Cleaning and sterilising your equipment
Sterilise all breast shield parts. The milk back-flow protector unit does not come into contact with breast milk and can be washed every 2nd day. Air does go through it causing condensation, so needs to be washed and dried well if going to be left sitting for longer than 2 days. If you submerge the air tube in water, make sure you hang it up so that all drips have drained out and the tube is completely dry again.
If using an Allegro breast pump, do not sterilise the spring.
Ensure every part is thoroughly dry before use to get a good seal.
The safest and easiest way to sterilise your breast shield kit is to wash it in hot soapy water. Place all parts onto a clean, drying rack and pour boiling water over the lot. Leave to air dry or shake dry.
It is safe to wash parts in the dishwasher as long as they are not near the element.
Place in dishwasher and leave them in for steam dry. Ensure there is not food residue stuck in shield parts. If so then pour boiling water over the lot.
Place parts in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remember to set your timer!
Microwave sterilising does have risks. The bottom part of the back flow unit is a heavier plastic and prone to tip over and melt. Microwaves can spread heat unevenly, or not match the wattage the steriliser is designed for. If any damage happens, it is likely to happen when sterilising for more than 2 minutes.
Sterilising in a chemical solution may cause the plastic to deteriorate quicker.
If you are a very busy mum who exclusively pumps, because breast milk is antibacterial, you can put your parts in a clean bag into the fridge after each pump and sterilise at the end of the day.
Calcium Build Ups
If you live in an area with hard water that causes calcium build-ups in the small parts of your breast shield and hot soapy water does not get rid of it: Soak in vinegar or lemon juice or both together and wash with a bottle brush and rinse.