How To Sanitize Pacifiers

September 23, 2023

Keeping your baby’s pacifiers clean and germ-free is crucial for their health and wellbeing. In this article, you’ll learn simple and effective methods to sanitize pacifiers, ensuring that your little one is protected from harmful bacteria and viruses. From boiling to using sterilizing solutions, these tried-and-tested techniques will help you maintain a hygienic environment for your baby’s pacifiers, giving you peace of mind as a parent.

Methods of Sanitizing Pacifiers

When it comes to keeping your baby’s pacifiers clean and hygienic, there are several methods you can choose from. Each method has its own advantages and can effectively sanitize the pacifier, ensuring the health and safety of your little one. Let’s take a look at some popular methods of sanitizing pacifiers and how to properly execute each one.

Boiling Method

Boiling pacifiers is a widely used method for sanitization as it effectively kills bacteria and other germs that may be present on the pacifier’s surface. To sanitize a pacifier using the boiling method, follow these simple steps:

  1. Clean the pacifier before boiling: Before placing the pacifier in boiling water, make sure to clean it thoroughly. Use warm water and mild soap to remove any debris or residue.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil: Fill a pot with enough water to completely submerge the pacifier. Place the pot on the stove and bring the water to a rolling boil.
  3. Place pacifier in boiling water: Once the water is boiling, carefully place the pacifier into the pot. Make sure the pacifier is fully submerged.
  4. Boil for 5-10 minutes: Let the pacifier boil for approximately 5-10 minutes. This duration is enough to kill any bacteria or germs present on the pacifier’s surface.
  5. Remove pacifier and let it cool before use: Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the pacifier from the boiling water. Allow it to cool completely before giving it back to your baby. It’s important to ensure that the pacifier is not too hot to avoid burns.

Dishwasher Method

If you have a dishwasher at home, you can use it to sanitize pacifiers easily. Follow these steps to sanitize pacifiers using a dishwasher:

  1. Rinse pacifier to remove debris: Before placing the pacifier in the dishwasher, rinse it under warm water to remove any debris or residue.
  2. Place pacifier in dishwasher basket: Use the dishwasher basket designed for small items such as pacifiers. Place the pacifiers in the dishwasher basket, making sure they are spaced out and not touching each other.
  3. Run dishwasher using hot water cycle: Set your dishwasher to the hot water cycle and start the wash. The hot water and the detergent used in the dishwasher will help sanitize the pacifiers effectively.
  4. Remove pacifier and let it air dry: Once the dishwasher cycle is complete, remove the pacifiers from the dishwasher basket. Let them air dry completely before using them again. Avoid using a towel to dry the pacifiers, as this can introduce new germs.

Sterilizer Method

Using a sterilizer is another convenient way to sanitize pacifiers. Here’s how you can sanitize pacifiers using a sterilizer:

  1. Check sterilizer instructions: Different sterilizers may have specific instructions, so it’s important to read the manufacturer’s guidelines before using the sterilizer.
  2. Clean pacifier before sterilizing: Just like with other methods, clean the pacifier thoroughly with warm water and mild soap to remove any debris or residue.
  3. Place pacifier in sterilizer: Once the pacifier is clean, place it in the sterilizer according to the instructions provided.
  4. Activate sterilization process: Depending on the type of sterilizer you have, activate the sterilization process as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This may involve pressing a button or setting a specific timer.
  5. Remove pacifier and let it cool before use: Once the sterilization process is complete, remove the pacifier from the sterilizer and let it cool down completely before giving it to your baby.

Microwaving Method

Microwaving is a quick and easy method to sanitize pacifiers. Follow these steps for effective pacifier sanitization using the microwave:

  1. Clean pacifier before microwaving: Prior to microwaving, ensure you clean the pacifier properly using warm water and mild soap. This step is crucial to remove any debris or residue.
  2. Place pacifier in microwave-safe container: Find a microwave-safe container and place the pacifier in it. Make sure the container is suitable for use in the microwave.
  3. Add water to the container: Add water to the container, ensuring that the pacifier is fully submerged. The water will help create steam, which is essential for sanitization.
  4. Microwave on high for 2 minutes: Place the container with the pacifier and water in the microwave. Set the microwave to high power and heat the pacifier for approximately 2 minutes. It’s important to closely monitor the process to prevent overheating or damage to the pacifier.
  5. Allow pacifier to cool before use: Once the microwave cycle is complete, remove the container using oven mitts or a towel, as it may be hot. Allow the pacifier to cool down completely before using it.

Pacifier Wipes

Pacifier wipes are a convenient option for on-the-go sanitization of pacifiers. These wipes are specifically designed to clean and sanitize pacifiers quickly and effectively. Here’s how to use pacifier wipes:

  1. Choose pacifier wipes designed for sanitization: Look for pacifier wipes that are specifically labeled for sanitization purposes. These wipes are formulated to effectively eliminate bacteria and germs.
  2. Take a wipe and thoroughly clean the pacifier: Remove a pacifier wipe from the packaging and use it to clean the pacifier. Make sure to cover all areas, including the nipple and the base of the pacifier.
  3. Wipe the pacifier until clean: Gently rub the wipe on the pacifier, ensuring that all surfaces are cleaned thoroughly. Pay attention to any grooves or crevices where germs may hide.
  4. No need to rinse or dry the pacifier: Unlike other methods, pacifier wipes do not require rinsing or drying. Once you have wiped the pacifier clean, it is ready to use again.

Frequency of Sanitizing Pacifiers

Regular sanitization of pacifiers is essential to maintain the health and hygiene of your baby. Here are some guidelines on when to sanitize pacifiers:

  1. Sanitize pacifiers daily: It is recommended to sanitize pacifiers daily, even if they appear clean. This helps eliminate any potential bacteria or germs that may be present.
  2. Sanitize pacifiers after dropping them on the ground: Whenever a pacifier falls onto the ground, it is important to sanitize it before giving it back to your baby. The ground can be a breeding ground for various bacteria and germs.
  3. Sanitize pacifiers if your child is ill: When your child is sick, it is crucial to regularly sanitize their pacifiers to prevent the spread of germs and potential reinfection.
  4. Sanitize pacifiers when introducing to a newborn: If you are introducing a new pacifier to a newborn, it is advisable to sanitize it beforehand to ensure optimal hygiene.

Tips for Pacifier Sanitization

In addition to the various methods of pacifier sanitization, here are some useful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Buy multiple pacifiers: Having multiple pacifiers on hand allows you to rotate them while some are being sanitized.
  2. Have a dedicated pacifier cleaning routine: Create a dedicated routine for cleaning and sanitizing pacifiers. This can help ensure that the pacifiers are regularly cleaned and ready for use.
  3. Inspect pacifiers regularly for wear and tear: Regularly check the pacifiers for any signs of wear and tear. Discard and replace pacifiers that show signs of damage.
  4. Replace pacifiers as needed: Pacifiers should be replaced as per the manufacturer’s recommendations or if they become damaged or worn out.
  5. Educate caregivers and family members about sanitization: Make sure that caregivers and family members are aware of the importance of pacifier sanitization and are following the proper procedures.
  6. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations: Different pacifiers may have specific care instructions, so it’s important to read and follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Promoting Overall Hygiene

Besides sanitizing pacifiers, there are other practices you can adopt to promote overall hygiene. These practices include:

  1. Wash your hands before handling pacifiers: Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling pacifiers. This helps reduce the transfer of germs to the pacifiers.
  2. Keep pacifiers in a clean case or container: When not in use, store pacifiers in a clean case or container to protect them from dirt and germs.
  3. Avoid sharing pacifiers between children: To prevent the spread of germs and potential illnesses, avoid sharing pacifiers between different children.
  4. Regularly clean pacifier cases or containers: Clean and sanitize the pacifier cases or containers regularly to prevent the accumulation of bacteria or germs.
  5. Store pacifiers in a dry and clean location: Make sure to store pacifiers in a dry and clean place to avoid the growth of mold or other contaminants.

In conclusion, maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of pacifiers is essential for the health and well-being of your baby. Using methods such as boiling, dishwasher, sterilizer, microwaving, and pacifier wipes can effectively sanitize pacifiers. Remember to sanitize pacifiers daily, especially after they come into contact with the ground or if your child is ill. Additionally, following proper hygiene practices such as handwashing, proper storage, and avoiding sharing pacifiers contributes to overall hygiene. By implementing these methods and tips, you can ensure that your baby’s pacifiers remain clean and safe for use.

Sandra McNeil, PhD.
Sandra McNeil, PhD.

Sandra has over 13 years of experience as a child psychologist, both as a practitioner and researcher. She has a Bachelor's in child psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and then she did her master's in Psychology in Education (focused on Children & Families) at Columbia University, NY. She has been writing for health and child-related publications for over 5 years now.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Baby Cribs Central