5 Best Dishwasher Detergents for Baby Bottles

Balint Horvath, PhD

Writer, parent, and veteran of baby feeding battles.

Updated:

Looking for the best dishwasher detergent for your baby bottles? This article will look at ALL your options.

Caring for babies and toddlers requires a considerable amount of washing and drying of bottles and feeding accessories. Having experienced this firsthand, I can confirm that it’s quite a cumbersome task! Fortunately, washing your bottles in the dishwasher can be a lifesaver. As for the best dishwasher detergent for baby bottles, it is the one from Seventh-generation which is my top choice.

My top picks 

  1. Best Overall: Seventh-generation fragrance-free detergent pack
  2. Best Organic: ATTITUDE dishwasher tablets
  3. Best Hypoallergenic: Better Life Natural Dishwasher Gel
  4. Best Plant-based: Puracy platinum dishwasher pods
  5. Best Budget-friendly: Dapple baby dishwasher detergent

1. Best Overall – Seventh-generation fragrance-free detergent pack

Seventh Generation Dish Liquid Soap Free & Clear liquid soap Pack of 6 Dishwashing Soap Dish Soap for sensitive skin 19 oz

In my eyes the best dishwasher detergent to consider is Seventh Generation Dish Soap Liquid because of its amazing plant-based formula. Not only will its enzyme-rich formula easily break down grease and tough stains, but it also diminishes odors. It’s both fragrance and chemical free, making it ideal for use on sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Available in detergent, dishwasher and rinse aid
  • Fresh scent
  • Budget-friendly
  • Suited to sensitive skin
  • Only requires single-dose

Cons

  • May require a rinse aid for optimum results

2. Best Organic – ATTITUDE dishwasher tablets

ATTITUDE Dishwasher Pods, Naturally Derived Dishwashing Detergent, Vegan and Plant-Based Dish Soap Tablets, Phosphate Free, Unscented, 70 Count

Another dishwasher tablet that has proven to be a firm favorite among parents is ATTITUDE Dishwasher Tablets. With an ECOLOGO Certification, these tablets are not only environmentally friendly but also free of harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances. The brand is also PETA Certified, making it proudly vegan and cruelty-free. This makes it an awesome option for parents who prefer products that haven’t been tested on animals and also don’t harm the environment.

Pros

  • Fragrance and allergy free
  • Excellent cleaning agent
  • Vegan and Cruelty-free
  • Reduced impact on the environment

Cons

  • Can be pricey

3. Best Hypoallergenic – Better Life Natural Dishwasher Gel

Better Life Dishwasher Detergent Gel - Automatic Dishwasher Cleaner - Concentrated Liquid Gel Dish Detergent Soap - 30oz (Pack of 2) Unscented

For more stubborn bottle stains, you might like the concentrated formula of Better Life Natural Dishwasher Gel which works equally well on glass and plastic bottles. Made with zero petroleum solvents, chlorine or bleach, providing peace of mind that there’s no harm to bottles or skin. 

Pros

  • Removes stubborn stains
  • Suitable for bottles and all accessories
  • Chemical-free
  • Plant-based ingredients are gentler on the skin

Cons

  • Gel separates if not shaken before use
  • Can be sudsy if instructions aren’t followed correctly

4. Best Plant-based – Puracy platinum dishwasher pods

Puracy Dishwasher Pods 50 Count, Natural Dishwasher Detergent, Free & Clear Dish Tabs, Tiktok Trend Items, Enzyme-Powered, Spot & Residue-Free, Must Haves from Tiktok Made Me Buy It

Puracy Platinum dishwasher pods are plant-based and rely on plant enzymes to easily break down milk, food and stains. Since these pods mean there is no need to soak the bottles they’re the ideal solution for busy parents. It’s also one of the best eco-friendly dishwasher detergents worth considering! 

Pros

  • No harsh ingredients
  • Hypoallergenic and eco-friendly
  • No need to pre-rinse bottles

Cons

  • Some parents report a soapy residue on certain bottle brands

5. Best Budget-friendly – Dapple baby dishwasher 

DAPPLE Baby Dishwasher Pacs, Fragrance Free Dishwasher Pods, Plant Based, Hypoallergenic, 25 Count

Dapple Baby Dishwasher Pacs is another type of plant-based detergent that is fragrant and free of harsh chemicals. This means there will be no irritation to you or your baby. The liquid dissolves quickly, making them simple to use. There’s also no residue that you need to rinse or wipe off afterward. This brand has also won the Clean Label Project Purity Award for its pure-ingredient formula. Also available in handy Dapple Baby Liquid Refill packs! 

Pros

  • Plant-based with zero harmful chemicals
  • Effective for removing odors and residue
  • Winner of the Clean Label Project Purity Award
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Bottles only come in small sizes

Is dishwasher detergent safe for baby bottles?

Regular dishwasher detergent can leave residue on your baby bottles which contain chemicals. Since these can result in allergic reactions, it’s best to opt for hypo-allergenic, plant-based options that are safe to use on any baby bottles, accessories and utensils. 

Which types of dishwasher detergents should you avoid using for baby bottles?

When it comes to our dishes, we usually want the strongest detergent we can find to ensure that stains, odors and grease are easily removed. However, keep in mind that while this is excellent for dishes, it’s not ideal for baby bottles and accessories. 

Avoid detergents with harsh chemicals and those with antibacterial solutions. Some babies have been known to have allergic reactions to the fragrances in some detergents, so it’s also a good idea to opt for fragrance-free versions. 

Tips on using a dishwasher for baby bottles and parts

If you’re going to wash your bottles in the dishwasher, consider the following tips:

  • Dishwasher safe: Check that all bottles, parts and feeding accessories are dishwasher safe
  • Right placement: Place bottles in the top drawer of the dishwasher, a mesh laundry bag or even a dishwasher basket to ensure smaller parts don’t fall to the bottom of the dishwasher during the wash cycle. Keeping the bottles and parts away from the heat source will ensure the bottle and parts don’t get damaged. Keep in mind that some silicone nipples can get damaged in the dishwasher, so it may be a good idea to wash them by hand.
  • Organic options: Choose a hypo-allergenic dish liquid that is chemical and fragrance-free.
  • Rinse well: Ensure that the bottles, parts and accessories are rinsed thoroughly.
  • Dry well: If your dishwasher has a drying cycle, use the longest cycle to dry your bottles. This will also ensure that all bacteria are removed, reducing the risk of mold. Note that in case mold does surface, there are ways to remove that mold from baby bottles!

Washing baby bottles in the dishwasher with other dishes?

You shouldn’t wash your baby bottles in the dishwasher with other dishes if you’re going to use regular dishwasher detergent. This is because the usual detergents contain harsh chemicals that may be harmful to your baby’s skin. Moreover, it can lead to cloudiness of baby bottles.

If you’re going to wash your bottles with other dishes, opt for a plant-based dishwashing liquid or pod that is plant-based and hypoallergenic. Choose an option that’s strong enough to clean your other dishes as well as the baby bottles. This will avoid running a dishwashing cycle for bottles only. You should also place the bottles and parts in the top drawer or basket of your dishwasher, to avoid parts getting lost or damaged. 

FAQ

Can you wash baby bottles at all in the dishwasher?

The answer is yes, baby bottles can easily be washed in the dishwasher! You should however always ensure that your particular bottle brand is dishwasher safe, such as Medela. Also, keep in mind that you should place your bottle parts in the top drawer of your dishwasher. Alternatively, I recommend investing in a quality dishwasher basket.

Typical ways baby bottles can smell and how to eliminate odor

After a few months of use, it’s not uncommon for bottles to develop odors you may struggle to remove, no matter how often you soak them. This is particularly the case with plastic bottles. 

Some of the top causes of bottle odors include the following:

  • Milk and formula proteins build up in the bottle causing an odor
  • Strong detergent residue is absorbed by the bottle material
  • Not washing bottles correctly will result in bacteria and mold build-up which can also smell bad 

My article about getting milk smells out of bottles shares a few useful tips on getting odors out of your bottles. 

Can I use Dawn dish soap to wash baby bottles?

The good news is that Dawn Dish Soap is safe if you opt for the versions with gentler formulas. Avoid using the Dawn Antibacterial Dishwashing Liquid as these contain strong fragrances and degreasers. My article on using Dawn dish soap to wash bottles will provide you with all the info you need if you’re opting for this solution. 

Here’s a short clip showing you how easy it is to wash your baby bottles in the dishwasher! 

Wrap-up

With my list of top detergents, it should be considerably easy to choose an option that will keep your bottles clean as well as odor and bacteria-free. Always opt for a plant–based hypoallergenic version such as the few I’ve listed in this article! 

Keeping your baby bottles clean is a top priority. If you need a few additional tips on keeping your bottles ultra-clean, consider reading my article about the best dishwashers for your baby bottles or whether you can use regular dish soap for washing your bottles.

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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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.

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