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! One way to make it easier is to wash your breast pump parts in the dishwasher.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click a link and take action, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I love! More info here.
The CDC recommends washing pump parts after every use. One way to make all the washing easier is to use the dishwasher.
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.
By putting your pump parts in a dishwasher bag or basket on the top rack, you can safely and easily wash and sterilize them. Make sure you take all of the pieces apart before putting them in the basket.
Here’s a story showing how to wash pump parts in the dishwasher:
Best Dishwasher Baskets for Washing Pump Parts
Here are some great options if you’re in the market for a basket to put your pump parts in!
The Pumpie 1N1 is a really good option. I’ve used it many times – everything always got clean and nothing fell out.
Green Sprouts Dishwasher Bag
This Green Spouts mesh bag looks small, but it’s big enough to hold your pump parts (this is the bag I used in the above story):
Be careful not to overfill it. One thing to note is that it may not dry even with a heated drying cycle, so you should hang it to air dry after use.
Munchkin High Capacity Dishwasher Basket
The Munchkin Dishwasher Basket is another great option for holding everything together. You might need more than one if you have a lot of sets of pump parts.
Are All Breast Pump Parts Dishwasher-Safe?
You should always check with the pump manufacturer to determine whether the pump parts that come with your pump are dishwasher safe.
Below is the answer for a few popular pumps.
Can You Put Medela Breast Pump Parts in the Dishwasher?
Yes. Medela says:
You can wash all separated parts on the top rack of your dishwasher and allow them to air dry in a clean area. Using the dishwasher may cause your parts to become discolored, but don’t worry – this won’t impact how they function.
Medela bottles are also dishwasher safe.
Are Spectra Pump Parts Dishwasher-Safe?
Yes, but without a heated/sanitizing cycle. Spectra says:
If using a dishwasher, place items on wash cycle on the top rack and air dry. Do not use heat dry.
Spectra doesn’t recommend washing or sanitizing tubing – if the tubing gets breastmilk in it, it should be replaced – so that should not go in the dishwasher.
How to Sterilize Breast Pump Parts in the Dishwasher
When you wash your pump parts in to the dishwasher, as long as you use hot water and a heated drying cycle/sanitizing setting, that will take care of sterilizing your pump parts, too.
The CDC recommends sterilizing pump parts before first use and once per day if you have a baby that:
- is less than three months old,
- was born prematurely, or
- is currently sick.
If your baby doesn’t fit into any of those categories than sterilizing daily “may not be necessary.”
(As noted above, Spectra does not recommend using a heated drying cycle on Spectra pump parts.)
Creating a System for Washing Pump Parts in the Dishwasher
If you’re going to regularly wash pump parts in the dishwasher, you might want to have a system or a routine for doing this. It might look something like this:
- Get enough sets of pump parts so that you have one for each pumping session of the day (depending on how often you pump, this could be two sets or eight sets).
- After you pump, put your used pump parts in a wash basin, wet bag, or dishwasher basket.
- At the end of the day, run the dishwasher with a heated dry cycle to sterilize them.
- Once the dishwasher has finished running, unload the clean pump parts and store them in a covered container. If any of the pump parts are still wet or damp, let them air dry before putting them away.
Obviously, you’ll have to find a system that works for you, but that’s one way to do it!
Do you wash your breast pump parts in the dishwasher? Tell us your system and which dishwasher basket you use in the comments below!