How to Clean a Breast Pump Tubing Mold
As breastfeeding becomes a lot more popular within our culture and society, so many more people are switching to using breast pumps. However, they often don’t know how to properly use them and aren’t sure about the cleaning process.
Breast pumps are priceless, and they can save you a lot of money when it comes to paying for powdered formula. Normal breast pumps consist of many different parts and one of them is the tubing.
Before you use the breast pump, you should always make sure that there is no mold in the tube as it is a common occurrence for it to appear if you don’t clean it properly. That’s why we have put together this short guide on how to clean breast pump tubing so that you can be rest assured there is no harsh or dangerous mold or chemicals in the tubing that could harm your baby if it happens to be in the milk.
What is the Tubing?
Often referred to as Medela tubing, the tubing of a breast pump is how the milk flows from the breast (which is covered by the breast shield) into the bottles prepared earlier. It is typically made from plastic and will feel very flexible when you touch it.
It is one of the most important parts of the whole breast pump product as it is essential to the suction of the milk from the breast to the bottle. Therefore, sometimes milk residue or moisture can get stuck in the tube and block it, meaning the breast pump will not work properly. Depending on the breast pump model you buy, there can be one or even more tubes attached to the breast pump.
Why Does Mold Appear?
Mold is often a build-up of bacteria and if it is found in breast pump tubes. It can be very harmful and potentially life-threatening to the baby drinking the milk that has run through it. Moisture can block the tube and create a build-up thus leaving mold in the tube to build up until you clean.
Ensuring you always clean the tube of your breast pump properly will allow the tubing to last longer. It is recommended to keep your breast pump clean and hygienic. Be sure to clean the tubing at least once a day if you’re expressing milk several times in that day.
Those who aren’t using the breast pump regularly can just clean it every few days in order for the mold to not appear. If mold is your problem and it has already appeared then don’t try to worry. Ensure you don’t use it as new tubes are very cheap can be bought from many big stores and even online. It is always recommended to have a spare tube anyway in case anything happens to one of them or it gets too dirty and moldy to clean.
How Do You Clean it?
There are three main steps to cleaning the tubing of your breast pump. They include washing, sterilizing, and then drying. Each step may seem like a chore but is essential if you want to keep your baby happy, healthy, and away from germs and bacteria.
1. Washing the tubing – Start by removing the tubing from the pump itself. Ensure the tube is completely on its own and there is nothing electrical attached. Then you can rinse the tube by running normal water through it while it’s placed in a sink. You can then fill a sink full of water and soak the tube in some soapy water. We advise sticking to a soap that is mild and has been ideally formulated to clean baby items. After this step, you can then rinse the tubing again.
2. Sterilizing the tube – There are a few different options you can go with here. Some people choose to place the tubing in a pan of boiling water and leaving it for 10 minutes, while others choose to use a dishwasher. If you want to use your dishwasher then just ensure there is no soap in it and it’s on a hot water cycle. The other option you could go for is to fill up a bag of hot water, place the tube in the bag and sealing it, then place into the microwave for 3 minutes.
3. Drying the tubing – Hanging up tubing in a warm room will help it dry faster but if you have more time it is recommended you should just place the tubing on a dry towel and allow it to dry naturally. Either way is just as effective as the other and you still end up with a clean tube and a bacteria-free breastfeeding experience.