It's a Wash: Caring for Baby Bottles


Sure, sure, you can buy an expensive Avent Sterilizer to clutter up your counter and drain $200 bucks from your baby's 529 college savings account. Or, for about ten bucks you can invest in a few cheap cleaning devices and use the dishwasher you already have to keep those baby bottles germ free.

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Of course for the initial cleaning, you're going to need a big pot to sterilize the bottles in boiling water for 5 minutes before. But after that, the dishwasher is fine. Read more on bottle care at

I found two tools to be essential in managing the bottle bonanza.

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1. A bottle brush. These little devices have a brush attached to the end of a long rod. Unlike traditional sponges or wide dish brushes these bottle-specific brushes can reach deep into the bottle cleaning out the formula or breast milk from corners and crevices. They can also swish into a plastic nipple to get germs and grime off of baby's feeding area. I like the colorful design of the Munchkin Deluxe Bottle Brush ($5.05). It's got a suction base that will keep it sturdy on your counter top and it can be tossed into dishwasher for cleaning. Another fun design is the Nuvo Bottle Brush ($11) that looks like a carrot.

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2. A dishwasher basket. After a quick rinse and a brush to get any debris out of the bottle parts, you'll save yourself a heap of trouble if you wash the plastic nipples and bottle lids in a dishwasher basket. Tiny bottle parts can get easily lost in a dishwasher, so corralling the pieces in a basket makes cleaning and putting the lids back together a much simpler process. Sassy Double Dishwasher Baskets(2 for $4.95)

I hope I've saved you a bit of cash and some elbow grease with these tips. Remember to hang on these items even after you've moved on from bottles. They also work wonders on sippy cups.

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