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Cleaning Pacifiers for Your Baby’s Health

Ensuring your baby’s pacifier stays clean and safe is a top priority for parents who want to protect their little ones from germs and infections. While pacifiers provide comfort and soothe fussy babies, they can also become a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned properly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the most effective ways to clean pacifiers and maintain their hygiene.

Why Keeping Pacifiers Clean is Essential

Pacifiers are a go-to item for many parents. However, due to their frequent use, they can easily accumulate dirt, saliva, and germs. Keeping pacifiers clean is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Preventing Infections: Babies have developing immune systems, making them more susceptible to infections. A clean pacifier reduces the risk of oral infections and illnesses.
  2. Oral Hygiene: Germs on pacifiers can cause oral health issues. Keeping them clean helps maintain good oral hygiene.
  3. Peace of Mind: Knowing your baby’s pacifier is free from harmful bacteria provides peace of mind.

Understanding Different Types of Pacifiers

Not all pacifiers are created equal. Understanding the different types will help you choose the best cleaning method:

  1. Silicone Pacifiers: These are durable and easy to clean. They can withstand high temperatures without deforming.
  2. Latex Pacifiers: Softer than silicone, but they wear out faster and may not handle repeated high-temperature cleaning well.
  3. Plastic Pacifiers with Parts: These can be more challenging to clean thoroughly due to multiple components.

Boiling Pacifiers for Deep Cleaning

Boiling is an effective way to sterilize pacifiers, especially for new or heavily used ones. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Preparation: Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a rolling boil.
  2. Submerge: Place the pacifiers in the boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Cool Down: Carefully remove the pacifiers with tongs and place them on a clean towel to cool.

Boiling ensures that any harmful bacteria are killed, providing a deep clean.

Using a Dishwasher for Convenience

If you’re looking for a convenient and effective way to clean pacifiers, using a dishwasher can be a great option:

  1. Top Rack Safety: Place pacifiers on the top rack to avoid direct heat exposure.
  2. Dishwasher-Safe: Ensure the pacifiers are labelled as dishwasher-safe.
  3. Drying: Use the drying cycle or air dry thoroughly before use.

Using a dishwasher is a time-saver for busy parents while still ensuring pacifiers are free from germs.

Cold Water Sterilisation

Cold water sterilization is another method that effectively kills germs without heat. This method is ideal for parents who prefer not to use boiling water. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Sterilising Solution: Purchase a cold water sterilizing solution or tablets.
  2. Mix and Submerge: Follow the instructions to mix the sterilizing solution with water, then submerge the pacifiers.
  3. Wait and Rinse: Leave the pacifiers in the solution for the recommended time, usually around 15-30 minutes. Rinse with clean water before use.

This method is gentle on pacifiers and convenient for parents.

Proper Storage Techniques

Cleaning pacifiers is only part of the process; proper storage is equally important to maintain hygiene:

  1. Storage Containers: Use clean, airtight containers to store pacifiers when not in use.
  2. Avoid Humid Places: Store pacifiers in a cool, dry place to prevent mould growth.
  3. Frequent Replacement: Regularly inspect pacifiers for wear and tear, replacing them every 1-2 months to ensure safety.

Proper storage keeps pacifiers clean between uses and extends their lifespan.

Cleaning On-the-Go

When you’re out and about, keeping pacifiers clean can be challenging. Here are some tips for cleaning pacifiers on-the-go:

  1. Portable Sterilizers: Invest in portable UV sterilizers designed for pacifiers.
  2. Wipes: Use pacifier cleaning wipes that are safe and free from harmful chemicals.
  3. Extra Pacifiers: Carry extra clean pacifiers in a clean, sealed container.

These tips ensure your baby always has a clean pacifier, no matter where you are.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pacifier Cleaning

To keep pacifiers safe and hygienic, follow these do’s and don’ts:


  • Boil or use a dishwasher-safe cycle regularly.
  • Store pacifiers in a clean, dry place.
  • Replace pacifiers when they show signs of wear.


  • Don’t use harsh chemicals or soaps that can leave residues.
  • Avoid reusing pacifiers that have fallen on the ground without cleaning them.
  • Don’t share pacifiers between children.

Following these guidelines will help maintain the cleanliness and safety of your baby’s pacifiers.

How Often Should You Clean Pacifiers?

Regular cleaning is essential, but how often should you do it? Here’s a simple schedule to follow:

  1. Daily Cleaning: Clean pacifiers daily with warm, soapy water.
  2. Weekly Sterilisation: Sterilize pacifiers once a week using boiling water or a sterilizer.
  3. After Illness: Sterilise pacifiers after your baby has been sick to eliminate any lingering germs.

Sticking to this schedule keeps pacifiers consistently clean and safe for your baby.

The Importance of Checking for Damage

Regular inspection of pacifiers is crucial to ensure they remain safe for use. Here’s what to look out for:

  1. Cracks and Tears: Check for any visible damage that could harbor bacteria.
  2. Discolouration: Look for changes in color that could indicate wear.
  3. Loose Parts: Ensure all parts are securely attached to prevent choking hazards.

Replace any damaged pacifiers immediately to maintain safety.

Alternative Cleaning Methods

Apart from boiling and dishwashing, there are other effective cleaning methods:

  1. Microwave Sterilization: Use microwave sterilizer bags for quick and easy sterilization.
  2. Steam Sterilisers: Invest in an electric steam sterilizer for regular use.
  3. Chemical Sterilisers: Use chemical sterilizing solutions for a thorough clean.

These methods offer flexibility and convenience for busy parents.

Maintaining Pacifier Hygiene

Beyond cleaning, maintaining overall hygiene is essential. Here are some additional tips:

  1. Clean Hands: Always wash your hands before handling pacifiers.
  2. Avoid Mouth Cleaning: Never clean a pacifier by putting it in your mouth; it transfers germs.
  3. Pacifier Clips: Use pacifier clips to prevent them from falling on the ground.

These practices support your efforts to keep pacifiers clean and safe.


Keeping your baby’s pacifiers clean is fundamental to their health and well-being. By following the methods outlined above, such as boiling, using a dishwasher, and proper storage techniques, you can ensure that your baby’s pacifiers remain germ-free and safe for use. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and inspection for damage are essential steps in maintaining their hygiene.


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