One of the challenging things about exclusively pumping is the constant washing of pump parts and bottles – not only do you need to take the time to both pump and to bottle feed, but you have to clean everything! It can feel like the worst of both worlds. One way to make it easier to wash your breast pump parts in the dishwasher.
One way to make this easier is to use the dishwasher. With bottles, it’s pretty self explanatory how to do that – you can just put them on the top shelf with your drinking cups and glasses and other stuff. For more complicated bottles, you can use a dishwasher basket like the one for Dr. Brown’s bottles.
However, putting breast pump parts in the dishwasher on their own isn’t an option because they are too small, and they will fall through the top rack. You definitely need something to put them in so that this doesn’t happen, but that at the same time, lets the water and soap in so that the pump parts actually get clean.
The Pumpie 1N1 is a really good solution to this problem. I ran the dishwasher with my pump parts a few times, and everything got clean and nothing fell out.
One note: when I used my dishwasher bag, I wasn’t sure if I should remove the valve that attaches to the yellow connector because I was a little nervous that it would fall out. I asked Helen (the founder of Pumpie), and she assured me that I should. I tried it and ran the dishwasher that way a few times, and it was totally fine.
If you run your dishwasher every day, you could have a pretty simple system set up. You’d need to have at least two sets of pump parts on hand; one set you run through the dishwasher – along with your bottles, if you want – and the other you use and keep in the fridge between pumping sessions. (Updated 4/21/18: The CDC issued guidelines for washing pump parts that may contradict advice to keep pump parts in the fridge in between sessions. One option that would be compliant with the guidelines would be to buy as many sets of pump parts as you pump in a day, and run them all through the dishwasher every night.)
Speaking of keeping pump parts together, the Pumpie Wet Bag is similar to the Pumparoo (which I reviewed here) – it’s a reusable bag that you can keep your pump parts in after you pump and before you wash them.
There are a couple of features that I like about this product as compared to the Pumparoo or a ziploc bag – first, I like that you can collapse it out on the counter and use it as a spot to put your bottles and pump parts while you unhook yourself, and then easily use the drawstrings to pick everything up. The drawstrings also make it easy to open up the bag and have everything that you need in front of you.
The one concern that I had with these two products is that they are a little pricey (the Pumpie Wet Bag retails for $35, and by comparison, the Pumparoo is almost half that). I asked Helen about this, and she said that the bags are handmade by a mom in St. Louis. Additionally, they are adding monograms to the Pumpie bags, and the monogram will be included in the price.
(Updated 4/21/18: This post was originally and a review/giveaway, and was updated to provide more up-to-date information on the product.)