Cleaning Your Breast Pump
Dragging your pump to and from work, and you pump at home too, you pump can get really messy looking.
Cleaning your pump is not nearly as hard as you might think. I’ll break it down to the big chunks, no pun intended, Maybe.
Your mom’s & grandma’s old standard solution mix, bleach and vinegar, are amazing for cleaning your breast pump. Use a dilute bleach (1 oz) and vinegar (2 oz) solution in a gallon of water. Soap makes a mess on the fabric bag, but a little for all the plastic parts is ok, but too much is also a bother and not that necessary. Bleach and vinegar kill nearly all microbes (virus, bacteria, and those funky fungi) that might be in or on your pump.
The outside gets all spotted with splashed milk and the manufacturers haven’t done anything to make this easy. They could make cool patterns that don’t show all the spots, or at least appealing colors. That’s a whole nother blog.
Use a sponge that has the scrubbing surface on one site with the solution mix to scrub the fabric carry bag. A fairly wet sponge and a good scrub will remove spots that most people say they can’t get out. Just air dry it.
Pull the face plate off the front of most Medela models. Wash the face plate and wipe the diaphragm with the solution. This will kill any hiding microscopic critters.
Here’s the Yucky part. Those tubes get really gross if they are not cleaned often enough. Milk fat builds up on the connecter to the breast shield and gets milk all up in the tubing.
The milk will come out of the tubing, but it needs to soak in the solution for at least 30 minutes. I use a cool trick to force the solution through the tubes. I use a baby medicine syringe dropper. I push it into one end of the tube to force the solution in and out of the tube several times.
I blow the water out of the tube and attach the tubing to the pump. Turn on the pump and let it do the drying. The tubes come out spot free and looking like new.
All other parts go in the dishwasher. It actually sterilizes all those parts and no hand washing or boiling needed, even for bottles and nipples. Use one of those mesh bags or your utensil holder if it has a lid for small parts.
Oh yea, keep all this on the top shelf, melted plastic is not cool.
You’ll be pumpin’ clean. Life is Good!