Why do baby bottles go orange in dishwasher?

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For many moms, the dilemma of dishwasher-safe dishes is a hot topic. The question arises, “Can I use my dishwasher to clean baby bottles?”  It can be difficult to know if you are doing it right or not. One of the most common questions asked about this issue is whether or not an automatic dishwasher will result in baby bottles turning orange. This article provides some answers for those wondering if their dishes are getting clean enough during the cycle and what they should do about that pesky orange color on their baby’s bottle!  You’ll also learn how to prevent your baby’s bottle from becoming orange again after cleaning it with your dishware machine.

1. Why do baby bottles go orange in the dishwasher?

Breast milk and baby formula contain fat (triglycerides) that solidify when exposed to cold water. It is the same reason that, in winter, coming in from outside shows condensed white breath on clothing or fogging up of glasses when warm humid air comes in contact with room temperature surfaces. The phenomenon also occurs when hot oil in a pan is splashed with cold water and goes from clear to milky in appearance.

When these fats and lipids come in contact with the dishwasher’s chilled water, they solidify and cling to surfaces such as nipples, bottles, plastic parts of feeding sets, pacifiers, teethers, or toys that then go into the ware washing cycle to be cleaned.   

Similarly, we use bottle brushes that are abrasive and rub the surfaces that contain these fats. Since dishwashers do not use soap, dishes and utensils come out sparkling clean; however, the bottles don’t always look as clean as we might think they should be. This is a common problem with many parents of infants and children using feeding equipment.

Baby bottle nipples on a regular basis will go from white or clear to orange or brown. Plastics that contain numbers 3, 6, and 7 are the culprits most often. They are not dishwasher safe in warm water because they can leach chemicals into our food. The plastics when warmed up or cooled down will have a change in structure that leaches out the chemicals.

The safest alternative is to buy BPA-free nipples, use glass baby bottles, or purchase plastic nipples that are made with number 7 plastics which are safe for processing in heated water. Other causes may include juices being put in baby bottles and dishwashing soaps with color additives.

Bottles of baby formula, breast milk, and juice will all often turn orange when washed in a dishwasher with cold water because of the triglycerides present in the liquids that solidify on contact with chilled water.


2 How do you get orange stains out of Baby Bottles?

Instead of putting the baby bottles in the dishwasher, you need to wash them by hand and use the following recipe:

– Boil some water.

– Use baking soda (one teaspoon per one cup of boiling hot water).

– Let it cool down until it reaches room temperature, then pour in a baby bottle. Leave there for several hours or overnight. Then take out the bottle and rinse it.

– If stains are still there, repeat the process once or twice more until you remove all orange marks from your baby bottle.

You can also use salt instead of baking soda, but in this case, you need to rub hard so that the stain is removed. Some parts of the plastic material may wear off after scrubbing.

– Make sure that you don’t use the bottle with any soap; only water should be used, otherwise it will create bubbles on the surface of your baby’s bottle and they won’t like it!

– If orange stains are too strong, try to soak them for several hours in some vinegar or lemon juice mixed with water. This should get rid of the orange stains.


3. Do I have to wash bottles after every use?

Do you need to wash baby bottles after every use? The short answer is yes. I would recommend washing them after every use. Baby bottles should be washed after every use to avoid bacteria and other germs. If you don’t wash them, they will begin to smell and could develop cracks and holes that can harbor dangerous bacteria like E-coli or Salmonella. It’s important to clean baby bottles with soap and water at least once a day, but it is best to do it after every use.

The rule of thumb should be to clean them at least once a day, even if you don’t plan on using them again that same day. Keeping these bottles washed is the only way to ensure your baby’s safety and health while drinking out of them.


4. Can you put Tommee tippee bottles in the dishwasher?

Yes, you can put Tommee tippee bottles into the dishwasher with no issues. Just make sure that you wash the nipples first. The nipples should be washed in warm, soapy water before putting them in the dishwasher. Those who are ready to clean their entire bottle (including the nipple) after every feeding will be glad to know that it is safe to place them in the dishwasher.

In fact, it is recommended to do so because the dishwasher will clean them thoroughly and efficiently. One thing remains certain: when it comes time for feeding times with the baby, always make sure to sterilize the bottle and nipple before you give it to him/her.


5. How to get tomato stains out of baby bottles?

Tomato stains are very difficult to remove. You can try using dish soap or baking soda but it’s better to avoid this problem by putting your baby bottles into the dishwasher after every use, if possible. If you don’t have a dishwasher though, here is how to get tomato stains out of baby bottles:

– first, soak the stained baby bottles in hot water with dish soap

– if that doesn’t work, you can try soaking them overnight in baking soda and then rinsing it off. You may also need to scrub a bit or use the scrubbing brush for hard stains. Rinse well after cleaning.

– otherwise, get out your vinegar because vinegar is the last resort when it comes to removing tomato stains out of baby bottles! Use vinegar full-strength or diluted in water. Either soak your bottles overnight in a 50/50 solution or scrub them with baking soda and then use straight vinegar afterward if you need an extra boost.


Final Thoughts

So, what’s the best way to get rid of orange stains? We recommend using baking soda and vinegar. Some parents are concerned about washing baby bottles in a dishwasher and there are conflicting opinions about the safety of using a dishwasher to clean your child’s used cups and other feeding supplies. Some experts say that it should be okay if you use low-temperature water with no soap or detergent in order to minimize scrubbing. Others recommend hand washing, which isn’t always practical when juggling all the kid stuff! Ultimately, it comes down to what feels safest for you and your family – but whichever method you choose, make sure not to leave any residues by rinsing them well before storing them away again after cleaning!

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This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.