Cleaning Baby Bottles with Baking Soda [Complete Guide]

Balint Horvath, PhD

Writer, parent, and veteran of baby feeding battles.


As a parent, ensuring the cleanliness and safety of your baby’s bottles is of utmost importance. But have you ever considered cleaning baby bottles with baking soda? It may sound unconventional, but it can be an effective and natural way to clean baby bottles.

Baking soda is an abrasive substance that’s free from chemicals and odors. If you frequently give your baby juice in the bottle, baking soda will effectively remove sticky residue and stains. It can also be used to remove milk odors. 

Key takeaways

  • It’s safe to clean baby bottles with baking soda
  • You can clean baby bottle nipples with baking soda
  • Baking soda removes stains from baby bottles 
  • Baking soda is environmentally friendly 
  • Use baking soda on glass or plastic bottles 
  • It’s okay to boil baby bottles in water and baking soda 
  • Use two to three tablespoons of baking soda in water to clean baby bottles 
  • Use salt as an alternative to baking soda 

Is it safe to clean baby bottles with baking soda?

Baking soda is safe to use when cleaning baby bottles. That’s because the only ingredient inside baking soda is sodium bicarbonate which is an all-natural ingredient. The product is mined ore called trona and then refined into soda ash and turned into baking soda. 

There are no colorants or harmful chemicals present inside the baking soda that could damage the bottles or be harmful to your baby’s health. However, it’s still recommended that you rinse your bottles thoroughly when using baking soda to remove any residue. 

Can you use baking soda to clean nipples?

Baking soda can be used to clean baby bottle nipples. Sometimes milk buildup, fatty deposits, or even pulp from fruit juice can accumulate inside the nipples. These types of buildups can block the flow rate of the nipple and it can cause bacteria and mold growth.  

That’s why it’s important to thoroughly clean baby bottle nipples with the right products. To clean your baby bottle nipples you can soak them in a solution made up of 4 tablespoons baking soda and one quart warm water. 

Baking soda has a pH level between 8 and 9 which makes it an effective solution for removing mold from bottles. 

Benefits of using baking soda to clean baby bottles

The reason why parents, including myself, prefer to use baking soda is because it has many benefits. In this section, I explain the benefits I experienced when using this powder to clean my daughter’s bottles. 

Removes stains

Baking soda is a natural and effective way to remove stains from baby bottles. You can also use baking soda and vinegar to create foam that can lift stubborn stains off bottles. This is because baking soda is also an abrasive substance that works to remove stains. 

Can remove odors 

Did you know that some homeowners use baking soda to remove odors from carpets? This is because the product neutralizes odors by absorbing them. With that being said, you can use baking soda to remove milk smells from bottles and other unpleasant odors. 

Can remove bacteria 

Baking soda has antibacterial properties. This means that using the product on baby bottles has the ability to remove all sorts of harmful microorganisms. 

The baking soda is alkaline in nature, which means it has a high pH level. Bacteria thrive in acidic environments, but they struggle to survive in alkaline environments. When baking soda is applied to surfaces or mixed with water, it raises the pH level, creating an inhospitable environment for bacteria to grow and multiply.

Affordable and readily available

Baking soda is a common household item that can be found in most grocery stores and supermarkets at a low cost. It’s widely available, making it convenient for parents to access it whenever they need to clean their baby bottles.

Environmentally friendly

Baking soda is a naturally occurring substance that is non-toxic and safe for humans, animals, and the environment. It doesn’t release harmful chemicals or pollutants when used or disposed of properly.

What’s more, it’s biodegradable, meaning it can break down naturally and return to the environment without causing harm. It doesn’t accumulate in landfills or contribute to long-term pollution.

Is baking soda safe to use on glass and plastic bottles?

Baking soda can be used to clean both plastic and glass bottles. Even though baking soda is an abrasive product some state that it can buff out scratches on plastic surfaces. However, most parents prefer to use glass bottles because they’re easier to clean and don’t stain as much as plastic ones do.  

Is it OK to boil baby bottles in water with baking soda?

One of the best and easiest ways to clean and sanitize your baby bottles is to boil them in a pot of water with two tablespoons of baking soda. This means that boiling baking soda in water is 100% safe and won’t cause damage to your baby’s bottles 

Parents can also sterilize their baby bottles without using baking soda. Take a look at this YouTube video on how to sterilize baby bottles using a pot of boiling water: 

How much baking soda should you use to clean baby bottles?

The amount of baking soda you use to clean baby bottles will depend on the number of bottles you have. I used to place two tablespoons of baking soda in each bottle with water and then I’d shake the solution. 

But you can also place all your parts in a bowl of warm water and add two to three tablespoons of baking soda. 

How to clean baby bottles with baking soda

Now that you know the benefits of baking soda, here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean your bottles with it: 

  1. Dismantle your bottles by removing nipples and rims from your bottles
  2. Pour warm water into a large bowl 
  3. Add two to three tablespoons of baking soda to the water 
  4. Place all your bottles and parts into the mixture 
  5. Soak for at least 30 to 40 minutes 
  6. Rinse the bottles thoroughly 
  7. Place them on a rack to dry 

You can also use this method if you want to sterilize your baby bottles in a hotel in case you’re on the go. 

Troubleshooting Common Issues when using baking soda

Baking soda residue

Baking soda can leave a salty residue inside the bottles. This happens if you don’t dissolve the baking soda correctly if you use too much of the product, or if you don’t rinse your bottles properly. 

To prevent baking soda residue build-up, use less of the product when cleaning your bottles and rinse your items thoroughly afterward. 

Stains that won’t come off

Sometimes there are stubborn stains that just won’t come off your bottles. Sometimes baby bottles turn yellow or orange due to the type of material the bottle is made from. To solve the problem you may need to use a solution of baking soda and vinegar to remove stains.   

Are there alternatives to baking soda when cleaning baby bottles?

If you don’t have baking soda in your house you can also use coarse kitchen salt with a mild detergent to clean your baby bottles. Like baking soda, salt is also a natural substance that can remove dirt and grime from bottles.  


So there you have it. Baking soda is an effective and affordable product that you can use to clean your baby’s bottles. It can also be used to get tomato or spaghetti stains out of your baby bottles. Or you can use a dishwasher detergent to clean baby bottles if you don’t have baking soda on hand.

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.

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