You may have already realized this: babies need a lot of gear. Some gear you can certainly get by without, but other gear – as fellow parents would tell you – is a must.
Infant and baby feeding requires great care and thought, especially when it comes to bottle or breast pump use. It also involves considerable time and effort on the cleaning front.
Whether you’re a germ freak or a more laid-back parent, ensuring that your baby’s feeding gear remains hygienic at all times is very important. After all, knowing that you’re doing everything right helps keep the worry – as well as bacteria and illnesses – at bay.
Cue in baby bottle cleaning brushes! For those of you who’ve been there and done that, you know that it takes quite a bit of effort to keep baby bottles and teats looking spanking-new. A bottle-appropriate brush can make the task of washing up easier, more effective, and more hygienic.
In this article, we’ll go through all the ins and outs of baby bottle brushes, going through the benefits of using one, what to look out for when purchasing a bottle brush, what you should stay away from, as well as the different types available and helping you find out which type is the most suitable for you.
But first off, let’s have a quick look at what we believe to be some of the best baby bottle brushes of today.
Best Baby Bottle Brushes – A Quick Look At Our Top 6 Recommendations
*Note: Upon clicking on any of the links in this section, you will be redirected to the respective product listings on Amazon.com where you can learn about the product’s price, customer rating & customer reviews.
- OXO Tot Bottle Brush with Nipple Cleaner and Stand
- Dr. Brown’s Bottle Brush
- NUK Triple Action Bottle & Nipple Brush
- Boon Forb Silicone Bottle Brush
- OXO Tot On-The-Go Drying Rack with Bottle Brush
- MR.SIGA Long Handle Bottle Brush
Best Baby Bottle Brush – A More Detailed Look At Our Top 6 Recommendations
First things first, let’s have a look at our favorite baby bottle brushes of today, as well as go into detail about what we like about each, and what you should be aware of before you buy any.
OXO Tot Bottle Brush with Nipple Cleaner and Stand
What We Like About It:
This bottle brush boasts one of the most flexible bristles out there for cleaning different baby bottle brands (Dr.Brown’s, Medela, Comotomo, etc …) and pump parts of different brands (Lansinoh, Spectra, etc ..).
With that being said, do double check with the manufacturer’s description first just to be on the safe side and make sure you’re not wasting your money on something you’ll have compatibility problems with.
It comes in three colors for you to choose from: Gray, Navy, and Teal – which is pretty nice if you’re trying to match colors with other baby gear you have.
It also comes with a very useful stand (i.e base) you can make use of to store the brush in when not using it. This way, you’re not stuck with having to put it on the counter if you don’t want to.
The base also helps prevent water from dripping all over your counter-top area, which obviously nobody looks forward to clean. Once the stand collects enough water, you can easily pour the water out into the sink and – job done!
As far as the bristles are concerned, this brush boasts one of the softest bristles on the market.
What You Should Be Aware Of:
This brush can feel a bit heavier than some of the other ones on the market – but this is actually a blessing in disguise because of how sturdy it is.
Also, it can be a bit annoying getting used to fitting the brush in its base at first, but you’ll get used to it in no time. All it takes is a bit of practice and familiarizing yourself with how it works, and you’ll get the hang of it pretty soon.
Dr. Brown’s Bottle Brush
What We Like About It:
For those of you who feed their little ones using Dr. Brown’s baby bottles, whether that’s with the standard bottles or wide-neck bottles, it’s hard to find a more suitable/compatible brush to use than this one. After all, it’s from the same company!
There’s three different colors for you to choose from: Blue, orange, and purple.
There’s also a very useful suction cup stand at the bottom, as well as a nipple washing nib – not something you’ll find in all baby bottle brushes out there.
Also, and unlike other baby bottle brushes, you don’t need to unscrew the nipple attachment to use it. Since it’s connected to the bottom of the bottle brush, all you need to do is turn it around to use.
Not the most ground-breaking stuff, we know – but it is nonetheless great for saving you valuable time, especially if you’re one to wash your baby’s bottles frequently.
What You Should Be Aware Of:
First things first, this brush is best used on Dr. Brown’s baby bottles only (at least that’s what we would recommend).
For those of you feeding your little ones from other baby bottle brands, consider something else more suitable, perhaps a brush manufactured by the same company.
It certainly can be used for other bottle brands, but we wouldn’t say that’s the best way to go.
Also, the sponge top isn’t exactly the best at cleaning the bottom of baby bottles. If you’re looking for something that does a good job at that, our recommendation above from OXO Tot does a much better job.
NUK Triple Action Bottle & Nipple Brush
What We Like About It:
Unlike other baby bottle brushes that only incorporate the sponge part at the top, this one has two primary sponges on the sides, as well as one small sponge towards the top.
Some people are much more comfortable working with sponges this way, and feel it’s a more effective design for several reasons.
Speaking of design, one thing we also like about this is that the nipple brush has a vent hole designed to help keep it dry.
You get three materials to work with, as opposed to other brushes out there that only offer one – either a sponge or bristles alone. This brush offers bristles, a sponge, and a scrubber all in one product.
You’re also not just limited to using this brush to clean baby bottles. Lots of people use them for cleaning other stuff such as ice cups, mugs, and cube trays – and find that these do a great job at that.
What You Should Be Aware Of:
There’s a non-slip handle that also doubles as a stand where the bottle brush can sit upright on your counter-top, but it’s not the most stable one out there. In other words, don’t expect it to stay upright all the time and not fall over.
To avoid this, the stand could have been made a little bit less narrow to prevent the brush from falling over, but unfortunately that’s not the case here.
If it’s important for you to have a stand that rarely ever tips off, check out the brush from OXO Tot we recommend above, as it does a better job at staying stable.
Also, the nipple brush towards the end is not the easiest or most effective to use. Sometimes, it feels like it needs more effort for what it’s worth, especially considering that you have to hold it in place or else it feels like it’ll come off because it’s loose.
Last but not least, and because the brush’s head is a bit on the wide side, it doesn’t fit perfectly well into all baby bottles alike, which can be especially problematic if you’re trying to get to tight spaces. It feels like this brush does a better job at cleaning wide-mouthed baby bottles rather than narrow-mouthed ones.
Boon Forb Silicone Bottle Brush
What We Like About It:
As far as looks go, this is one of the most beautiful and modern designs on the market, with the brush being shaped like a flower.
Definitely the way to go if you’re looking to add that extra “oomph” to your kitchen sink area. Couple it with the boon grass counter-top drying rack, and you’re well ahead of the rest already!
Just opposite to the flower petals and just at the end of the brush, there’s a nice stand meant to hold the brush.
The way it works is as follows: You push it inside the bottle, and the petals of the flower take care of cleaning the bottle’s sides. The flower stamens also do a good job at cleaning corners, so you won’t have to worry about missing any spots.
You have three different color options to choose from, with each option being a combination of two colors: Blue & pink, pink & orange, and purple & blue.
For those of you looking for a baby bottle brush made from silicone, as opposed to stainless steel or the usual plastic, this is our top recommendation for that material.
It’s one of the more durable options on the market, thanks to the very high quality material it’s made from. Don’t be surprised if this thing lasts you several months on end, even if you’re exclusively bottle feeding your little one and washing their bottles on a daily basis.
It’s also top rack dishwasher-safe, which is convenient for most – if not all – of us.
For those of you looking to get something that does a good job at cleaning both kids’ water bottles and baby bottles, this should be one of your top considerations.
And if you’re looking for something that dries quickly, this is an excellent option to consider. It’s made from silicone, after all, and there’s no sponge part you have to worry about holding water and causing mold.
Last (but certainly not least), this is one of the softest brushes you can opt for if you’re looking for something that causes no damage to your bottles, since it’s made from silicone. You won’t have to worry about scratching of any kind from the petals.
What You Should Be Aware Of:
For those of you used to sanitizing your baby bottle brushes in the microwave, you won’t be able to do so with this one, since it’s made from silicone. Instead, and as noted above in the “pros” section, it’s top rack dishwasher-safe.
This is also not the best option to use for standard bottles, since it isn’t the easiest to fit inside and you risk getting water splashed around when trying to push it in and squeeze it out of a tight space.
It’s not the end of the world because of that, though, as there’s a trick you can use where you hold the petals together to have the brush go in and out much easier. However, this could have been taken into consideration by the manufacturer to avoid altogether.
Also, for some bottles, you might find you need something more powerful at scrubbing than the silicone petals this brush has.
OXO Tot On-The-Go Drying Rack with Bottle Brush
What We Like About It:
This is an excellent option to consider for when you have to clean your baby’s bottle(s) on-the-go and away from home, whether that’s in a car, in the workplace or on an airplane.
Example scenarios where this kit will prove to be a lifesaver are: when you’re pumping at work, visiting a friend or relative’s house, traveling for vacation and don’t want to pack something too heavy or takes up too much space, have to clean and dry your baby’s bottles and baby bottle accessories in a hotel room, etc ..
It’s very lightweight too, not even one pound heavy (it’s actually 0.8 pounds according to the manufacturer). So, it’s super easy to fit in your purse or diaper bag and take it with you wherever you go.
When used as a drying rack to clean pump parts, you can almost always get your pumping parts to dry before it’s time for the next pumping session. Again, this is excellent for those of you pumping at work, as it’s not just good enough for cleaning baby bottles, but it also does an excellent job at cleaning pumping equipment.
If you’re visiting a friend or relative’s house and staying over for a few days, everything can be stored in the rack – both the items that come with this kit, as well as your baby’s bottles. This means you won’t need to take up any of their counter space and be of any inconvenience to them.
It goes without saying that there’s a limit to how many baby bottles this drying rack can hold, but it’s more than enough to see you through these few days with three to four bottles until you get back home.
All in all, if there was ever an item all parents must have in their diaper bag at all times, this is easily one of the top items on the list!
What You Should Be Aware Of:
If you’re looking for an “all in one” product like this that has a particularly spacious rack, this isn’t the right product for you.
This is perfect for use when on the go or at work and without your main go-to station, and don’t think you’ll need to fit in more than 4 bottles in there comfortably on either side. However, if you’re looking for something suitable for extensive use, you’ll likely need a more spacious product.
MR.SIGA Long Handle Bottle Brush
What We Like About It:
Finding it hard to reach certain spots in your baby’s bottle to clean because the brush(es) you have aren’t tall enough? If superior reach is what you’re after, this is an excellent option to consider.
Most of this impressive reach is thanks to the handle, which stands at a whopping 10 inches long. The brush head itself is only around 2.9 inches long. So, all in all, this entire item is around 12.9 inches tall, which should give you enough reach to get to any spot in most – if not all – baby bottles out there.
Also, and because of the impressive reach you get with this brush, there’s tons of other items you could use it to clean besides your baby’s bottles.
For instance, you could use it to clean any one of your kid’s water bottles, as well as your own 32 oz or 40 oz water bottles that you might be having a hard time cleaning through other means.
If a brush pack is what you’re looking for, the fact that these brushes come in packs of threes is very convenient – just in case one is out of service until it dries, or is no longer good to use and you don’t have any extra long spare brush to use in the meantime, there’s two others to back you up in the meantime.
These are also very good value for money, in case you’re on a tight budget at the moment and don’t want to splash the cash on some of the more expensive options out there.
What You Should Be Aware Of:
For those of you using small mouthed bottles, this might not be the best choice to go with.
It must be noted that these certainly can be used to clean narrow neck bottles, as stated by the manufacturer, but there are other brushes out there that we feel are more suitable for small mouthed bottles – especially if you’re going to be cleaning them on a regular basis.
Baby Bottle Brushes For Feeding Hygiene
Cleaning your baby’s feeding gear should not be taken lightly, especially if your baby was born prematurely or has a compromised immune system.
Thorough cleaning of baby bottles requires the use of a bottle brush, one that’s appropriately shaped to get into every nook and cranny that would otherwise be almost impossible to reach.
Using the correct bottle brush means that your baby’s bottles are always in tip-top condition, ready for the next healthy feed.
What Is A Baby Bottle Brush?
A baby bottle brush is a nifty piece of gear aimed at making baby bottle washing easier and more hygienic.
Using a baby bottle brush ensures that every inch being thoroughly cleaned, essential for your little one’s safety and health.
It’s not just all about bottles, either. These brushes can also be used to clean breast pump parts, sippy cups, and other feeding gear.
Basically, baby bottle cleaning brushes are there to make your life easier when it feels as if that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
It’s amazing how such a simple tool can make washing up more efficient – and that’s what it’s all about if you want to keep your sanity as a parent: efficiency.
Do I Really Need To Get A Baby Bottle Brush?
The simple answer is: yes!
If you’re bottle feeding or expressing breast milk, then a baby bottle brush should be at the very top of your baby registry.
Due to its size and shape, it’s very difficult to clean baby feeding gear properly relying on the usual washing up items – and this is true for almost all brands out there.
It’s practically impossible to reach every crevice with, for instance, a run of the mill sponge.
These brushes are specifically made for cleaning your little one’s feeding gear, limiting the spread of bacteria and preventing harmful mold growth from residue build up as well.
When Should I Buy A Baby Bottle Brush?
You should be looking into buying a bottle brush as soon as you’ve selected your baby bottles.
Some baby bottle sets come with their very own bottle and nipple brush, a handy add-on to have which saves you time from having to look for something extra to buy that best suits the bottles’ size and shape.
One thing to note is that you can postpone the purchase of a bottle brush if you intend to wash all your bottles in the dishwasher.
Nonetheless, it helps to have one of these at hand for those moments when you need to quickly wash a bottle for a feed and don’t want to wait for the lengthy dishwasher process to complete.
What Are The Different Types Of Baby Bottle Brushes I Can Choose From?
Not all baby bottle cleaning brushes are created equally, so let’s look into the different types available for you to choose from.
Brushes With a Stand
A brush with a stand comes in handy if you’re short on drying space.
It also ensures that your brush doesn’t come in contact with other everyday dishes and germs.
We like to think of these as the ballerinas of all brushes, performing pirouettes in bottles.
Maybe that is a little bit imaginative, but we’ve given you something to think about next time you’re doing the washing up!
Specifically, you’ll want to look for a brush with a flexible neck.
Flexible brushes are handy for getting to all the hard-to-reach places without requiring strange arm maneuvers.
Built-in Nipple Brush
Not all brushes are good for cleaning nipples. Some have bristles that are too hard or too big to really fit snugly into the nipple.
Opting for a something with a built-in nipple brush makes the nipple cleaning process easier and safer.
A compact nipple brush can reach into all of the nipple’s grooves without tearing or scratching the material, which means you won’t have to worry about buying replacement bottles so soon.
Whereas most brushes have 360° bristles, some come with bristles only on one side.
Such brushes are still effective when used properly, but know that getting all around the bottle using them requires more cleaning time.
With babies, time is of the essence, and this type won’t be of great help when it comes to considerably cutting on washing time.
Another option is the sponge brush, which basically comes with both bristles and a sponge tip placed at the top end.
It’s great for a foamy wash that gently removes milk residue, but most sponges have a tendency to break apart with use. Apart from this, sponges are more prone to bacteria build up.
If you opt for this type, be prepared to have to replace it more frequently.
Antimicrobial Sponge Brushes
This type rids itself of the downsides of sponges, while retaining the benefits.
With an antimicrobial sponge, you can rest assured that you’re actually cleaning the bottle and not spreading even more bacteria.
What Should I Look For In A Baby Bottle Brush?
As with everything else, having the right gear makes life so much easier. The same goes for that dreaded washing up of baby bottles.
Thorough bottle cleaning requires the right brush, and as we’ve seen, there’s no one size fits all answer for everyone out there.
To determine which of the countless options out there is best for you, first look at what kind of bottles and feeding gear you intend to use it for.
Once you have all of that stuff covered, it helps to keep these criteria in mind:
Are your bottles short and wide, or do you have long and narrow bottles?
Longer brushes are great for reaching into the depths of deeper bottles, while wider brushes make cleaning up short and wide bottles a breeze.
The next time you’re doing some shopping, study the brush with the bottles you use in mind.
It has to comfortably fit inside the bottle, with enough space available for moving around, as well as bristles long enough to reach into all the curves and grooves of the bottle.
A brush with tough bristles is great for giving a good scrub to the bottle, but not so much the teat. It’s also not going to make you very happy if you’re looking to achieve a gentle clean.
On the other hand, getting a soft baby bottle brush with soft bristles is going to be gentler on the bottle, but might not be as effective, especially if you’re cleaning up a dirty bottle after a day out.
Some brushes come with two kinds of bristles for you to use, depending on which you need at the time. How’s that for a win-win?
So, be wary of which type of bristles you choose to get for the baby bottle brush(es) you’re going to use for the foreseeable future.
Glass VS Plastic
Are you a glass bottle person or a plastic bottle person?
There might be a few different things you should look for in a brush, depending on whether you feed your little one from glass baby bottles or plastic baby bottles at home.
Some brushes come with built-in sponges.
While sponges are great for removing milk residue, they also tend to build up bacteria much easier. So, if you can do without a sponge, a brush with bristles is much more hygienic in the long run.
If you do opt for one with a sponge, though, make sure you clean it thoroughly after each and every use. You wouldn’t want to be spreading bacteria rather than obliterating them! That would be the definition of counter-effective.
If your bottles or other feeding gear have lots of hard to reach curves, a flexible brush can seriously make your life easier.
You might need to change it more frequently, though, as flexible brushes have a higher tendency to break.
Some brushes come with a nipple cleaner, which is a handy gadget to have for ensuring that your little one is not sucking on any nasties.
Nipple cleaners are great for getting into every groove of the teat without much risk of tearing it.
If you’re looking into ways of making your life easier post-baby, opting for a dishwasher safe bottle brush is a very good start.
If a chore can be done by someone – or something – else, then we’re all for it! Simply place the brush in the dishwasher and let it do the sparkly magic for you, while you spend your valuable time getting something else done.
If you’re looking for easy to clean baby bottle brushes, it doesn’t get any easier than that.
Comfortable To Hold
Since you’re going to be routinely working with these items, and it’s not just a one-off thing you do now and forget about it for another year, it’s best if you get baby bottle brushes that come with a comfortable grip.
What Should I Avoid When Buying a Baby Bottle Brush?
Here’s what you should be running away from when shopping for a bottle brush:
Wrong Size and Shape
Not all bottle brushes are created equally, and not all bottles come in the same shape and size.
If you see that it’s not reaching all spots in your little one’s bottle(s), or a specific curve inside is building up milk remnants, it’s time to ditch and shop again.
Nipple Brushes That Are Too Hard
A nipple brush that’s made of material that is too coarse or hard can easily tear up the teat, presenting a real risk to your little one if you don’t notice the damage before using it.
BPA stands for bisphenol A, an industrial chemical used in the production of certain plastics. Research has shown that BPA can transfer into food and beverages stored in containers made with this chemical.
As noted by the Mayo Clinic, BPA exposure is worrisome because of possible adverse effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children.
When shopping for one of these, make sure you only get a BPA free bottle brush!
How Many Baby Bottle Brushes Will I Need?
At any point in time, you will only need one, assuming it’s fully functional, clean, dry and ready to be used.
However, they do tend to wear out quickly, so it helps to have a few spare ones readily available.
This is especially the case if you opt for something with a sponge top. These brushes tend to wear out quicker, since the sponge part breaks easily with constant use.
Some parents prefer using two different brushes – one specially made for the nipple part of the bottle, and another for the bottle itself. This, of course, boils down to personal preference – some of these brushes come with a built-in tool for cleaning the nipples, so you’ll only need one piece of gear for this washing up part.
If you’re on the go with the baby most of the time, you may wish to consider keeping a compact bottle brush in your baby bag to use whenever needed.
Washing up a bottle immediately after use saves you considerable scrubbing time later on. In this case, you will need a regularly sized brush for use at home, and a compact one for when out and about.
How To Use A Baby Bottle Brush
To use a baby bottle brush, empty the baby bottle from any remaining milk that might be in there, disassemble all parts, and rinse with hot water.
As indicated by Eat Right, pour hot, soapy water into the bottle, insert the brush and rotate, working your way through the inside.
Ensure that it reaches into every groove and curve of the bottle, removing all residue.
Gently scrub the bottle’s nipple with your brush or a specific nipple brush, paying particular attention to the nipple hole.
When done, rinse soap from all parts, wash the bottle brush and leave all items to air dry in a clean area.
How Often Should I Replace My Baby’s Bottle Brush?
Baby bottle brushes should be replaced once the bristles are bent or squashed. This makes them ineffective and also more prone to bacteria build up.
Brushes with sponges should be replaced once the sponge part starts breaking, or once it starts looking soiled.
Some brands recommend replacing your bottle brush every 30-45 days, assuming that none of the above mentioned happens before that time frame.
Wrapping it Up
If you’re contemplating returning to the store 5 of the 6 brushes received as baby shower gifts, you may wish to reconsider. You’d be surprised at how many of them you do end up using throughout your little one’s feeding journey!
A brush to clean your little one’s bottles and other feeding gear is a great tool to have. Not only do these products help reduce washing up time, but they’re also more hygienic and prevent the spread of germs during the cleaning process.
If you’re not quite there yet, then now is the perfect time to plan ahead. We suggest adding a couple of bottle brushes to your baby registry – you’ll thank us later for an easier and more straightforward newborn period!