How to Clean Breast Pump?

Keeping your breast pump clean is not just a matter of hygiene, it also keeps your baby healthy and safe. Properly cleaning your breast pump prevents the growth of bacteria and mold, ensures the efficiency of your breast pump, and preserves the quality of your breast milk. This guide will give you straightforward, step-by-step instructions and tips on how to effectively clean your breast pump after every use.

Why Should I Clean My Breast Pump?

Cleaning your breast pump prevents your milk from becoming contaminated, which could harm your baby, and it maintains the efficiency and life of your breast pump, ensuring the nutritional quality of your breast milk remains high. Regular cleaning prevents bacteria buildup, protects your baby's health, and keeps your breast pump running effectively.

How Often to Clean the Breast Pump?

Thoroughly cleaning all parts of your breast pump is important to maintain hygiene and ensure your baby's health. How often you should clean your breast pump will depend on a number of factors. Here are some basic factors to consider when cleaning a breast pump:

  1. After Each Use: It is recommended to clean all parts that come into contact with breast milk after each use. This includes the milk collector, diaphragm, flange, and duckbill valves. This prevents the accumulation of milk residues, which can breed bacteria.

  2. Daily Sanitization: If your baby is less than three months old, was born prematurely, or has a weakened immune system, it is recommended that you sterilize the breast pump parts every day. This can be done by boiling, using a microwave steam bag, or using a dishwasher with a sterilization cycle (if the breast pump parts are suitable for this method).

  3. Occasional Deep Cleaning: In addition to regular cleaning and daily disinfection, a more thorough cleaning is recommended once a week, or as directed by the manufacturer. This may also require disassembling and cleaning parts that do not normally come into contact with milk but may accumulate condensation or dust.

It is recommended to read and follow the specific cleaning instructions provided by the breast pump manufacturer, as different breast pump models may have specific needs.

How to Clean Your Breast Pump?

Thoroughly cleaning your breast pump will keep it hygienic and breastmilk safe. Here are some common cleaning steps:

  1. Preparation: Begin by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water to eliminate germs. Clean the surface where you will place the pump parts using a clean cloth or disinfectant wipes to create a sanitary work area.

  2. Disassembly and Inspection: Disassemble the breast pump into all its parts. Inspect each component, especially those that come into direct contact with breast milk, for any signs of mold or residue. Replace any part that shows signs of wear or contamination.

  3. Cleaning Methods: Clean the pump parts either by hand or in a dishwasher, if they are dishwasher-safe:

      By Hand: Wash the parts in a dedicated wash basin filled with hot soapy water; avoid using the kitchen sink to prevent contamination.

      Dishwasher: Place the parts on the top rack of the dishwasher and use a hot water cycle. Ensure the drying cycle is also activated to completely dry the parts.

  4. Drying: After washing, place all components on a clean towel or drying rack to air dry. Make sure the parts are entirely dry to prevent bacteria growth. Do not use cloth towels to dry the parts directly as they can transfer germs.

  5. Reassembly and Storage: Once dry, reassemble the breast pump. Store the clean and dry parts in a sanitary area to keep them ready for the next use. Ensure the storage area is clean and protected from dust.

  6. Regular Maintenance: Regularly sanitize the breast pump parts, especially if your baby is young or has health issues. Methods such as boiling the parts or using a microwave steam bag are effective for sterilization.

These steps will keep your breast pump clean and safe, ensuring your baby can drink your breast milk safely.

Clean Breast Pump

How to Sanitize Your Breast Pump Equipment?

Sterilizing the breast pump equipment after cleaning it is a necessary step to ensure that potential bacteria and viruses are eliminated. This ensures that it is safe for infants to use. Below is a brief overview of the various steps involved in sterilizing breast pump equipment:

  1. Choose Your Sanitization Method: You can use boiling, steam bags, or a dishwasher with a sanitizing cycle to sanitize breast pump parts. Boiling involves submerging the parts in boiling water for three to five minutes. Dishwashers with a sanitizing cycle provide a convenient and thorough method if the parts are dishwasher-safe.

  2. Prepare for Sanitization: Before sanitizing, make sure all pump parts are completely clean of any milk residue. Proper cleaning ensures the sanitization process is effective, as leftover residue can shield bacteria from the sanitizing agent.

  3. Sanitization Process: For boiling, ensure parts do not touch each other to allow for uniform exposure to the heat. When using steam bags, check for secure sealing to maintain effective steam levels. In a dishwasher, position the parts securely on the top rack to avoid displacement and ensure thorough exposure to the sanitizing cycle.

  4. Drying After Sanitization: Post-sanitization, let all parts air dry on a clean, unused dish towel or paper towel. Avoid using cloth towels for drying as they can reintroduce germs to sanitized parts.

  5. Reassemble and Store Safely: Once dry, reassemble the breast pump. Store all the parts in a clean and dry area to prevent any contamination before the next use, ensuring they remain hygienic.

  6. Regularly Schedule Sanitization: Sanitization frequency should be adjusted based on the baby’s age and health condition. Daily sanitization is advised for newborns or babies with health concerns, while weekly may suffice for older, healthy babies.

These steps ensure that your breast pump equipment is sanitized effectively, maintaining the health and safety of the breast milk for your baby.

Sanitize Breast Pump

Tips for Keeping Your Breast Pump Clean

Keeping your breast pump clean ensures your baby's health and maintains the efficiency of your breast pump. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Clean After Every Use: Dismantle and wash every part that comes into contact with breast milk immediately after each use to prevent milk residue buildup.

  • Use the Right Supplies: Clean the pump parts with a dedicated wash basin and bottle brush that are used only for your pump, not for other dishwashing purposes, to avoid cross-contamination.

  • Air Dry Thoroughly: Allow all parts to air dry on a clean towel or drying rack. Make sure they are completely dry before reassembling the pump.

  • Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always adhere to the cleaning guidelines provided by the pump manufacturer to ensure you're cleaning the pump correctly and not damaging sensitive components.

  • Store Properly: Keep the pump and its accessories in a clean, dry place when not in use to prevent contamination.

Implementing these tips can help ensure that your breast pump remains clean, safe, and functional, making the pumping process healthier for both you and your baby.


This article highlights the need for thorough cleaning and regular maintenance of breast pumps. Keeping a breast pump clean ensures it operates efficiently and remains safe, providing nutritious milk for babies. This practice prevents the buildup of harmful bacteria and extends the life of the equipment, supporting the health of both mother and child. To further enhance your experience, consider Mommed's product line, which includes electric breast pumps, feeding bottle warmer, and bottle brushes, designed to support the cleanliness and efficiency of your breastfeeding routine.

Related Reading: How To Get A Breast Pump Through Insurance?

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