Updated on November 5, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
There are so many things to think about when you bring your baby home from the hospital. Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, it’s likely at some point your child will be taking a bottle. Feeding your baby is challenging enough, without the added pressure of making sure you’re using a safe and effective soap to clean those bottles.
That’s why I’ve made it easy for you and compiled a list of the 7 best baby bottle dish soaps.
The Best Baby Bottle Dish Soaps
(Best budget option — $)
Why it’s great: This soap has passed multiple testing that prove that it is 50% more effective than other brands at getting rid of milk residue. It is also hypoallergenic and fragrance free, so you won’t have to worry about dry or irritated skin after handwashing. It’s also great for those who don’t like a strong, residual smell left on their dishes. It uses baking soda to fight odors left behind on bottles, sippy cups, breast pump accessories, or toys.
Keep in mind: This one produces a lot of bubbles, so a little goes a long way. You’ll have to do extra rinsing if you use too much at once.
Good for: Parents who want to make sure their child’s bottles are exceptionally clean.
(Most eco-friendly — $)
Why it’s great: This is a plant-based dish soap that is vegan and eco-friendly. It is made with saponin, which works great against grease, milk residue, and odors from dirty bottles. Not only that, it is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, so it’ll leave your skin feeling soft and clean after using it. It comes in a pump bottle, which is very convenient and easy to use. The clean and safe formula of this soap can be used for bottles, breast pump accessories, and your child’s toys.
Keep in mind: This soap is made specifically to break down milk residue, so it may not be the best for regular dishwashing.
Good for: Anyone who wants a vegan and eco-friendly soap.
(Best value — $$)
Why it’s great: BabyGanics is a well known brand that makes all their products with natural ingredients and keeps them chemical free. This dish soap also is fragrance free and is a gently foaming soap, rather than the normal bubbles you’d get with other soaps. This makes it extra soft and moisturizing for your skin, while still giving your bottles a thorough cleaning. The pump bottle makes it easy to get just the right amount of soap for each use.
Keep in mind: This comes in a pack of two that is meant to refill the original pump bottle. You’ll need to purchase that separately.
Good for: Parents that go through a lot of bottle soap and want something affordable and effective.
(Best overall — $$$)
Why it’s great: This is a regular dish soap that is plant based and all natural. It is fragrance free and non-toxic. Not only does it work great on regular dishes, it easily gets rid of milk residue leftover in bottles and breast pump accessories. With this dish soap, you don’t have to worry about buying something different and having two soaps around because it works effectively on everything. It is EPA and USDA certified as safe and bio-based.
Keep in mind: It is a little pricier than most baby bottle soaps, but it can work on all dishes.
Good for: Parents that don’t want to have a separate soap just for baby accessories.
(Most versatile — $$)
Why it’s great: This one gives you two different options for use. You can have a pump for an easy and convenient dispensal or you can use the lid and have a squeezable bottle. The lid makes it much more convenient to take with you if you need to travel. It has all natural ingredients and is eco-friendly. Even the bottle is recyclable. The herbal formula gets your bottles and cups clean and doesn’t leave any residue behind.
Keep in mind: This one does have a light scent, but it’s not overpowering.
Good for: Parents that may need to travel and take their own bottle soap.
(Best for skin — $$)
Why it’s great: This is another regular dish soap that also works great on bottles. It is specially formulated to be soft on skin and hands, to keep them from feeling dry and cracked. It easily cuts through grease and milk residue, without leaving any residue of its own behind. It rinses off quickly and efficiently and gets your dishes sparkling clean. It is made from all natural, plant-based ingredients and has a refreshing, citrus scent.
Keep in mind: The lemon scent can be pretty strong, so if you’re sensitive to smells, you may not like it.
Good for: Parents looking for an effective soap that is gentle on skin.
(Best scent — $$$)
Why it’s great: This one comes in a 3 pack, so while it is pricier, you get more bang for your buck. It’s made with plant based ingredients and uses essential oils to create a calming, gentle fragrance. It is a biodegradable formula with no harsh chemicals and the label actually reports all ingredients. It effectively targets and removes germs and milk residue from bottles, nipples, and breast pump accessories.
Keep in mind: This one is supposed to have reduced foaming for easy rinsing, but that means there’s not a lot of suds, so you may need to use more than other brands.
Good for: Parents that like a nice, soothing scent to their soap.
FAQs about baby bottle dish soaps
1. Do you need special soap for bottles?
While you don’t have to use soap made specifically for baby bottles, it is generally a good idea. There are a couple reasons for this. One is that some regular soaps contain harsh chemicals that can affect babies. Another reason is that they usually contain ingredients that specifically target milk residue, making them more effective than most regular dish soaps.
2. Is it ok to just rinse baby bottles right after use?
Bottles really should be washed, not rinsed, after every use. Germs grow quickly from milk products and you want to make sure that the bottles are clean for your child. When you just rinse, you’re not killing any of those germs.
3.Why do I need to sterilize bottles?
This goes along with the previous question. Germs from milk products grow quickly and even washing sometimes isn’t enough. Milk residue can get stuck in the nooks and crannies of bottles and especially the nipples. Babies under 1 year are highly susceptible to those germs that cause diarrhea and vomiting, so you need to sterilize the bottles to make sure you’re killing all those germs. However, you really only need to sterilize your bottles once a week, as long as you’re washing them after every use.
4. Can bottle soap be used to clean bottles in the dishwasher?
Dish soap made especially for bottles is meant for hand washing only. It can’t be used in the dishwasher, as it’s not a detergent. Since you’re using your bottles regularly, it’s faster and more effective to just hand wash them after every use anyway. You can put your bottles in the dishwasher to sanitize them once a week, but you still won’t use the bottle soap for that.
5. What are the safety concerns with bottle soap?
The baby bottle soap that you use should be completely safe. They all follow the same safety guidelines and are non-toxic. Always read the ingredients and the labels to make sure that it is safe for your child. Also, this is meant for cleaning bottles and breast pump accessories. It is not safe for consumption. Keep it out of reach of your child.
There’s a lot to think about when you have a new baby. Making sure they’re safe and healthy is a full-time job. Bottle soap can help to keep your child’s bottles clean and sterile so that your baby doesn’t inadvertently pick up germs and get sick.
Finding the right bottle of soap for your family will depend on only a few things. As long as you’re making sure that you read the labels and that it is safe for your child, you really only need to think about whether you want something natural and organic or something that’s made stronger. Scents and textures are all personal preference.
Take the time to factor in these preferences ahead of time and you’ll feel more confident in your final purchase.