Cleaning Breastpump Parts On The Go

June 12, 2012
Cleaning Breastpump Parts On The Go

Pumping moms are always on the move. They’re scheduling pumping sessions in between meetings, play dates, errands and more. When you’re moving that quickly, there’s no guarantee you’ll be near a dishwasher or sink when it’s time to clean your pump parts. That’s why we have tips and products specifically designed to make cleaning breastpump parts easy on the go. We’ll walk you through cleaning instructions for each situation, so you’ll always be prepared.

Cleaning in the Dishwasher
Most of your Medela breastpump parts are safe for cleaning in the top rack of the dishwasher. So, if you have access to a dishwasher, this is a very simple option for cleaning your breastpump parts. The only parts that we DO NOT recommend cleaning in the dishwasher are SoftFit breastshields, the breastpump piston/cylinder pieces, rubber, SNS parts, or foam inserts. It isn’t necessary to clean tubing after each use. And remember, all Medela parts that come into contact with breastmilk are BPA-free.

Cleaning in the Sink
If you have access to soap and water, you’ll be able to easily and thoroughly clean your pump parts. Make sure all parts dry completely before storing – do not store parts if they are damp. If you don’t have time to let your parts dry completely, just make sure you let them dry thoroughly as soon as you return home

In addition to washing, you can sanitize your pump parts by using Quick Clean Micro-Steam bags. Our Quick Clean Micro-Steam bags just require water and a microwave; and they thoroughly disinfect in just 3 minutes. Once your pump parts are sanitized, the bags also function as a way to carry your pump parts home (make sure parts are dry before storing).

No microwave, no water? No problem. You can use our Quick Clean Breastpump & Accessory wipes in between pumping sessions and then clean once you get home. They allow you to quickly wipe down your pump parts while you’re traveling, working or just away from home. You may also find them handy for cleaning high chairs, tabletops, changing tables and toys while you’re out and about. Diaper bag must-have? We think so.

If you ever have questions about cleaning guidelines, you can check your instruction manual or reach out to Customer Service for help.

Moms, have you developed some tips for cleaning pump parts on the go? Share them in the comments below.

41 thoughts on “Cleaning Breastpump Parts On The Go

  1. I am currently a stay at home mom who exclusively breastfeeds. Since I am with my daughter all day, I am currently only pumping once a day to build up a small supply for the rare occasions that I am away from my daughter. Do I need to wash with pump parts with soap/water AND sanitize (via boiling, dishwasher or Micro-steam bag) everyday? or can I sanitize less frequently since i am only using the pump once a day?

    I have read online that some working mothers who pump several times a day store their unwashed pump parts in the refrigerator between sessions rather than cleaning after every session, then clean and sanitize when they get home at the end of the day. Is this ok?

    Also, if i use the Medela Quick Wipes after a session, do the parts still need to be sanitized at the end of the day?

    • Hi Tes,

      It’s safe to just wash your pump parts thoroughly with soap and water after each use, but we would recommend sanitizing them as well after every couple of uses. There isn’t definitive research on the safety of the storage practice you’re referring to, but it’s probably safe to store parts that have come into contact with breastmilk in the fridge between sessions (without cleaning) and then cleaning them at the end of the day. It’s always best to rinse pump parts in water and clean with soap and water whenever possible.

      Quick Clean Wipes can be used on-the-go in the place of soap and water to clean pump parts between pumping sessions. If you use Quick Clean Wipes during the day, we recommend also cleaning with soap and water or sanitizing your pump parts at the end of the day before storing parts in a clean, dry place.

      If you have further questions, Customer Service would be happy to help you: 1-800-435-8316

      Hope this helps!

  2. Hi. Can I use an electric steam steriliser for all of the breast pump parts and the bottle? Mostly concerned about the valve?/white flap part. And should I do this before each use? Can you dry with kitchen towel before use if no time to air dry?

    • Hi Jo,

      You can steam sterilize your breastpump parts (but not tubing). It’s not necessary to sterilize or sanitize your parts after each use (we recommend washing with soap and water after each use, and sanitizing in boiling water or with steam at the end of each day).

      You can dry your parts with a towel if you don’t have time for them to air-dry.

      If you have further questions, our Customer Service team can help. Please call 1-800-435-8316. Thank you!


      • I have a baby in the nicu and have well water at my house so I have been boiling the water every time I have to wash them. If i washed them without boiling and then used a microwave steamer, would that thoroughly disinfect? Also, would it be would the parts be safe to be disinfected in the steamer/ steam bags after every use?

        • Hi Danielle,

          Congratulations on your new baby! If your baby was born premature, we recommend that you check with your health care provider for the best cleaning and storage guidelines for your specific situation. Steam cleaning is the most efficient way to clean your breastpump and accessories (in addition to washing) and eliminates 99.9% of most common bacteria and germs. Our Customer Service team would also be happy to help you with cleaning instructions, please call 1-800-435-8316 to speak with someone directly.

          Keep up the amazing work!

  3. Can I use the steam bags or dishwasher to sterilize the tubing and the soft membranes? Can I boil them? Or do I need to hand wash the tubing after each use? Thanks.

    • Hi Amber,

      Tubing does not need to be cleaned after each use, as it should not come into contact with your breastmilk. If you do need to steam clean your tubing, you can do so by following these instructions: You can also boil tubing for 10 minutes and then rinse with cool water and hang to air dry. If you have further questions, please feel free to call Customer Service at 1-800-435-8316. Hope this helps!


  4. So instead of washing the breast pump parts with soap and water, I only rinsed it off and my mom thought I washed it with soap and water so she boiled them already, should I still wash them with soap and water and sterilize them again or can I just use the parts without washing them?
    Also I only use the pump just once a day, so I don’t wash my parts everyday, instead I have a collection of dirty pump parts till I have no more clean ones to use l, and then I would wash them and startling them, is this safe? Or should I change my ways?

    • Hi Sei,

      If your breast pump parts have already been sanitized in boiling water, they should be fine to use. But if you see breast milk residue or think they may still need another wash, we recommend washing in soap and water.

      Many moms own multiple sets of breast pump parts in order to cut down on cleaning frequency. As long as you’re cleaning your pump parts thoroughly between uses, this should be completely fine. If you have any further questions, our Customer Service team would be happy to help you. Please call 1-800-435-8316.

      Thank you!

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