How to Clean Bottle Nipples

To keep your baby healthy and free of bacterial infections, it is important to clean her baby bottles, rings and nipples thoroughly. Always sterilize newly purchased bottle nipples before the first use. After the first use, a thorough washing in hot, soapy water should suffice, provided your tap water contains chlorine. The New York State Health Department explains that chlorine sanitizes water, and kills germs and bacteria. If you have well water, or if your city does not provide chlorine in your drinking water, you will need to sterilize your baby’s bottle nipples after each washing.

Chlorinated Water

Slip on a pair of rubber dishwashing gloves to protect your hands. Fill a basin with hot water from your tap. The water supply in most cities contains chlorine, which kills germs.

Add a squirt of liquid dish soap to the hot water. Place the bottle nipples in the hot water and allow them to soak for 10 minutes.

Remove milk from the bottle nipples using a nipple brush. Fill the nipple with the hot, soapy water and squeeze the water through the hole to flush out any trapped milk.

Turn the bottle nipples inside out and repeat the cleaning process. Once again, fill the nipples with hot soapy water and squeeze it through the hole to remove milk residue.

Rinse the bottle nipples with warm water, removing all traces of soap residue. Place the bottle nipples in a drain board to dry thoroughly. Store the nipples in a drawer or cabinet when dry.

Non-chlorinated Water

Wash the bottle nipples in hot soapy water. Rinse the bottle nipples to remove the soap residue.

Place the bottle nipples in a pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the bottle nipples.

Place the pot on your stovetop. Cover the pot with the matching lid. Turn on the burner.

Bring the pot of water to a boil. Allow the water to boil for approximately 15 minutes. Turn off the burner after the 15-minute boiling period.

Remove the bottle nipples from the water using a pair of tongs. Place the bottle nipples in a drain board to air dry thoroughly. Store the bottle nipples in a drawer or cabinet until needed.


If you have a dishwasher, place the bottle nipples on the top shelf instead of boiling. The hot water in a dishwasher gets hot enough to provide adequate sterilization.


Do not leave the bottle nipples out on the drain board for an extended period of time after drying. Storing the bottle nipples in a clean cabinet or drawer will keep them clean and free of debris in between uses.

Do not store the bottle nipples away until they dry completely. Wet nipples can develop mold growth.