With countless used bottles, dirty diapers, and ruined onesies, moms may spend more time cleaning than they do sleeping in those first few years. And for breastfeeding moms, breast pumps are no exception to the list of items that need to be consistently cleaned. Read below to learn more about how to clean your breast pump so you can keep your breast milk safe and nutritious for your baby.


Some parts need to be cleaned after every use

It’s true–some breast pump parts need to be cleaned after every use. Bottles, valves, and any other elements that come in contact with breast milk should be cleaned after every pumping session. Some breast pumps have new technology that keeps breast milk out of tubing and valves so moms don’t have to wash these parts as often, but moms should examine their specific breast pump to be sure these parts don’t come in contact with breast milk. While cleaning breast pump parts with soap and warm water is usually enough to keep your baby safe and healthy, parents who want a little extra protection can also sterilize their breast pump parts with boiling water or steam.

Some parts rarely need to be cleaned

Now for the good news–other breast pump parts need to be cleaned rarely or not at all. The breast pump motor, base, and other components that do not come in contact with breast milk do not need to be washed, especially if soap and water could damage these materials. To keep these parts clean, moms can wipe the base and motor down with a paper towel or cloth. When in doubt, consult your breast pump’s manual to make sure you are not damaging any parts. Specifically, breast pump tubing should not come in contact with breast milk and generally does not require regular cleanings. Since it’s relatively difficult to clean tubing effectively, it is best to replace this part completely if you notice breast milk or mold anywhere. 

CDC guidance on how to clean breast pump parts

Just like washing your hands, there is a right way to clean your breast pump. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rinsing with cool water as soon as possible after pumping is the first step to cleaning your breast pump parts correctly. When washing parts by hand, experts recommend using a washbasin rather than washing parts in the sink due to the potential accumulation of germs and bacteria. Wash each piece separately with warm water and soap, rinse for 15 seconds, then place the parts on a drying rack or paper towel where they can air dry. 

If the thought of handwashing all of these breast pump parts multiple times a day is making you panic, never fear–breast pump brands are on your side. Many new breast pumps have pieces that are dishwasher-safe, so you can toss them in the dishwasher and get back to caring for your little one.

Cleaning breast pump parts after every use may feel like an unnecessary chore, but you work hard to produce breast milk that is full of amazing nutrients for your baby. Don’t let your breast milk go to waste or become harmful to your little one by allowing germs and bacteria to form in breast pump pieces. Take the extra time to clean your breast pump thoroughly–you’ve got this, mama!

Moms have enough on their to-do lists, and with all of the planning it takes to bring a new life into this world, some essentials like getting a breast pump can get pushed to the side. Thankfully, Pumps for Mom makes it easy for new and expectant moms to get a breast pump through insurance. Our simple qualification form helps moms see which insurance breast pumps are completely covered by their plan and which pumps may cost a small amount out-of-pocket. Simply pick the best breast pump for you, and Pumps for Mom will take care of the rest.