An Ultimate Guide On How To Sterilize Breast Pump Parts Properly

An Ultimate Guide On How To Sterilize Breast Pump Parts Properly

One of the most important things to do for your child’s health and development is to provide clean and safe breast milk. This task also asks you to sterilize the breast pump properly. 

Bacteria can develop fast in milk or its residue that stays on pump elements. They harm your baby’s health and disease control.

The steps in this article will help you sterilize breast pump parts properly and keep your baby safe from pathogens. Let’s read on to discover!

How To Sterilize Breast Pump?  

Do not only clean the pump parts when they get dirty. Instead, sterilize them before and after each pumping session. 

Before every use

Before pumping breast milk, make sure that the pump parts are clean. Here is exactly what you need to do:

Wash your hands

You will directly touch the pump parts. As a result, your hands must be clear of dirt and bacteria.

This task is simple to obey. You just need to wash your hands thoroughly with soapy water for about 20 seconds. Then, let them dry.

Wash your hands carefully 

Assemble the pump kit

You may store the kit separately instead of keeping them as a unit. Hence, before using, you will collect the breast pump parts.

In this stage, check where the kit and the tubing are if they have got soiled or moldy during the storage time. 

If you detect any problem, throw the spoiled pat away and replace it with a new one. 

Clean the kit

Cleaning breast pump parts is more necessary if you share the pump with others. First, use the disinfectant wipe to clean the power switch, countertop, and pump dials. 

If required, sterilize every part of the kit and let them air dry before assembling.

After every use

Cleaning breast pump parts after use are more arduous since dealing with the residue. Thankfully, things will get more straightforward with the detailed instructions below.

Store breast milk safely.

What should you do with the extracted milk? First, choose a container. It can be milk collection bottles of the pump kit or separate containers. No matter what you choose, make sure that it is tight. 

Then, label the pumping date on the container. If necessary, take note of the date too. 

You can store our breast milk in a fridge, a freezer, a cooler bag, or room temperature. The lifespan of pumped milk is different in each storage method. 

For example, you have to use the milk within two hours if you leave it on your countertop. On the other hand, your baby’s food can last up to four days if refrigerated. 

You can learn about breast milk storing methods and lifespan from this video.

Storing breast milk is important 

Clean the breast pump parts 

There are three ways to clean your breast pump kit: by hand, in a dishwasher, and by boiling.

By hand

  • Put the pump parts in a hygienic wash basin to sanitize newborn feeding items. Do not use the sink because the bacteria there might taint the pump.
  • Fill the wash basin halfway with hot soapy water. 
  • Scrub breast pump parts as recommended by the manufacturer. If you’re employing a brush, make sure it’s a dust-free one.
  • Rinse objects by holding them under flowing water or immersing them in warm water in a different basin intended for newborn feeding items.
  • Let the items air dry. Place the pump pieces, the wash basin, and the bottle brush on a paper towel or unused dish towel in a debris-free area.

In a dishwasher

  • Place the separated pump parts in the dishwasher. Remember to put the smaller items on a mesh laundry bag to avoid getting stuck in the filter. 
  • Use hot water and set a heated drying cycle. This tip can aid in the elimination of more bacteria.
  • Remove the item from the dishwasher.
  • If items aren’t totally dry after a heated drying cycle, air dry them thoroughly before placing them on a paper towel.
  • Utilize a dish towel to wipe things instead of rubbing or pressing them dry, as it may spread germs to the stuff.

You can use the dishwasher to clean the kit 


  • Fill a saucepan halfway with water and add any disassembled objects that are safe when boiled. 
  • Bring the saucepan to a boil on high heat.
  • Boil the items for five minutes. 
  • Use clean tongs to remove the pieces. 

When To Sterilize Breast Pump Parts? 

Fortunately, unless your child has health issues, the CDC recommendations do not demand sterilization of all the pump parts after every pumping session, even when parents pump 12 times per day.

When it comes to sanitizing your breast pump parts, keep two things in mind:

  • Sterilize the kit every day if your infant is under three months old, premature, or has a weakened immune system.
  • If your infant is healthy, full-term, and older than three months, clean the equipment every few days.

The use frequency determines when to clean the kit 

When to Replace Breast Pump Parts? 

Based on how frequently you use the kit, you’ll need to change the breast pump parts at different times. However, replacing them every 90 days is a basic rule.

The rule of replacement also changes depending on which pump parts you are talking about. 

Valve membranes

It would help to replace the valve membranes every two weeks to two months. 

If you pump once a day, change it after two months. Otherwise, buy a new one if you use it multiple times a day.

Duckbill valves

These valves need replacement every two months if you use them once a day. In case of more frequent usage, replace the valves every month. 

Protector diaphragms

If you only pump once every day, replace the diaphragm every two to three months. 

For parents who use the kit more often, the replacement should be every one to two months.


This tubing can work well in the first six months after purchase or replacement. However, you have to change it if:

  • There are leaks, cracks, or tears.
  • There is a signal of mildew, condensation, or mold.
  • The tubing often slides off the protector and motor. 

Breast shields

The lifespan of a breast shield is about six months. You should, though, buy a new one if you notice any crack on it.

Each component requires a different rule of replacement

Extra Tips For Sterilizing Breast Pump 

Aside from the three methods we have discussed, you can also apply these extra tips for the best result:

  • Unless the tubing touches milk, you don’t have to clean it.
  • If your tube becomes contaminated with breast milk, you should change it right away since it is hard to clean.
  • Make sure to wash your hands carefully and that the place where you’re pumping is hygienic.
  • Rinse the milk with a water bottle if you can’t access running water.
  • Have a separate sink and brush for cleaning the equipment.
  • When washing the pump parts, avoid employing cloth towels since they might transmit germs that are hazardous to breast milk and your baby.

    Bear these tips in mind to give your baby the best and safest meals 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some frequently asked questions about sterilizing breast pump parts. 

1. Do I need to sterilize the breast pump after every use?

You have to wash the parts that come in contact with your milk, such as valves, breast shields, and bottles. 

Meanwhile, some other parts, such as tubing, do not need washing so often. You only need to check for the damage. 

2. Can I reuse pump parts without washing?

Depending on your scenario, you can get away with not washing the pump parts after each usage.

Pump wipes save money and effort, but they may be costly. To make them last longer, some mothers slice them into tiny pieces.

3. What happens if milk gets into breast pump tubing?

When moisture enters the tubing, it risks the pump’s motor. Moisture might get sucked back into the compressor, eventually breaking down.

To guarantee that the milk from your pump is safe and clean, all of the parts must be sterile.

4. Do breast pumps lose suction over time? 

When using a breast pump, many mothers experience a decrease in suction. 

The suppleness of the valve membrane starts wearing out with time, leading them to weaken their effectiveness.

If you have a low suction concern, detach the membranes and examine them. 

Then look for damage, such as chips, fractures, holes, or rips, and make sure they fit securely and sit properly.

If a component gets damaged, stop using it and get a new one.


There are several ways to clean your breast pump. No matter what method you choose, make sure that your hands are clean first. 

It would be best to have a cleaning kit at hand and use it for only your baby feeding items. 

Hopefully, you will find the instructions in this post helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!


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