How To Clean Breast Pumps


Cleaning breast pumps is very important. Breast is sensitive areas of your body that can very well get infected by many viruses and bacteria. If you do not keep yourself clean enough and the products that you use on yourself then  you allow those microbes to colonize inside your body.

Due to a natural passageway, through your nipples many microbes get themselves inside your body easily. And from there they can cause pus release, abscess formation or total body sepsis. And just so like that, your baby too is also very sensitive to all those changes in the environment. Neonates and infants are largely considered immune-compromised due to the fact that they have less defensive immunological systems and mechanisms in them.

They are hence easily susceptible to a range of infections. If your breast pump or parts of it are not kept cleaned all the time they will become home to millions of bacteria, viruses and fungi and eventually make your child sick. Below mentioned are the ways on how to keep your breast pump always clean.

Cleaning Breast Pump Parts

As you know that breast pumps do not come as a single unit but as a whole bunch of products and parts that have to be joined together. Remember that after each use clean those parts like breast shields, bottles, valves. After every time you are done pumping your milk wash them all as soon as possible so they are dry and ready to be used the next time around.

You can sanitize them by hand washing them through your dishwasher in your sink or boil them. Either way will work. Although 100% sterilization cannot be achieved in homes due to the presence of so many microbes in the environment it will still ensure that the product is clean enough to be safely used again.

You can also use a dishwasher to clean these. But before doing that confirm from your product’s manual is it dishwasher safe. If it is then pop them all in the top rack after every time you use it. This way they will stay clean.

The tubing on the other hand needs to be clean and dried very well. Due to the size of, tiny droplets might lodge inside it. So always keep it nice clean and dry. This part is necessary if any part of your breast milks comes in contact with your tubing during milk collection. After you have washed it, hang it so that it dries up.

Do not use strong chemicals and bottle brushes that might act too harshly on the products. Always use a mild gentle soap and hot to warm water. It is considered best if you thoroughly wash all of your breast pump parts right after you use them so that they are dries enough to be used next time. If you can’t, however, clean it right away you can at least just rinse them with warm water so that all milk residue is gone and this will not encourage any germ growth or invasion.

In the end, always make sure that you wash your hands before and after you use the product as it is of common understanding that many bacteria’s are passed through your own hands.

Cleaning Breast Pump Machine

Now it is easy to sterilize the breast pump parts. Separate them all pop them in a hot water, or dishwasher (if dishwasher safe) or wash them with your hands. After doing them let them air dry. The same is not true for the electrical units that come with the breast pumps.

Since these are the main power supply for the breast pump, popping them in a pool of hot water or a dishwasher might prove hazardous. It is hence necessary to keep it dry all the time. When you feel like cleaning it, take a wet paper towel and run it all over your machine to ensure it is nice and clean.

These days manufacturing companies are coming up with special wipes for electrical motors and breast pump motors. You can buy those, especially when you are on the go and you require traveling a lot. In that case, just buy a stack of those wipes and they will last you really long. Every time you feel like cleaning your pump or when any of the breast milk droplets have fallen over it, just disconnect it and then thoroughly wipe it clean.

Always, do not forget to let them all air dry, or dry with a paper towel. The cloth towel might have many germs on them already hence it is preferred that you use paper towels or air to dry them all up. Also after cleaning all the parts do not try to touch them especially the insides. This step will ensure that no cross contamination happens due to your hand and your product remains safe and healthy for the use of your child.

Things You Will Need

  • Paper towels
  • Warm water
  • Breast pump manual
  • Pump unit cleaning wipes
  • dish washer soap

Further Reading on Best Breast Pumps