How to Keep Your Breast Pump Kit Clean: The Essentials

Updated Guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on cleaning breast pumps


Providing breast milk is one of the best things you can do for your baby’s health and development. Pumping your milk is one way to provide breast milk to your baby. However, germs can grow quickly in breast milk or breast milk residue that remains on pump parts. Following these steps can keep your breast pump clean and help protect your baby from these germs. If your baby was born prematurely or has other health concerns, your baby’s health care providers may have more recommendations for pumping breast milk safely.

Before each use:

  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Inspect and assemble clean pump kit. If your tubing is moldy, discard and replace immediately.
  3. Clean pump dials, power switch, and countertop with disinfectant wipes, especially if using a shared pump.

After every use:

  1. Store milk safely. Cap milk collection bottle or seal milk collection bag, label with date and time, and immediately place in a refrigerator, freezer, or cooler bag with ice packs.
  2. Clean pumping area, especially if using a shared pump. Clean the dials, power switch, and countertop with disinfectant wipes.
  3. Take apart breast pump tubing and separate all parts that come in contact with breast/breast milk.
  4. Rinse breast pump parts that come into contact with breast/breast milk by holding under running water to remove remaining milk. Do not place parts in sink to rinse.
  5. Clean pump parts that come into contact with breast/breast milk as soon as possible after pumping. You can clean your pump parts in a dishwasheror by hand in a wash basin used only for cleaning the pump kit and infant feeding items.
  • Clean by hand.
  1. Place pump parts in a clean wash basin used only for infant feeding items. Do not place pump parts directly in the sink!
  2. Add soap and hot water to basin. Scrub items using a clean brush used only for infant feeding items.
  3. Rinse by holding items under running water, or by submerging in fresh water in a separate basin.
  4. Air-dry thoroughly. Place pump parts, wash basin, and bottle brush on a clean, unused dish towel or paper towel in an area protected from dirt and dust. Do not use a dish towel to rub or pat items dry!
  5. Clean wash basin and bottle brush. Rinse them well and allow them to air-dry after each use. Wash them by hand or in a dishwasher at least every few days.
  • Clean in a dishwasher (if recommended by pump kit manufacturer).
  1. Clean pump parts in a dishwasher, if they are dishwasher-safe. Be sure to place small items into a closed-top basket or mesh laundry bag. Add soap and, if possible, run the dishwasher using hot water and a heated drying cycle (or sanitizing setting).
  2. Remove from dishwasher with clean hands. If items are not completely dry, place items on a clean, unused dish towel or paper towel to air-dry thoroughly before storing. Do not use a dish towel to rub or pat items dry!

For extra protection, sanitize:

For extra germ removal, sanitize pump parts, wash basin, and bottle brush at least once daily after they have been cleaned. Items can be sanitized using steam, boiling water, or a dishwasher with a sanitize setting. Sanitizing is especially important if your baby is less than 3 months old, was born prematurely, or has a weakened immune system due to illness or medical treatment.

For detailed instructions on sanitizing your pump parts, visit

  • Store safely
  1. Store dry items safely until needed.
  2. Ensure the clean pump parts, bottle brushes, and wash basins have air-dried thoroughly before storing. I
  3. tems must be completely dry to help prevent germs and mold from growing.
  4. Store dry items in a clean, protected area.


Reprinted from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.