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Your Guide to Sterilisers

It is easy to keep baby’s tummy happy and healthy thanks to our our electric and microwave baby bottle sterilisers. They’re the fast and fuss-free way to keep bottles, teats and feeding accessories free from harmful germs. If you’ve never looked after a baby with diarrhoea or sickness, be grateful! Hopefully, with our help, you’ll never have to. 

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Who knew there were so many sterilisers?

We work hard to make the best, safest and most stylish baby products on the market. We have four types of sterilisers to meet the different needs of modern families.

They all kill 99.99% of dangerous germs and our steam sterilisers only take as long as it’ll take you to make a cuppa. We can’t guarantee you’ll get time to drink it though!

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Key considerations

Why does feeding equipment need sterilising?

Babies don’t have a very strong immune system. That means they don’t have any built-in protection to fight off the bugs that cause illnesses like diarrhoea and sickness.

The bacteria that cause these illnesses are very common and can easily get onto feeding equipment. Bacteria can grow in any leftover milk in baby’s bottles, and transfer to the bottles from your hands, the atmosphere and even tap water.

When this goes into baby’s mouth, the bugs can be transferred to baby and can make them very poorly. That is why it is really important to thoroughly wash and sterilise feeding equipment, and to use cooled boiled water to prepare formula. 

How long do you have to keep sterilising for?

The NHS recommend you sterilise all baby’s bottles until they’re 12 months old.

If you decide to wean baby before they are six months old, you should also sterilise all feeding equipment like bowls and cutlery until baby is six months.

My baby is crawling and puts everything in their mouth. Why do I need to keep sterilising bottles till they’re one?

Unsterilised bottles can bring your baby into contact with far more, far nastier germs than they’ll meet crawling around on your carpet. Bottles can contain remnants of milk that help harmful bacteria breed, especially when it is nice and warm in there too. Yuk!

We know it can be tempting to cut back on sterilising as baby gets older and life gets busier but keep going for baby’s sake; our super simple sterilisers make it really easy.

Isn’t it important for babies to get bugs to build their immune system?

Yes it is. And the good news is that they’ll build up their immune system by encountering bugs in the environment around them, which hopefully won’t make them poorly. But the number of bugs that can build up in feeding equipment are far greater and potentially much more harmful.

What are the main types of steriliser are available?

There are lots of different ways to sterilise feeding equipment.

Cold water sterilising used to be the most popular way of keeping equipment hygienic and clean. It takes about half an hour and doesn’t take any electricity but you do need to buy special chemicals.

Most people nowadays use steam to sterilise feeding equipment. It is quicker, takes less water and, once you’ve bought the steriliser, you don’t need anything extra. It is the quick, easy, 100% natural way to protect baby from germs.

The two main types of steam steriliser are microwave or electric.

As the name suggests, microwave sterilisers go in your microwave to heat up water and steam clean your bottles. Electric sterilisers plug into a socket and heat the water up themselves. Both do a tip-top job of killing bugs and getting bottles ready for hungry tums.

Is one type of steriliser better than others?

There are advantages to each type of steriliser. It depends on what you need. However, when used correctly, all sterilisers kill 99.99% of harmful germs that are dangerous for your baby. So whichever you choose, rest assured you’re doing what’s best for your little one.

Electric sterilisers tend to have a bigger capacity, meaning you can sterilise more bottles in one go. They contain their own heating element, so you don’t have to have a microwave. You can turn them on before bed and rest easy knowing you have clean bottles for night-time or early morning feeds.

Microwave sterilisers are a little smaller, making them perfect for people with compact kitchens. They can even live in your microwave when they’re not in use. Plus, they’re portable, so you can easily take them with you if you’re going on your travels.

Cold water sterilisers are a handy option if you don’t have access to electricity, for example, if you’re camping. 


Pros and cons of different types of steriliser

Electric steriliser

Microwave steriliser

Cold water steriliser

Larger capacity

Smaller capacity

Smaller capacity

Don’t need a microwave

Need a microwave

Don’t need electricity

100% chemical-free clean

100% chemical-free clean

Baby-safe chemicals needed

Can I use my dishwasher as a steriliser?

Wouldn’t that be great. A lot of people do use their dishwasher to clean feeding equipment but it isn’t as effective as using a steriliser.

Most dishwashers don’t get up to a high enough temperature to kill bacteria, and often leave remnants of milk in the hard-to-reach parts of the bottle or teat. Plus, put them in with last night’s pasta plates and you’ll end up with orange bottles!

There is no substitute for thoroughly cleaning bottles and teats with a bottle brush to get all the old milk out of the corners, and then sterilising them to kill all the bugs. We know bottle cleaning is time-consuming but, trust us, it’s better than nursing a baby through diarrhoea and sickness.  And our easy-to-use sterilisers make it really quick and simple to sterilise up to 8 bottles at a time

What about when I’m out of the house?

Like to get out-and-about with baby? Long walks, baby classes, lunch with family and friends…there’s nothing better than exploring the world with your new arrival.

Remember to pack the Tommee Tippee Travel Steriliser and you can relax in the knowledge that a hygienic sterile bottle is always available to make up a fresh feed, wherever you spend the day*.

Small enough to carry in your changing bag, this handy steriliser uses microwave or cold water cleaning for added convenience. 

Do your microwave sterilisers fit in all microwaves?

They fit in most but we advise you measure your microwave to make sure. How annoying would it be to unpack everything and then find out it doesn’t fit? You can find the dimensions of each of our sterilisers in the product information online. Don’t forget to include the height of the plate in your microwave when working it out!

Are steam sterilisers dangerous?

No, but you need to take care of yourself when you use them. Obviously steam is extremely hot - that’s how it kills dangerous bugs – but it can hurt you if you come into direct contact with it.

Always leave sterilisers to cool before reaching into them and, if you’re not sure how hot things are, use tongs to remove sterilised equipment. When removing a microwave steriliser from the microwave, hold it steady to minimise the risk of dropping it.

For added peace of mind, our electric steriliser comes with an auto shut off that means it turns off straight after sterilising, so there is no risk of it overheating.

Are steam sterilisers noisy?

If you’re imagining an old steam kettle whistling as it boils, don’t worry, that’s not going to happen. We know how important it is for equipment to be quiet, especially when babies seems to have supersonic hearing when they’re falling asleep! Our steam sterilisers are whisper quiet. The only thing you might need to protect tiny ears from is the ping of the microwave.

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