Great to see that you’ve purchased a Tommee Tippee Steri-Steam Electric Sterilizer. To help you get started and to keep it working effectively, we’ve added all the guidance you should need, plus some handy hint, tips and troubleshooting advice.
This sterilizer is designed for use with Tommee Tippee bottles and feeding accessories (except the bottle brush). The sterilizer will hold a maximum of 6 Tommee Tippee bottles or a combination of fewer bottles plus pacifiers and breast pump parts. See alternative assembly method below for 11oz bottles and Anti-colic bottles under the “Using your electric sterilizer” section.
A step by step guide to all the component parts, how they fit together and what they do.
Setting up your Electric Steam Sterilizer for first use
SET UP CLEAN YOUR STERILIZER BEFORE FIRST USE - Refer to parts guide and diagram
Do not connect to power at this stage.
Remove all items from inside the sterilizer base.
Pour exactly 80ml of water into the sterilizer base.
Assemble the lower tray (A) with logo front facing and upper tray (B) and place in the sterilizer base.
Add the lid.
Connect the power cord.
Press the play switch and it will light up amber to show the sterilizing has begun.
The light will switch off when sterilizing has finished.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning off, removing the plug and sterilizer lid.
Remove upper tray and lower tray, pour away any remaining water and wipe dry. Your sterilizer is now ready to use.
WHAT CAN BE ADDED TO THE STERILIZER?
We would recommend the following items are sterilized from birth:
Breast pumps (not the air tube or electric components)
Using your Electric Steam Sterilizer
Before sterilization, wash all bottles and feeding accessories in warm soapy water or in a dishwasher (top rack only) to remove any milk residue. Separate all components for washing and reassemble nipple and screw ring for sterilizing.
Place on a flat, heat resistant work surface. Pour exactly 80ml of water into the sterilizer base. Your Tommee Tippee bottles have a handy 80ml measure to help you.
During the sterilization process, hot steam passes through the vent at the top of your sterilizer. Position it away from walls and make sure it is not underneath any overhanging shelves or cabinets.
Assemble the lower tray into the sterilizer base with the Tommee Tippee logo facing forward on the right-hand side.
Place the bottles’ neck downwards into the locators of the removable tray. This includes locators for Advanced Anti-Colic valves.
Place the upper tray onto the lower tray.
Place the assembled nipples and screw rings onto the upper tray. It is important not to have the hoods fitted onto the nipples and screw rings.
Place the hoods on the hood locators of the removable upper tray so that they hang over the nipples and screw rings but are not fully assembled.
Place the lid onto the sterilizer base and plug in the power cord.
Press the power button (play) to start the machine. An amber light will come on. This shows that the sterilizer is in its warm-up phase and will automatically begin the sterilizing phase when it reaches the appropriate temperature.
When the sterilizing stage finishes, the light will automatically switch off.
The stop button is there in case you need to manually stop your sterilizer mid-cycle. If you do this, you will have to restart the sterilizing process from the beginning as the contents will not be sterilized.
After the cycle has finished, allow your sterilizer to cool for at least 5 minutes before opening. Hold the lid by the two side handles, lift vertically until you have cleared the upper tray then tilt the lid away from you to allow the water to drain.
The contents will remain sterile for 24 hours if the sterilizer is unopened.
Wash your hands thoroughly before handling the sterilized items. Take care as the items may be hot. You can use nipple tongs to remove small items.
You can use the trays separately as a drying rack or sterile surface.
To help in the reduction of limescale, pour away any remaining water from the base and wipe it dry with a soft cloth after every use.
NOTE – It’s vitally important to regularly descale your sterilizer to avoid operating issues and damage to the heat plate, which is in the base of the machine.
Descaling your sterilizer as regularly as is needed will keep the machine working as it should. We know it’s hard to find time with a newborn but we highly recommend that you descale your sterilizer on a regular basis. This could mean descaling every week if you live in a hard water area or if using the sterilizer more than once a day.
In general, if you notice marks on the base of the machine, you should descale it to keep it working as it should.
Not sure of your water quality? We would suggest contacting your water supplier.
Do I really need to sterilize my bottles?
It’s entirely your choice - the main reason for using a microwave or electric sterilizer is that they’re guaranteed to reach the 212° F needed to kill off harmful bacteria that can build up in milk. You don’t get that guarantee with a dishwasher.
Do I need to add sterilizing solution to the electric sterilizer?
Nope—adding sterilizing solution will actually damage your machine, so we strongly advise against this. Just add 2.7 fl oz (80ml) of water. The water turns to steam and sterilizes anything you place inside. More than this volume of water will increase the cycle time. Less than 80ml may not sterilize the items properly.
What are the nipple tongs for?
The nipple tongs are included with the sterilizer so that you can safely remove freshly sterilized items without touching them with your fingers and potentially contaminating them. You can remove the nipples with the nipple tongs and then use the screw ring to re-assemble with the bottle.
Nipple tongs should also be used to squeeze any residual water from the baglet of a pacifier. This is important to do after each wash/sterilizing cycle, to avoid the risk of burning your little one’s mouth.
Should I dry the bottles before using them?
Thankfully, you can cross this off your to-do list. Any water left inside the bottles after sterilization is sterile and won’t collect germs, so there’s no need to dry. In fact, wiping the inside of a bottle after sterilization could add even more germs, so it’s best not to!
How do I reassemble my bottle when they’re ready?
Just reassemble as normal, but wash your hands thoroughly first, or use the nipple tongs provided if you have them. The idea is to keep the bottle as clean and sterile as possible.
If you don’t want to leave them all in the sterilizer for the 24 hours, you can reassemble all bottles right away and store them in a dry location. The fully assembled bottles will be ok to use for the same 24-hour period. Any unused bottles after the 24 hours should be popped back in for a fresh sterilizing cycle.
Cleaning & Maintenance
To clean your electric steam sterilizer
Allow to cool and unplug before cleaning.
After each use pour away any remaining water from the sterilizer base by tipping it sideways over a sink.
Wipe clean with a damp cloth only.
Do not clean with abrasive cleaners or allow it to come into contact with solvents or harsh chemicals as this could cause damage.
How do I descale my sterilizer?
De-scaling removes the limescale that can build up around the heat plate, just as it can inside a kettle. Descaling regularly helps your sterilizer enjoy a long and happy life, with no bits fading before their time.
To help you identify limescale; here’s a picture of your heat plate fresh out the box, (A) and here’s a picture of a heat plate that hasn’t been descaled (B). If you notice a dark brown appearance, this is likely to be burnt on limescale which means you may need to descale the machine over a longer period like overnight or up to 24 hours.
To descale your electric steam sterilizer
A build-up of limescale can negatively affect the performance of your sterilizer. To keep it working effectively we recommend carrying out the descaling process using these frequency guidelines:
Hard water: 14 days
Medium: 21 days
Soft: 28 days
Descale every X days
You can find out your water quality via your water provider.
A build-up of limescale can negatively affect the performance of the unit. We recommend carrying out the descaling process as per above frequency guidelines to ensure the unit continues to work efficiently. Living in a hard water area can produce limescale quicker than other areas, therefore descaling is required sooner.
After each use pour away any remaining water from the base by tipping it sideways over a sink and wipe with a damp cloth only.
Unplug the unit and allow to cool before cleaning.
Use a descaler that is suitable for use with stainless steel i.e. kettle, iron and coffee machine de-scalers. Use as per the manufacturer's guidelines.
Alternatively, you can use white vinegar or a descaling sachet to descale your unit; please use as per manufacturer’s guidelines. Where no method is stated, 1 sachet to 6.7 fl oz (200ml) of hot water ratio can be applied. See our website for detailed descaling method.
Once you have descaled, follow Set Up instructions to perform a final cleaning cycle.
DO NOT use metal objects or scouring pads to clean your sterilizer.
DO NOT use bleach or sterilizing fluid to clean. DO NOT use abrasive or anti-bacterial materials. DO NOT scrub the heat plate.
Why should I de-scale?
De-scaling removes the limescale that can build up around the heat plate, just as it can inside a kettle. Descaling regularly helps your sterilizer enjoy a long and happy life.
How do I de-scale?
We recommend using a descaler that is suitable for use with stainless steel i.e. kettle, iron and coffee machine de-scalers. Use as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Alternatively, you can use neat white vinegar. Leave it until limescale is removed, no longer than 24 hours.
How often should I de-scale?
This really does depend on the area in which you live and how often your sterilizer is used. If the water in your area is hard then you may need to descale every 14 days. If it’s medium, then you’ll need to descale every 21 days and if the water is soft it’s around every 28 days. If you do notice any limescale before the descale is due, you can descale your sterilizer earlier or more frequently. You can find out the quality of your water from your water provider.
How should I store the sterilizer?
If you want to store your sterilizer to use again, we’d suggest that you run a full descaling cycle to ensure all limescale is removed and to give it a nice clean. Ensure the unit is thoroughly dry and securely wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard to keep it nice and snug. When deciding where to store it, we’d suggest somewhere nice and dry to avoid any damage.
My sterilizer isn’t working – what can I do?
Check the power cord is plugged into the unit and the socket is switched on.
Check the fuse is in the plug (in a UK plug only)
Check the socket by plugging in another appliance
Check the sterilizer by plugging it into another socket
How long should my sterilizing cycle be?
Your cycle time can be between 6 to 10 minutes, which includes warm-up before the sterilization phase.
Should I get a lot of steam while it’s on?
Not really. If you have way more steam than you’d expect, it could be that you’ve just got a few too many items inside. Check that items are correctly loaded into the sterilizer. There are marked areas on the trays to show where to put your bottles, and if you’re popping other items like teethers or pacifiers in, just be sure to space these out evenly.
Don’t overfill the machine with too many products as this reduces how efficiently the sterilizer works and it may not sterilize properly.
The correct amount of water is 2.7 fl oz (80ml). More than 80ml of water in the sterilizer base will increase the cycle time. Less than 80ml may not sterilize the items properly.
My bottles are coming out of the sterilizer with a chalky mark
If you are seeing chalky residue on items in your sterilizer, that’s a sign that it needs descaling. Refer to the descaling instructions.
To help you identify limescale; here’s a picture of your heat plate fresh out the box, (A) and here’s a picture of a heat plate that hasn’t been descaled (B). If you notice a dark brown appearance, this is likely to be burnt on limescale which means you may need to descale the machine over a longer period e.g. overnight or up to 24 hours
There are flaky bits in the machine - what's causing it?
This will be due to a build-up of limescale that's loosened from the heat plate at the base of your machine, so we'd recommend giving it a good descale. We recommend using a descaler that is suitable for use with stainless steel, i.e. kettle, iron and coffee machine de-scalers. Use as per the manufacturer's guidelines.
You could watch this quick video on how to descale your electric steam sterilizer.
It’s vitally important to regularly descale your sterilizer to avoid operating issues and damage to the heat plate, which is in the bottom of the machine.
Should there be water left in the bottom once it’s finished?
Yes, it is pretty common to have droplets of water remaining, the majority of the 80ml water should have evaporated during the sterilization cycle. Just empty it out once you’re finished and dry thoroughly to use again.
My heat plate looks rusty
This will be due to limescale, so we recommend using a descaler that is suitable for use with stainless steel, like kettle, iron and coffee machine de-scalers. Use as per the manufacturer's guidelines.
To help you identify limescale; here’s a picture of your heat plate fresh out the box, (A) and here’s a picture of a heat plate that hasn’t been descaled (B). If you notice a dark brown appearance, this is likely to be burnt on limescale which means you may need to descale the machine over a longer period e.g. overnight or up to 24 hours.
Why do my bottles still have marks on after I sterilize?
The chances are the marks are milk residue. Sterilizing removes bacteria, but bottles still need to be washed beforehand to remove any bits of milk clinging on inside. Warm soapy water will do the trick—thoroughly wash, then rinse and pop them in your sterilizer.
My machine has completely stopped working!
Things that can affect your machine are excessive amounts of limescale (that’s where the base of your machine looks chalky or brown) or the use of chemicals or water softeners as all of these can damage the machine, causing it to stop working.
Check the power cord is plugged into the unit and the socket is switched on. Check the fuse is in the plug (in a UK plug only). Check the socket by plugging in another appliance. Check the appliance by plugging into another socket.
If none of the above apply, come and chat with us at Tommee Tippee Parent Hub.