Did you recently buy baby bottles and nipples and are wondering if you can wash them in the dishwasher? Maybe you don’t think that they will be safe, and you have every reason to worry as a parent. Can a dishwasher clean the bottles as thoroughly as you can? Can the heat damage those expensive baby bottles?
Baby bottles and nipples are generally dishwasher safe on the top rack with normal settings and wash cycles up to around 150 °F. While some dishwashers offer a ‘sanitize’ setting, the higher water temperature might be too hot for bottles and nipples. Safe temperatures and settings will depend on the bottle and nipple materials (silicone, plastic).
Keep reading for more information on how to wash your baby’s bottles in the dishwasher as well as detailed information on popular bottle brands.
Is it okay to put baby bottles and nipples in the dishwasher?
We get it, making sure you use the most extreme precaution for your baby is paramount to your parenting. Germs, bacteria, and even just the left-over, crunchy formula are nasty and unsafe in their own right.
It is acceptable to use the dishwasher to clean and sanitize your baby bottles and nipples so long as the brand that you are using has rated them as dishwasher safe. Always look for the “Dishwasher safe” label usually listed either on the packaging or the base of the bottle.
If you do not see one it may not be safe for dishwashers. You may go a step further by visiting the website’s recommendations or looking in the FAQ section.
If the dishwasher is safe to use for your bottles and nipples, is there a certain setting you should clean them on? If so, what kind of dishwashing detergent should you use? Should I put them in a certain section of the dishwasher? Let’s take a look at some of the answers to these questions.
The best dishwasher settings to use for bottles
Washing your baby bottles and nipples in the dishwasher should first be verified with their manufacturer’s recommendations. Once proven to be dishwasher safe you should follow their recommendations.
While there may be brand-specific recommendations, this is the typical way to wash your baby’s bottle in the dishwasher:
- Disassemble all components (bottle, nipple, cap ring, venting system).
- Put all smaller components into a dishwasher-safe basket or bag and place all parts on the top rack, the furthest from the heat. Small components will include the nipple, cap ring, and any venting system elements.
- Wash in a hot water cycle. Be sure not to overload the dishwasher with other dishes.
- Allow for a heated dry cycle. If you choose to skip this step make sure to let air-dry completely before storing.
Some dishwashers also offer a sanitation cycle which could help remove any leftover bacteria and germs that may be leftover from the first cycle. This can be purely your decision as the hot water cycle is generally enough to get rid of any bacteria and germs in the first place.
What is the best dishwasher for baby bottles?
We have gone over a bit of information about the different settings on your dishwasher and how to properly clean using those settings. Now, we can talk about which settings are best, how you should use your dishwasher, and what dishwashers are best for washing your baby bottles and accessories.
With so many different dishwashers out there with varying cleaning and drying settings, it can be hard to figure out which setting would be best to use when washing your baby bottles. Is there more than one setting you can use? Are there settings that you should avoid?
When using the dishwasher to clean your baby bottles it is safe to do so on any cycle despite the bad reputation that dishwashers have concerning properly and safely cleaning baby bottles. However, it should be noted that each brand of baby bottle may have specific recommendations so you should always refer to them when washing a new brand of baby bottles.
Washing your bottles (and regular dishes) together is also acceptable. Generally, baby bottles are cleaned best when using a hot water cycle as well as a heated dry or sanitizing cycle if your dishwasher offers one.
Please be mindful of the fact that the sanitizing cycle does get hotter than the normal, hot water cycle, and you should ensure that the bottles can withstand the varying temperatures created by the cycle.
What kind of dishwashing detergent should you use for baby bottles?
When considering what to use to ensure a good clean, while still maintaining caution, you could find yourself with dozens of choice brands in front of you. Choosing isn’t always easy either. Let’s take a look at some of the best and safest dishwashing liquids out there.
Dishwashing detergent that is safe for use with sensitive objects such as baby bottles, nipples, teething toys, etc. should not include:
- Fragrances or perfumes
- Chlorine bleach
Naturally-made detergents can be some of the best products out there if you are looking for a dishwashing detergent that is safe for children while providing the top-of-the-line cleaning you expect. With several natural brands out there, the choices could help keep these chemicals from you and your child’s bodies.
If you’re looking for something just for baby dishes, you may want to consider the Dapple Baby Dishwasher Detergent Packs. Dapple uses a planet-based formula that claims to bind to the calcium and other minerals found in milk or baby formula to get rid of the milk smell and any other residue.
Are Dr. Brown’s baby bottles dishwasher safe?
Dr. Brown’s baby bottles are some of the most commonly used bottles out there. Knowing if they are safe to wash in the dishwasher is a common question amongst parents using this particular brand.
Dr. Brown baby bottles as well as the related components (nipple, cap ring, venting system, etc.) are all dishwasher safe. Dr. Brown’s website suggests only washing them on the top rack. You should wash all parts of the bottle in hot water with dishwashing detergent.
If you feel they won’t come out clean you can always try soaking them first in hot water with a bit of regular dish soap such as the Dapple Baby Bottle and Dish Liquid or the Seventh General Dish Liquid to help break up the caked-on formula or milk.
Are Avent baby bottles dishwasher safe?
Avent baby bottles are another commonly used brand and they provide top-notch baby products, but are they dishwasher safe?
Avent baby bottles are dishwasher safe, although they do recommend using the top rack or washing basket while cleaning in the dishwasher.
Make sure if you are not using a washing basket or bag to safely secure all smaller components of the bottles into the top rack or other similar section within your dishwasher.
Are Tommee Tippee baby bottles dishwasher safe?
Tommee Tippee baby bottles are great for parents looking for a natural feel. They have close to natural nipple designs that help breastfeeding parents everywhere. But are these baby bottles dishwasher safe?
Tommee Tippee baby bottles are safe to clean in the dishwasher. If available, place all smaller components within a safety-rated washing basket or bag and place them on the top rack. If no such item is available, make sure to put all components on the top rack, secured safely so they do not drop down into the base of the dishwasher.
It is safe to wash in hot water, but the manufacturer recommends sterilizing them after each clean to ensure nothing from the dishwasher is leftover.
Are Playtex baby bottles dishwasher safe?
Playtex baby bottles are a bit different than many competitors as some models have drop-ins or bottle liners that may or may not be dishwasher safe.
Playtex bottles are indeed dishwasher safe. You may place the bottles as well as the other components into the top rack of the dishwasher or within a washing basket or bag on the top rack. However, some models have components (drop-ins, bottle liners/holders, etc.) that should not be put into the dishwasher.
The extra components may or may not be for one use only. It is highly recommended to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Are NUK baby bottles dishwasher safe?
NUK baby bottles include a range of innovative bottle nipple designs. The Simply Natural line, especially, stands out because the number of holes in the nipple are designed the mimic the experience of nursing as closely as possible. Does this mean they’re not dishwasher friendly?
NUK baby bottles are rated to be able to be cleaned in the dishwasher. The bottle and all components should be placed on the top rack or within a washing basket or bag and placed on the top rack. These bottles can be washed in hot water and sterilized within the cycles of the dishwasher.
Similar to other brands, NUK is entirely dishwasher safe, but they should only be washed on the top rack as washing in the bottom rack may cause them to become deformed or not usable.
Are Mam Baby bottles dishwasher safe?
MAM Baby bottles are quite different than the others listed in this article and feature a venting system on the bottom of the bottle. Having a different design than others, the question of using the dishwasher to wash these safely is a good one.
MAM baby bottles can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher. The manufacturer recommends not exceeding 149°F (65°C) while cleaning, which means you should avoid the sanitize cycle. Place all 6 components on the top rack or within a washing basket or bag to ensure proper cleaning and to keep the components intact.
Even with a different design, the baby bottles are still safe for dishwashers which may save you a lot of time and headache trying to keep up with the growing number of dirty bottles your baby goes through.
Although not every brand was listed here, it is safe to say that most modern baby bottles have become commonly manufactured to be safe for use in the dishwasher. Do not just take our word for it though. Always check with the manufacture on their specific recommendations on properly cleaning and performing maintenance on your baby bottles.