How Long To Sterilize Bottles in Microwave

How Long To Sterilize Bottles in Microwave

Your baby’s underdeveloped and often compromised immune system makes them vulnerable to multiple organisms in their environment. One of the ways disease-causing microbes have access to your child is through contaminated feeding implements. As such, you must know how long to sterilize bottles in microwave.

You can sterilize your baby’s feeding bottle using heat, and the easiest kitchen appliance for this is your microwave. Washing with water and soap isn’t sufficient to kill microbes or fungal agents that lead to germ-free baby bottles. Simply run your oven on full power with the bottle half full of water for between two and four minutes.

Steam is what kills germs when you’re sterilizing your baby’s bottles in the microwave. You can also use a sterile kit or container in which your bottle is immersed. Prop that into a clean oven and leave it to obliterate any microbial action. In this article, you’ll learn how long this process should last by reading further.

Is My Baby Bottle Safe When Sterilizing In a Microwave?

The best sterilizing method is important to consider, seeing as you want your baby essentials to last longer. It prevents germs from contaminating your baby’s milk or formula, whether your bottles are made of plastic or glass. Microwave sterilization is not only easy; it’s affordable and kills at least 99% of all harmful organisms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, CDC, it’s essential to sanitize your baby’s bottles when they’re younger than three months or were born prematurely. It’s recommended that you sanitize feeding implements at least once a day, but for your child that’s older, careful cleaning proves sterilization infrequent.

Your baby’s bottle should be sterilized before first use soon after purchase or when you are traveling with it. Sanitize if milk or formula feed has been sitting at room temperature longer than the required period, or if bottles come into contact with contaminated surfaces. The same applies when your tot has been sick with a viral or bacterial infection, but too much isn’t recommended either.

There are different durations for sterilizing plastic vs. glass feeding bottles due to the amount of heat each material can withstand. You must refer to your bottle manufacturer’s instructions, but you’ll achieve the best results with a sterilization kit. Use the correct power setting on your microwave to avoid melting the bottles or nipples, and it’s advisable to place all with mouths facing downwards in the sterilizer.

How Do I Sterilize Bottles in the Microwave?

Before sterilizing your baby bottles, make sure you clean them properly in hot water with child-safe washing detergent. That process should form part of your daily itinerary whenever you finish feeding your tot, and you can use the dishwasher’s top-shelf. Take apart the nipples or teats, as well as their holders or any other removable part, and stow them in a laundry bag when dishwashing.

Rinse your baby’s bottles in clean running water before sterilization. With the microwave, you’ll be steam sterilizing, and it’s important to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the duration they should be in the oven. Ensure too, that your microwave is clean, taking time to scrub off any food remains or dirt present in its compartment.

Microwaving Bottles Using Steam Sterilizer

In the first method, place your bottle in a microwaveable steam sterilizer, a large container that’s usually retailed together and accommodates your bottles. Put all nipples, caps, or holders, and then add water to the recommended level. You can microwave this unit for at least two minutes on high power, letting the water inside steam up to sanitize your baby’s feeding implements.

For instance, the Phillips Avent steam sterilizer is rated to kill 99% of germs in two to four minutes. The unit measures 11 by 6.5 inches, fits into most microwave ovens, and comes with lid-securing safety clips and side grips.

Microwaving Bottles Using Standalone Method

If you don’t have a steam sterilizer, you can still use the microwave to sterilize your baby’s bottles. The method requires careful balancing but still offers the desired results. Wash your bottle regularly and after rinsing, fill it halfway with clean water. Place it upright inside your oven, preferably in the middle of the revolving glass stand.

If your bottle is made of plastic, operate your oven on moderate power for the desired duration that steam will be generated. When the material is glass, you can run full power for at least one and a half minutes. Sterilize nipples, holders, and caps by placing them in a microwaveable bowl with water enough to cover them. Operate the microwave for a minute or two, fully boiling and steaming to sanitize them.

How Long to Sterilize Bottles in Microwave or Sterilizer?

In just two minutes, your microwave will boil the water within a sterilizer or baby bottle to sanitize and kill 99% of all microbes. The exact length of time is determined by your oven’s wattage. For the safety of your bottles typically give;

  • 6 minutes for an oven offering 500 to 800W
  • 4 minutes for microwaves rates at 850 and 1100W
  • 2 minutes for ovens with a wattage of 1200 to 1850W

Before sterilizing, check your bottles, nipples, and caps for scratches, cracks, and splits, replacing them if present. After microwaving your baby feeding utensils, leave them in the sterilizer or within the microwave for between five and ten minutes to cool. Use food-grade drying ware to air dry bottles and their accessories, handling them with clean hands or tongs in the process.

You stand a better chance at sterilizing your baby’s bottles if you’ve bought a microwave-safe set. Glass is easier to steam sanitize and doesn’t cloud up like plastic while lasting longer even with constant heating.


According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your baby’s health depends on whether they feed on clean implements or not. Having learned how long to sterilize bottles in microwave, 90 seconds is all it takes to sanitize and kill disease-causing bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Wash everything thoroughly, including the steam sterilizer, and consult the manufacturer’s instructions before microwaving.