Return To: How To Use Your Breast Pump

Keeping Your Breast Pump Clean

Using a breast pump provides you with a convenient way to continue providing your baby with breastmilk. When using a pump to express milk for your baby, it is important to clean it properly after each use to safeguard the health of both you and your baby.

Be sure to wash, rinse and sterilize all of the washable parts of your breast pump before using it for the first time. Proper and thorough cleaning of your pump is suggested after each use but especially if you or your baby is experiencing a bout of thrush. For more information on the symptoms and treatments of thrush read our article on Thrush and Breastfeeding.


Cleaning Guidelines

Hot water and a mild soap or detergent should be used to wash all pump parts that are exposed to breastmilk after each use. You should any abrasive products including bottlebrushes, chemicals or antibacterial soaps because they may scratch or crack the pump parts. If any of your pump parts become scratched or cracked, do not continue using them.

After washing rinse all parts with hot water until all soap residue is removed. Then air dry the freshly cleaned parts on a clean towel or dish rack. If you are unable to wash parts immediately, you should at least try to rinse them thoroughly with hot water to remove any breastmilk residue, or use hygienic wipes to temporarily clean the surface.

If you are using an open milk collection system, and milk enters your pump's tubing, you will need to wash and dry the tubes before using the pump again. You should begin by detaching the tubes from the motor, wash them with a mild soap and hot water, rinse and hang to dry.

Washing your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling your breast pump can help you to prevent any cross contamination of germs.


Sterilizing Guidelines

Sterilizing or boiling all your pump's washable parts once a day is recommended by most breast pump manufacturers. However, in some situations a healthcare professional may require that a mother sterilize the pump parts after each use. Speak with your lactation consultant or your child's healthcare provider to determine your sterilization requirements.

When sterilizing any infant feeding items the current guidelines require that a minimum temperature of 176 degrees F be reached in order to kill all bacteria and viruses that may be present. The maximum temperature that should be reached during sterilization is 212 degrees F. You can easily and safely reach the maximum temperature of 212 degrees F when sterilizing your pump parts and bottles when you use the Avent iQ 24 Electric Steam Sterilizer. There are also several other methods that can be used to sterilize your infant feeding items.

Sterilizing Options:

  • Top Rack of Dishwasher
  • Boiling Parts for 5 to 10 Minutes
  • Microwave Sterilizer Bags
  • Microwave Sterilizer
  • Electric Sterilizer

 Keep in mind that although a pump may have been thoroughly cleaned and sterilized by the previous user, it is never safe to share a used personal breast pump. More information about why sharing a breast pump is unsafe can be found in the article Can I Buy Or Borrow A Used Breast Pump?

The above cleaning and sterilizing guidelines are provided for informational purposes only. Please follow the instructions provided by the pump manufacturer or your child's healthcare provider for cleaning and sterilizing your breast pump parts. If you have questions or concerns about how to keep your breast pump clean consult your lactation consultant or healthcare provider.


Return To: How To Use Your Breast Pump