How to sterilise bottles in a microwave

Updated February 21, 2017

Sterilising your baby's bottles before feeding your child helps eliminate possible bacteria that can cause illness due to your baby's low immune system. Sterilisation, along with cleaning the bottles, is necessary every time you need to feed your baby. It is possible to sterilise baby bottles in a microwave, if the bottles are microwaveable. The process will not harm the bottles nor will it introduce chemicals into your baby's milk or formula.

Bottle cleaning

Rinse your kitchen sink with warm water to remove any food and grease debris. Wash your hands thoroughly under the running water. Dry your hands with a soft towel or cloth and put on a pair of latex gloves.

Fill the sink with warm water and 125 ml (1/2 cup) of washing-up liquid.

Remove the nipples from your baby's microwaveable or microwave-safe bottles. Place the nipples and bottles in the sink of soapy water.

Scrub the bottles vigorously with a round scrubbing brush to remove any milk debris and grime build-up. Rinse the bottles under hot running water. Pat the bottles and nipples dry with a soft towel or cloth.

Bottle sterilisation

Wipe the inside of a plastic microwaveable container with a clean, soft towel or cloth to remove any loose dust. Use a container that is slightly bigger than the bottle so it can lay flat in the container.

Place one bottle in the plastic container and place the container in your microwave oven. Set the cook timer for 90 seconds, close the door and press "Start" to begin the sterilisation process.

Use a clean, soft towel or cloth to remove the plastic container from your microwave. Lift the bottle from the container using the towel or cloth and place the bottle in the fridge, if you are not planning on using it immediately. Otherwise add milk or formula to the bottle and secure the bottle's nipple in place.

Repeat this process for each bottle to sterilise it individually.


You can buy and use a microwave bottle steriliser that is similar to a plastic microwaveable container. Wipe the device out with a clean, soft towel or cloth and place a bottle(s) in the sterilizer. Add the recommended amount of water to the device. Place the device in your microwave and set the oven to the recommended time in the device's owner's manual and complete the process.


Do not cap the bottles during the sterilisation process, as this will cause pressure to build up inside the bottles and may cause an explosion.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • 4 Soft towels or cloths
  • Latex gloves
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Round scrubbing brush
  • Hot water
  • Plastic microwaveable container
  • Microwave bottle steriliser
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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.