-down on a baby bottle rack in an area that’s protected from dirt and dust.

Pro Tip: A designated nylon-bristle brush should be used to wash bottle nipples. They’re notoriously hard to get clean, so it’s often helpful to squeeze water through them.

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Baby Bottle Smells

Cleaning bottles isn’t always possible – life has a habit of getting in the way! It’s totally normal for bottles to have a residual smell, but a few natural remedies work to eliminate them.

Get the best tips from the cleaning obsessed.

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Shake hot water and a tablespoon of white vinegar in the bottles before your normal cleaning process. Ensure that they’re totally rinsed, then wash them with a natural dish soap. 

How to Clean Baby Bottles While Traveling

what to wash baby bottles with

If you’re traveling with your baby, simply follow the same cleaning instructions above. Just make sure you have a clean container (we love this collapsible dish tub), dish soap, and a bottle brush with you.

Can You Wash Baby Bottles in the Dishwasher?

If your baby bottles are made of glass or dishwasher-safe plastic, they can be run through the dishwasher. To load baby bottles in the dishwasher, use the internal basket to clip the nipples upright during the full cycle, then place all remaining bottle parts on the top rack. Choose a hot water and heated drying cycle.

What’s the Best Dishwasher Detergent for Baby Bottles?

Our 99.5% Natural Dishwasher Detergent Packs were created with plant-based enzymes (like manannase and protease) that safely break down milk and formula proteins. It was painstakingly formulated to fully rinse away, leaving zero residue.

baby safe dishwasher detergent

Do I Need a Safe Dishwasher Detergent for Baby Bottles? 

Many dish cleaning products contain potentially harmful ingredients. It was actually these competitor ingredient lists that pushed us to develop our products with the help of physicians and Ph.D. chemists.

That’s why our baby safe dishwasher detergent is free of:

  • Perfumes 
  • Synthetic Fragrance
  • Phosphates
  • Sulfates
  • Parabens
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Petrochemicals
  • Triclosan
  • Animal by-products
  • Dyes
  • Phthalates
  • Caustics

Pro-Tip: Always let bottles completely dry before reassembling.

Many parents reassemble baby bottles when moisture is still inside the bottle – which can cause mildew and mold growth. Shake out any loose water droplets and allow bottles to completely air dry on a clean towel or bottle drying rack.

From Bottles to Burps, Here’s to Health and Happiness!

best dishwasher detergent for baby bottles

Having clean, ready-to-use bottles on hand will help you focus on bonding during mealtimes. That’s why we developed the most effective plant-based cleaning products.

From our family to yours, we wish you (and your newest bundle of joy) all the best.