How to Sterilize Baby Bottles in the Microwave

Babies, with their undeveloped immune systems, need to drink from clean bottles. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sterilizing nipples and bottles by washing them in the dishwasher or stove top, according to the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. But if a dishwasher is unavailable or if you want to sterilize bottles in a hurry, a microwave baby bottle sterilizer may be for you. With a microwave sterilizer, you can sterilize one bottle in as little as 90 seconds, according to Baby Center.

Wash your hands thoroughly. Wash the bottles, nipples and rings in warm, soapy water using a bottle brush. Rinse them thoroughly to remove all traces of soap.

Fill the microwave sterilizer base with water, according to manufacturer’s directions. The amount of water needed varies depending on the kind of sterilizer you have.

Place bottles, nipples and rings in the sterilizer’s dome-shaped compartment, designed for them. Close the sterilizer securely, as directed. Place the filled unit in the microwave.

Microwave two to four minutes or according to manufacturer’s directions. The microwave will cause the water in the sterilizer to boil, creating steam to sterilize the baby bottles. The time needed for sterilization will depend on your microwave, the type of sterilizer you have and the number of bottles in the unit.

Allow bottles and other components to air dry completely. Use clean bottles immediately or store in a clean dry place for up to two days.


Make sure you take bottles apart during sterilization to avoid pressure build up, which could occur in closed bottles, creating a safety hazard.