Cleaning Breastpump Parts?
December 24, 2006 9:51 PM   Subscribe

My wife wants to know if it is safe and advisable to clean Medela breastpump parts (tubes and other plastic bits) in the dishwasher. The tubes and so on. Not the pump itself, obviously.

I think that if you have to boil them to sterilize them, it must be safe to put them in the dishwasher. I'm just worried that it won't get clean enough. Anyone have any idea?
posted by geekhorde to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
 
Obviously the sleep deprivation from the newborn is getting to me. I just noticed the redundancy in my question.
posted by geekhorde at 9:56 PM on December 24, 2006


Here's what the Medela website says about cleaning...

After each use:
• Disassemble and wash all parts that come in contact with the breast and milk in warm soapy water.
• Rinse in clear water.
• Air-dry on clean towel and cover parts when not in use.

All parts may also be washed in top rack of dishwasher.


Source: Medela Health and Safety Info
posted by amyms at 10:04 PM on December 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Since you're sleep-deprived, I'll reiterate the pertinent part of the information...

All parts may also be washed in top rack of dishwasher.

Enjoy your new baby! :)
posted by amyms at 10:06 PM on December 24, 2006


You're the best. Thanks.
posted by geekhorde at 10:09 PM on December 24, 2006


Running the dishwasher is not a time-effective way of cleaning pump parts, especially if you are pumping many times a day. They sell microwave steam-clean bags for Medela pump parts. I got mine at Target. You can clean pump parts in the microwave in less than 5 minutes.

Also, it is ok to wash the pump parts once a day only if you refrigerate the parts after each use. Have fun
posted by crazycanuck at 11:47 PM on December 24, 2006


May I make another suggestion - get 3 or so sets of washable pump parts (shield, filters) if your wife uses her pump several times a day. That way, you can start the day with several clean sets and run the dishwasher once a day to clean them all. Our firstborn drank pumped milk for 3 months before he decided to try nursing. Once we bought a few more sets, it saved a tiny bit of our sanity.
posted by bibliowench at 9:14 AM on December 25, 2006


I concur with all of the above. Don't let the parts dry dirty if you're going to put them in the dishwasher. Rinse right after use, and then keep them in a ziplock in the fridge for later use (or dishwasher). Or put them in a bowl of water dirty on the counter until you're ready to put them in the dishwasher. If you keep them in the fridge, it's much *nicer* for the user if you rinse them under warm water first ;-).
Enjoy Baby!
posted by kch at 10:01 AM on December 25, 2006


GET THE MICROWAVE STEAM BAGS. You will not regret it. They are about $5 for 5 bags, each bag can be used 20 - 30 times. Tubes have to be steamed by themselves, but horns & valves can go in together. I would have paid 10x more for the convenience.
posted by peep at 10:50 AM on December 25, 2006


Thirding the steam bags. They are the best.

(Congratulations!)
posted by AgentRocket at 6:10 AM on December 26, 2006


"all parts that come in contact with the breast and milk"

This does not include the tubes. The pump is designed in such a way that the tubes should not come in contact with breast milk, and you shouldn't need to wash them.

The tubes sometimes get condensation in them. In that case, you want to run the pump with the tubes (but nothing else) attached for a few minutes to run air through them and clear out the moisture.

Washing the tubes or running them through the dishwasher is not only unnecessary, but it is potentially counterproductive in that it is likely to increase the amount of moisture in the tubes.
posted by alms at 8:35 AM on December 26, 2006


alms writes "This does not include the tubes. The pump is designed in such a way that the tubes should not come in contact with breast milk, and you shouldn't need to wash them."


I pumped 2x per day for several months, and about twice per week, milk would get into the tubes. It happens. When it does, you can wash the tubing however you wish or use the steam bags.
posted by peep at 1:35 PM on December 26, 2006


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