Are Medela Bottles (& Nipples) Dishwasher Safe? [Quick Read!]

Balint Horvath, PhD

Writer, parent, and veteran of baby feeding battles.


If you’re breastfeeding and pumping for bottle-feeding, the Medela baby bottle range complements the brand’s breast pumps. The bottles are designed to store and feed your baby breastmilk. How’s that for convenience? But, are they easy to clean, and are Medela bottles dishwasher safe? Read on to find out!

Medela baby bottles and nipples are dishwasher-safe. However, the Medela Special Needs Feeder shouldn’t be cleaned in the dishwasher. When using the dishwasher, the bottles and parts must be placed on the top rack. The hottest wash cycle should be used to sterilize the bottles. 

Types of Medela bottles and are all of them dishwasher safe?

Medela baby bottles are specially designed for breastfeeding moms who want to feed their babies expressed breastmilk. The following products are available:

Medela Breastmilk Bottle Set, 8 Ounce

Why some bottles are not dishwasher safe

Not all baby bottles are dishwasher-safe because of the materials used to make them. The high temperature of the wash cycle can break down the bottle’s material, shortening its lifespan. 

Discoloration is also a common problem when placing baby bottles in the dishwasher with other dirty items. Most high-quality plastic and premium glass bottles are able to withstand being cleaned in the dishwasher. When deciding if it’s safe to place your baby bottles in the dishwasher, always check the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines. 

Are Medela nipples dishwasher safe?

All Medela Bottle Nipples including the innovative silicone Calma teat are dishwasher-safe. Medela nipples can also be washed by hand using the Medela Quick Cleaning Bottle Brush that comes with a specially designed tip for cleaning teats. However, it’s not recommended to use a bottle brush when cleaning the Calma teat.

Sterilizing baby bottles

Using a dishwasher 

If the baby bottle and parts are dishwasher-safe, you can sterilize the feeding equipment in this appliance. Always disassemble the bottles and parts completely and rinse under running water to remove milk residue before placing them on the top rack of the dishwasher

To ensure the bottles and parts are properly sterilized, use the highest temperature setting. Baby bottle manufacturers recommend setting the wash cycle temperature at 65°C. If your dishwasher has a sanitizing setting, select this option. The heated air cycle also helps to sterilize baby bottles.

Using a (steam) sterilizer

Steam sterilizers are specially designed to sanitize baby bottles. When looking for a steam sterilizer, make sure you get one that is big enough to take the bottles and parts you’re using. Steam sterilizers can either be electric or used in the microwave. Water is added to the appliance, which is heated up and turns to steam. 

Use the Medela QuickClean Micro Steam Bags for sterilizing bottles and breast pump parts. Here you can buy them also from Target. Watch this video which demonstrates how to use this method.

Using hot water

Using boiling water is another simple method for sterilizing baby bottles. Always make sure you use a pot big enough to hold the bottle and parts, without them touching the sides or bottom. The bottles and parts need to be fully submerged when covered with water. 

The bottle and parts need to be disassembled and rinsed under running water before being placed in the boiling water. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, the bottle and parts must be boiled for five to 10 minutes before being removed by tongs. Leave to air-dry on a rack or paper towels before using for the next feed. 

Using a liquid sterilizing solution

Baby bottles can be sanitized in a liquid sterilizing solution. This method entails adding bleach to cold water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the right ratio of bleach to water. Take apart the bottle and parts, and rinse under running tap water before adding to the solution. 

Leave for two minutes or more before removing with tongs or clean hands. Air-dry on a clean rack or paper towel. When sterilizing baby bottles using this method, make sure there are no air bubbles trapped in the bottle or teats. The feeding equipment must also be completely submerged in the solution. 

How to wash Medela bottles using a dishwasher

When deciding which dishwasher to use for baby bottles, select one that includes a baby care wash cycle. This way, you can be sure your baby bottles are hygienically cleaned every time. A very popular unit is the Farberware Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher which you can get also from Walmart.

Farberware FDW05ASBWHA Compact Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 5-Liter Built-in Water Tank, 5 Programs, Baby Care, Glass & Fruit Wash, Black/White Original

Use these steps to ensure your Medela bottles are clean and sterilized every time you use the dishwasher. 

1. Disassemble the bottle and parts

Take apart the bottle and parts including the cap, ring, and nipples. If you place an assembled bottle into the dishwasher it won’t be cleaned properly.

2. Rinse the bottle and parts

Rinse the bottle and parts under running tap water to remove any milk residue. The water can be cold or warm. 

3. Use a bottle brush

If you want to ensure that all milk residue has been removed from the bottle and teat before placing them in the dishwasher, use a bottle brush. Make sure you use one that has soft bristles and that comes with a specially designed nipple cleaner for cleaning the teats.

4. Place in a dishwasher basket

Place the bottle and parts in a basket designed for the dishwasher to wash the bottles. This way, you won’t lose any small items during the wash cycle and the bottle stays in one place too! You can also use a mesh laundry bag if you can’t find a dishwasher basket. 

5. Put into the dishwasher

Always wash the bottle and parts on the top rack of the dishwasher. This helps to protect them from being stained by other dirty items covered in leftover food such as tomato sauce. Select the hottest wash cycle. If the machine includes it, select the sanitization or baby care wash setting for a deeper clean. 

6. Remove from the dishwasher

When the wash cycle is done, remove the bottles and parts from the dishwasher. If they’re not completely dry, leave them to air-dry on a clean rack or paper towel. Never use a dishcloth to dry bottles and parts as this will spread germs onto the feeding equipment. 


The Medela baby bottles can be used to collect, store, and feed your baby expressed milk all in one container. And, the bottle and all parts, including the nipples, are dishwasher-safe. 

Parenting should be as hassle-free as possible so picking baby bottles that are dishwasher-safe simply means less time spent at the kitchen sink. And, more quality time spent with your baby!

Last update on 2024-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Photo of author


I’m Balint, founder of this site and a father (and dad) to a baby-turned toddler. I found the world of babies so fascinating that I started a blog dedicated only to that topic. By the way, I studied physics, engineering (PhD, MSc), and therefore I do a thorough research when I write about something. Since it’s a blog, of course I also write about my personal experiences.

Leave a Comment