How to Sanitize a Medela Breast Pump


Sanitize your Medela breast pump before you use it for the first time to protect you and your baby. You may find yourself needing to sanitize it at other times as well, particularly if you develop thrush or if your pump comes in contact with anything unsanitary. Following the correct sanitizing instructions will keep your baby healthy and prevent your breast pump parts from breaking down.

  • Rinse all parts that will come in contact with breast milk, including the flanges, valves and valve membranes. You don't need to sanitize the tubes, although it won't hurt them.

  • Fill a pot with cold water, as starting with cold water will help preserve the parts. Put the flanges, valves and membranes in the pot and bring the water to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Your breast pump accessories are now sanitized.

  • Wash the parts in hot, soapy water after each use. Rinse in clear water and air dry. You can also wash Medela pump parts in the top rack of the dishwasher.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may find a white, powdery residue on your parts after you boil them. This comes from water deposits and will not harm you, your baby or your pump. If it bothers you, you can add a little vinegar to the water to break it up.
  • There is a difference between sanitizing and sterilizing. Sanitizing makes your pumping accessories safe for your own use, while sterilizing completely kills all bacteria and makes it safe for other women to use your pumping accessories. Medela breast pump parts can only truly be sterilized in a special cleaning apparatus called an autoclave. Do not share your breast pump accessories even if you have sanitized them because they are not truly sterile.
  • Never submerge the motor of your breast pump in water. If it becomes dusty or if milk splashes on it, wipe it down with a damp rag.


  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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