Easy Steps On How To Sterilize Baby Bottles In Microwave

I can be a bit of a germaphobe sometimes which is why I always carry around hand sanitizers, pocket-size alcohol and sanitary wipes.

Working at the hospital, it was often unavoidable to come in contact with bacteria, but hey, at least I was doing something to lessen it.

And when I got pregnant and after I gave birth, I became even more paranoid. You know when other people would say, “Expose your kids to germs sometimes”?

Well, that hardly applies when you’re a parent especially when you’re with a newborn whose immune system is not yet fully functional.

There are those who would say that baby bottles are relatively safe if you just clean them properly and so you only have to sterilise once – at the beginning. I don’t agree with this. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.


After all, you could compromise your child’s health, when in fact, the task isn’t exactly that difficult.

Now, there are several ways to do this but one of the fastest and easiest means (but still effective in killing germs) is with the help of a standard kitchen appliance. If you’ve always wondered how to sterilizer baby bottles in microwave, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

What You Need

Preparation is essential. One skill I’ve mastered as a first-time mother is time management. You can maximise that small window after you’ve tucked the baby to sleep and before you can catch a quick rest.

I don’t want to spend hours doing chores because it’s hard when the newborn wakes up and you’re already tired. So as much as you can, prepare everything to avoid wasting any minute.

  • Plastic tongs: This is self-explanatory. Even if you already washed your hands, handle the feeding bottles and its accessories and parts with clean, plastic tongs. You can use it to reassemble once you’ve finished washing and drying them thoroughly.

    Don’t forget to keep it clean too. It’s always best to buy one that’s well-made and high quality. Never settle for the cheap and floppy ones because, in the long run, you might just regret it.
  • Water: When cleaning the used bottles, use hot and soapy water. It is to remove milk remnants (especially if you didn’t wash it immediately and some chunks already hardened) and any residue.

    You’re going to need running water when washing it off too. For the microwave process, plain water is a requirement. Always make sure it’s clean. For the sterilisation, it would be better if you’ll use purified just to be safe. You'll only need a small amount.
  • Microwave steamer (Optional): This is not exactly necessary because you can also put the bottles directly. But there’s an advantage to it.

    Although it takes longer for the sterilising to finish (around three to eight minutes instead of less than 120 seconds and some cooling time too), you can ensure that there’s no smell left after the process.

    There’s also no aftertaste. And as long as you keep the lid closed, the contents will remain sterile up to three hours.


  1. Read the manual and manufacturer’s instructions if using a steamer since there are different types. And the company will often provide guidelines (contained in the package) such as how long it should be inside the microwave (average is usually 8 minutes), how much water you need or when the equipment needs to be re-sterilized.
  2. Remove all the parts in the feeding bottles such as the teats. Clean them thoroughly with hot, soapy water to remove any residues. It’s best to wash them immediately after use to avoid any hardened milk residue and therefore also prevent any exposure or growth of bacteria.

    You can use tiny brushes if there are more milk deposits. Also allow the curds to come off. Rinse in plain, running water.
  3. If you’re planning to use the microwave directly and without steamers, half-fill the bottles after washing them thoroughly. Put them in the microwave (unsealed) in an upright position.

    Turn on the microwave and set the timer for around 90 seconds. For the rings and nipples, place them inside a microwave-safe open container or bowl and fill it with water until the items are submerged. Again, sterilise for one minute and a half.
  4. Take extra care when removing the bottles, teats and rings. Remember, the inside and edges are still hot, and there’s a chance of accidentally burning yourself. Wait for the right time to open it and get the items out.

    Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions for the steamer, you might need adequate cooling time too.

Important Know-How

I hope you learned something from this quick tutorial. It is something all parents should learn to avoid unintentionally introducing bacteria to your baby.

Keep in mind that their immune system is not yet fully developed and pathogens might infect them if you’re not careful.

There’s no need to buy expensive sterilisers if you already have a microwave at home. As for the steamer, it will depend on your budget and preference because as you can see, you can still do away with it.

Nancy Shaw

Hi. My name is Nancy. I am a nurse by profession and a writer by passion and ever since I became a mother, I’ve become very active in sharing useful and important information about basically anything under the sun and a full-time mother to a 21-month old boy. Read more about me here.