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The Disadvantages of Microwave Sterilizers

by Leyla Norman, studioD

Baby bottles, breast pump pieces and pacifiers can all be sterilized quickly and easily in a microwave sterilizer. Despite their convenience, microwave sterilizers may not be the best choice to sterilize your baby’s things. Other sterilization options may be better for your baby’s health. In a pinch or while traveling, however, microwave sterilizers are a better option than just washing your baby’s feeding accessories in hot water and soap.

Why Sterilize?

You should sterilize your baby’s feeding equipment to help prevent parasitic and bacterial infections. Bacteria grow fast in milk, and babies under the age of 1 are more susceptible to infection. Sterilizing your baby’s feeding accessories until he turns 1 is important to helping him stay healthy. According to BabyCenter.ca, babies died regularly from infections due to unsanitized equipment in the past, but regular sterilizing procedures widely-used used today prevent such infections.

Human Error

If you don't pay attention to the details of how to use your specific microwave sterilizer, you can get hurt or risk not having your items sterilized properly. You must use the correct amount of water when you use a sterilizer to avoid causing damage to your sterilizer and to the items you are sterilizing. In addition, if you don't handle the sterilizer correctly, the steam can scald you. If you use too much water, your items will not be sterilized properly.


There are some distinct disadvantages to using a microwave sterilizer. For example, you cannot use a microwave sterilizer to sterilize metal items. You must also be careful to place items in the correct position in the sterilizer so that they are thoroughly sterilized. Additionally, items sterilized in a microwave sterilizer do not stay sterilized long compared to other forms of sterilization, which can keep items sterilized for up to 24 hours.

Other Options

Using a sterilizing tablet or liquid, you can sterilize your baby’s feeding accessories with a cold water sterilizer. The sterilization process takes 30 minutes, and items stay sterile in the solution for up to a day. When you finish sterilizing, rinse the items in boiled water. Electric steamers do not require chemicals and are simply plugged into the wall. Steam kills bacteria, and the process takes between six and 15 minutes to complete. Items stay sterile in the container for up to 24 hours. Your dishwasher may have a sterilization setting as well.

About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.

Photo Credits

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