How to Sterilize Baby Bottles in Hotel – 7 Easy Tips

Balint Horvath, PhD

Writer, parent, and veteran of baby feeding battles.


One of the most important aspects for me has been considering how to keep our baby bottles clean. Especially when traveling, which we love to do. Staying in hotels means there may not always be boiling water available to clean your bottles. I did a lot of research into how to keep bottles clean, no matter where we were and this post summarizes what I found! This post shares a few top ways on how to sterilize baby bottles in a hotel. 

Keeping your baby bottles clean and sanitized when you’re staying over in a hotel can be done by using the kettle in your room to boil water. You can also opt for sterilizing tablets which you can use with cold water. Sterilizing bottles before your trip are also easy ways to ensure you have clean bottles. 

Key takeaways

  • Opting for quality portable bottle sterilizers will enable you to sanitize your bottles on the go. 
  • You can use cold water and a sterilizing tablet to create an effective sterilizing solution. 
  • Speak to hotel staff for a container or bottle of hot water to use if your room doesn’t have a kettle. 
  • Invest in collapsible kettles and basins to make the process easier.

1. Invest in a portable bottle sterilizer

If you travel often, it may be a good idea to invest in a portable bottle sterilizer. The good news is that bottle sterilizers have an assortment of features that make the sterilizing process quick and easy. 

Many sterilizers have enough space to sterilize several bottles and accessories at once and also boast a drying feature. Air filtration systems also prevent secondary pollution. A few top brands to consider include the following:

Baby Brezza Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer Advanced – Electric Steam Sterilization Machine Universal Sterilizing for All Bottles: Plastic + Glass Pacifiers Breast Pump Parts - HEPA Filtration

2. Use sterilizing tablets

Another easy choice to consider would be opting for sterilizing tablets. For the most part, sterilizing tablets are effervescent tablets used for sanitizing everything from bottles, nipples, bottle parts and even breast pump components. You can also use these tablets to clean small toys and utensils.

The most popular option parents enjoy using is the Milton sterilizing fluid or tablets. Using the tablets to create a sterilizing liquid is as simple as following these few steps:

  • Step 1: Add one effervescent tablet to about 5 liters (1.3 gal) of clean, cold water. 
  • Step 2: Stir the tablet around in the solution to dissolve and create the sterilizing solution. 
  • Step 3: Let the bottles and accessories soak in the solution for a few hours, or even overnight. 

3. Use boiling water from a kettle

Most hotel rooms are kitted out with a kettle for a quick cup of tea or coffee. In these instances, you can use the kettle to boil the water to soak your bottles and accessories. This is the option I usually went for.

Alternatively, you can invest in a portable kettle. 

A popular option to consider (if you want to take your own kettle with you) is the Travel Foldable Electric Kettle that’s made of food-grade silicone and works well to give you boiling water whenever you need it. Since this kettle can be folded, it doesn’t take up all that much space in your bag! 

4. Use bottle liners

Bottle liners are pre-sterilised and all you have to do is pop them into each bottle before use. Opting for pre-sterilized liners ensures that you have a clean bottle each time. They’re also travel-friendly because they’re light and very easy to dispose of! My favorite bottle liner is the Playtex Baby Nurser Drop-Ins and well worth a try! 

Here’s an article I wrote about bottle liners and if you need one.

5. Ask if you can use the staff kitchen

In some instances, you can ask the hotel staff if it’s possible to use the hotel staff kitchen. Here you’ll use the kettle (if the room doesn’t have one), microwave or even boiling water from an urn. Ideally, you’ll just want an option that provides you with enough water to wash your bottles and accessories. 

6. Use hot water from the hotel sink to rinse bottles

An easy way to get hot water for bottles that aren’t that dirty is to use the hot water from the hotel sink. For this, you should have your own small plastic tub to soak the bottles in for a few minutes. Don’t soak the bottles in the sink itself, to avoid secondary contamination

The good news is that you can get a Multipurpose Foldable Collapsible Wash Basin to use for exactly this purpose! Not only are these basins lightweight, but they don’t require a lot of space in your travel bag. 

7. Ask the hotel for ice for the cold water method

If the hotel doesn’t have a kettle in the room and doesn’t allow guest access to the staff kitchen, there’s another option to consider. It’s always a good idea to keep a few sterilizing tablets in your diaper bag (or separate travel bag) in case your only option will be to opt for the cold water method. 

Here are a few easy steps to get you going on this method.

  • Step 1: Use cold tap water and a sterilizing tablet or solution to soak bottles. 
  • Step 2: Ask the hotel staff for ice to make the water colder, for better sterilizing effect. Depending on where you’re staying, you can also check for ice at ice makers.
  • Step 3: Soak your bottles in your foldable travel basin to prevent the bottles from becoming contaminated. 
  • Step 4: Bottles can be removed from the solution after about 30 minutes or soaked for longer if they need deep cleaning. In this instance, you may need extra ice halfway through the process!

What happens if you can’t sanitize bottles at a hotel?

I recommend checking with the hotel in advance if they have facilities that make it possible for you to sterilize your baby’s bottles. If the hotel doesn’t have any facilities, here are two top options to consider. 

Purchase pre-sanitized bottles

Another firm favorite option frequent travelers opt for is the use of pre-sanitized or disposable bottles. Since these bottles come in a variety of sizes, you’ll easily find a few options to choose from. The Playtex Baby Nurser bottles are pre-sterilized and feature disposable drop-in liners. 

Sterilize bottles at home before traveling

Calculate how many bottles you’re going to use for your time away, and sterilize different-sized options. Be sure to sterilize nipples and any other accessories you may need. Once the bottles are dry, it’s a good idea to store them in zip-lock bags to avoid any contamination. 

Here’s a short clip that shows you how to sterilize your baby bottles. 


How long do baby bottles stay sterile?

According to healthcare experts, bottles stay sterile for about 24 hours, if they have been kept in a dust-free environment. Baby bottles should be sterilized until they’re about 12 months old, however, it’s a good idea to sterilize them for as long as you use them. 

What is the fastest way to sterilize a baby bottle?

The fastest way to sterilize baby bottles is by boiling them. This can easily be done in a saucepan on the stovetop or even in the microwave. These methods are effective because both use steam to kill any bacteria or germ build-up. 

What’s the difference between the hot and cold sterilization methods?

Hot sterilization refers to using steam to clean bottles and other feeding accessories. Cold sterilization, on the other hand, uses chemicals that can be mixed with cold water to sterilize all feeding equipment. 


Fortunately, having a little one in the home doesn’t mean that you have to stop traveling! With the different options listed in this post, you’ll easily be able to find a suitable and easy tip on how to sterilize baby bottles in a hotel or anywhere else you’ll be staying over. 

If you’re looking for more tips and tricks to keep your baby bottles squeaky clean, consider reading my article about using hard water to clean bottles. Knowing whether or not you can use paper towels to dry your bottles is also handy when you’re on the go!

Last update on 2024-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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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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