How to Clean a Breast Pump – Methods, Sterilizations And Tips

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Cleaning a breast pump

Do you know that if you do not wash your breast pump, it may get a block or the suction power can significantly reduce? An unclean breast pump isn’t hygienic for both mother and baby. Unclean breast pumps can become a feeding ground for bacteria because of milk residuals on the pump. It may create a problem for babies and may make them ill.  Hence, it would be great if you kept your breast pump clean. But the question here is how to clean your breast pump properly.

There may be many questions when to think about it. Do you need any special material or soap to clean it? Or Boiling breast pumps enough to keep them clean? Through this article, we attempt to address various questions and concerns on how to clean and maintain a breast pump to maintain safety and hygiene. pregnancy pillow

In This Article

How Do You Clean a Breast Pump?

How Do You Clean a Breast Pump

A breast pump is great for preventing milk from leaking from the nipples. It also helps prevent wastage and stores breast milk from feeding your babies later. However, before you start breast pumping to collect milk, clean it properly before and after use. Here’s how you can do it.

a. Before Using the Breast Pump

Before you start pumping milk from the breast, follow these steps.

  • Wash your Hands.
  • Clean your hands with milk soap or antibacterial soap for 20-30 seconds. Tap dry your hands with a clean towel.
  • Assemble pump kit.
  • Now, assemble your breast pump kit. Check if the tubes become mouldy during storage. If you find such an issue, immediately replace the tube.
  • Clean thoroughly.
  • Use lukewarm water and clean cloth to clean pump dials, power switch, countertop, etc. Use disinfectant wipes to clean the pump.

b. After Using Pump

Before you start cleaning, do ensure to follow these steps.

1. Store Milk

Seal the milk collection bag and mention the date and time on the bag. Refrigerate milk in your freezer to avoid spoilage of milk. You can also use a storage bottle to store milk.

2. Clean Pumping Areas

  • Clean the dial, countertop, and dials with soap, water, and clean clothes. You can also use cleaning or disinfectant wipes for cleaning purposes.
  • Separate all the parts of kit and inspect thoroughly.
  • Now, separate all the parts of the breast pumping kit, especially the part that come in contact with the nipples and stores breast milk. In addition to this, check other parts such as flanges, membranes, valves, milk collection bottles, and connections.

[Read : Storing Your Breast Milk]

3. Rinse Pumping Kit With Water

Once you have separated the whole kit, be sure to rinse out all the parts, especially those that come in contact with breast milk and with water. This helps to remove the milk remaining from the kit.

4. Clean Entire Pump Kit

  • Clean the parts of the pump with your hands and by following these ways.
  • Place all the parts of the breast pumping kit in a washbasin which is only for washing the babies’ feeding utensils and equipment. Never place the pump directly in the wash basin because it may contain germs that can contaminate your breast pump. Always clean the washbasin before keeping the pump.
  • Fill the wash basin with soap and water. Use hot water to clean the breast pumping machines. It helps to inhibit bacterial growth.
  • Take a scrubber and use only those kinds of scrubbers mentioned on your pump. If you’re using the brush to clean the pump, be sure to use it only to clean your toddler’s feeding items.
  • Once scrubbing is done, rinse the breast-pumping items with water. You can submerge them in clean water or rinse them off under running water. After washing, keep them in a separate basin and let them dry off naturally.
  • You can leave them for drying in the washbasin. If you want to use it again, use a clean cloth and paper towel to wipe out dirt and extra water from the pumping items. Do you use a dish wash towel that is unclean and use it on other utensils.
  • Assemble the parts again, and it is ready to use.

How to Sterilize Breast Pumps?

How to Sterilize Breast Pumps

There are two methods for sterilizing breast pumps. Let’s have a look.

1. Boiling Method

To sterilize the breast pump, separate all the parts in contact with the breast milk and breast. Fill the container with water and ensure that all the parts of the breast pumping kit are dipped into it for boiling. Boil them for ten minutes. Once boiling is done, allow the equipment to cool down or wait until the water gets cooled.

Take tongs and gently remove all the breast pump parts from the water. Clean excess water with a clean cloth and paper towel. If possible, then keep them aside to air dry. Store your breast pump in a clean and shady place when you’re not using it.

2. Steaming Method

A quick micro steaming bag is also a great way to sterilize your breast pumping kit. However, before you use them to sterilize the breastfeeding pump, read all the instructions carefully. The method is best for deep cleaning and disinfecting all accessories, breast shields, nipples, bottles, accessories, cups, and pacifiers.

You can use this method at the end of the day to sanitize your breast pump. It only takes three minutes to sterilize the entire pumping kit. So, this helps to save your time and effort in sterilizing. Aside from this, the best thing about steaming sterilization is that it helps kill 99.9% of diseases caused by microbes and viruses.

You don’t even need to use rinsing, soap, and no trash chemicals. Therefore, this method is incredibly safe for sterilizing the breast pump and newborn babies feeding equipment.

How Often Should You Clean Your Breast Pump?

Ideally, you need to clean your breast pump every day before pumping breast milk and even after using it. If you feel lazy or busy with the baby, rinse it off with water. It helps to eliminate the risk of bacteria growth and keep it safe.

In addition to this, sterilize your breast pump once a day or before sleeping. Sterilization is helpful to keep your pump safe and kill microbes.

Other Breast Pump Safety and Cleaning Tips

Other Breast Pump Safety and Cleaning Tips

Here are additional tips to keep in mind when cleaning a breast pump.

  • Always use a clean cotton cloth to wipe out extra milk from the breast pump.
  • Disinfectant wipes can be used to clean the pump after use.
  • When sterilizing with steam, make sure all the parts are separate from each other and exposed to the steam properly.
  • Use lukewarm water to clean the breast pump. It helps to clean the pump properly and inhibit the growth of bacteria.
  • Store in clean and shady places to avoid damage.

Breast pumps are great to keep you protected from breast milk leakage problems. But after using the suction pump, do ensure to follow the above procedure to clean it properly. This helps keep your breast pump clean and makes it germ-free and safe to use. Last but not least, replace the breast pump parts if they get damaged after prolonged use.

[Read : Leaking and Spraying Breasts]


1. Can I Wash Breast Pump Parts With Hand Soap?

Yes, you can use soap to clean pump parts. However, try to use new soap instead if you want to clean it with hand soap. It would be great to use liquid soap meant to clean such a kind of equipment.

2. Do Breast Pump Parts Need to be Dry Before Using?

Pump parts need to be dry before using and when you are about to store them. Pump parts having water invite microbial growth and are also unsafe to use. Use a paper towel to dry the pump before you use them.

Read Also: Top 8 Tips To Pump Breast Milk

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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