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Sterilizing Pacifiers in a Microwave

By Kristine Tucker ; Updated June 13, 2017

Out of convenience, it might be easier to sterilize your baby's pacifier in the microwave, rather than boiling it in water over the stove. You can sterilize a silicone pacifier in a microwave, but a specialized microwave-safe sterilizer is necessary.

Out of convenience, it might be easier to sterilize your baby's pacifier in the microwave, rather than boiling it in water over the stove. You can sterilize a silicone pacifier in a microwave, but a specialized microwave-safe sterilizer is necessary. Dry pacifiers aren't made to withstand the heat and intense radiation from a microwave. Latex pacifiers can't be sanitized in microwave and require other cleaning methods.

Microwave-Safe Sterilizer

Silicone pacifiers must be boiled in water over the stove, without the use of a microwave, before their first use. Some silicone pacifiers come with a plastic sterilizer that is designed for use in a microwave after the initial boiling, using steady to clean and sanitize. You must fill the pacifier sterilizer to the water line, insert the silicone pacifier with the nipple face down, snap the shield in place and microwave on high for the time recommended by the manufacturer. Latex pacifiers must be boiled before the first use, but you can't use a dishwasher or a steam sterilizer for regular cleanings. Wash latex pacifiers with hot, soapy water.

Boiling

If you're in a hurry and can't wait for water to boil over the stove, boil the water in the microwave first. Don't put your baby's pacifier in the water until you take it out of the microwave. Even though this is the same as boiling water over the stove, it's difficult to keep water at a boiling temperature once it's been removed from the microwave. You'll likely need to put the microwaved boiling water in a pan on the stove to keep it boiling. Boil the pacifier for three to five minutes and let it cool and dry before use, recommends Dr. Marcus DeGraw on the HealthTap website.

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Dishwasher-Safe Pacifier

You can put most silicone pacifiers in the dishwasher, as long as they are labeled "dishwasher-safe." It doesn't matter what brand or type of dishwasher detergent you use as long as you rinse off any soap residue before you give it to your baby. The slight residue isn't harmful, but your baby might not like the taste. You don't have to run the pacifier through a heat cycle if you want to conserve energy and don't plan to use the heat for your dishes anyway. It doesn't hurt to wash your baby's pacifier with the rest of your dishes. Pacifiers are small and may slip through dishwasher racks, so consider purchasing a pacifier dishwasher tub at your local baby store. The silverware tray also works.

Sterilization Tips

Unless you use well water, you don't have to sterilize bottles and pacifiers, according to "Parenting" magazine, though you still have to clean them. Wash bottles and pacis either in the dishwasher (on the top rack) or by hand with soap and water before every use.

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