How To Clean The Breast Pumps – The Ultimate Guide

Breast pumps are a type of machines used among lactating mums to feed their baby when they are at work. Breast pumps extract and store milk in a container which can be frozen for feeding the infants later. There are different types of breast pumps which vary with the way of handling, speed and cost. The various types of breast pumps are manual breast pumps, single electric breast pump and double electric breast pumps. Manual breast pumps require more effort compared to electric breast pumps. The breast consists of various parts such as breast shield, funnel, funnel cover, massage pads, clear tube, valve, pacifier and bottles for storage of the extracted milk.

Breast milk provides essential nourishment to the baby essential for growth and development for the first six months. Breast pump stimulates and induces the milk production for feeding infants. It is important to clean all parts of the breast pumping device after every use to prevent contamination from spreading to babies. There is a report stating that infants die due to improper sanitation during feeding. It is safe to follow the guidelines that come along with the package of the pump for cleaning the pumps safely. There are different methods of cleaning. Mums using breast pumps can choose their own way of cleaning them.

Also Read: Advantages of breast pumps

Soaking it in boiled water:

Boil water is an effective way to sterilize the parts of the breast pump. disassemble the various parts of the breast pump and soak them in boiling water for over ten minutes. This method gives protection against bacterial infections. You can also add a teaspoon of salt to boiling water for powerful cleaning

Washing away with soap and water:

Soap and water can be used to wash the clean the breast pump after each use. First, soak the parts of the breast pump in water for five minutes. Cleanse it with soap and water as required. Rinsing the pump after use will clear out milk residue from staying in the pump which leads to contamination.

Breast pump wipes:

Breast pump wipes are used for sanitizing the parts of the breast pump. These wipes are a quick way to clean the pumps while you are away without the use of soaps and hot water.

Sanitizing sprays:

Electric sterilizers and sanitizing sprays can be used to disinfect the breast pumps quickly.

Use tongs to lift the various parts of breast pumps after cleaning, place it over a well-conditioned and dry place to air dry the parts. You can freeze the parts of the breast pump before usage. It will be helpful to have two sets of pumps if you are working mom separately. You can use sanitizing sprays or wipes while you want to clean quickly while using it outside. However, cleaning the parts with either soap and water and boiling water when you return home from work. Cleaning after each and every use may be tiresome but if not cleaned properly infants who are fed from milk extracted from pumping machines are likely to be affected by serious contamination problems.

Always wash your hands while using and cleaning the breast pumps. Do not postpone the cleaning process of pumps as it may to tend to bring high bacterial growth. If you are going to transfer the extracted milk from pump to container. Store them in a clean FDA Approved container. Freezing the milk stored in containers will prevent the growth of bacteria causing contamination. It will be effective if you feed stored milk within one hour to prevent loss of nutrients. However, the milk extracted from pumps can be stored at a room temperature for six hours and may last up to 24 hours if kept in a refrigerator and last up to six months if frozen.

Cost of breast pumps may vary according to the functions and types. Manual breast pump requires effort as it is operated by manual actions and it will cost you around £30 dollars. While single electric pump costs you around £100-£300 dollars. Double electric pump costs between £300-£500 dollars. A double electric pump is highly effective and saves a lot of time. You can consult a gynaecologist for suggestion on using the breast pump and recommended lactation levels. It is suggested to take a good rest, maintain a healthy diet and drink lots of water during the lactation period.

Ask for help from a family member which will provide you with relief from stressful conditions faced after maternity. Be in a relaxed state while expressing which helps in milk release. (seeking a picture of your baby might help you in stressful conditions).

Many new mums used breast pumps for lactating their little one and reviewed it as helpful for feeding the babies while they are away for work. They also expressed electric pumps are a comfortable and quick way to extract milk while running on busy schedules. Breast pumps are highly beneficial for infants who cannot latch and feed directly. Breast pumps also prevent mum from breast and ovarian cancer.

Infants who are fed using breast milk has immune system compared to the infants fed with formula-based milk. Excessive use of pump may cause damage to breast tissues and may lower the milk production levels because of heavy pressure. Breast pumps may help you to relieve from the condition of mastitis when the babies stopped nursing. You can store the parts of the pump in a plastic bag and wash it thoroughly at the end of the day. It is better to duplicate parts of the pump to use in case of emergency if you do not have time for cleaning.

A breast pump is not a replacement over direct breastfeeding. It may lack nutrients and may cause more contamination compared to breastfeeding. Working mums who have difficult circumstances to return to work and prefers breast milk over formula-based milk can make use of breast pumps. The nourishment and health our little one should be a priority. Always wash your hands before feeding the baby and clean the equipment

Thoroughly after every use and store it in a clean environment when not in use. Look for damages in the tube and replace them on frequent usage.


I’m Mackenzie and a proud mum of 2 (Alice & Callum). While doing research into how I could handle becoming a first time mum and juggle my studies, I found there wasn’t a lot of help out there for ‘student mums’. So I thought I’d create a blog to help those who might be struggling to get the support and help they need, while writing about life as an expecting mum, a student mum and life after! You can read more about me here