How To Clean Pacifiers

If there is an object that attracts the most germs and stays in your child’s mouth the most, it’s the little pacifier. Cleaning this innocuous piece of baby equipment might look like a no-brainer, but your child can get sick if you failed to do this right. Is there a right and wrong way to do this?



If your baby tends to get sick often or is less than six months of age, you have to be consistent about sterilizing his pacifier daily. That’s because, at less than six months, your baby’s immune system is not yet that matured.

If the product label says that your pacifier is safe to sterilize, then finding a bottle sterilizer may help. You may also boil it like the old-fashioned way. Sterilize your pacifier by boiling it for about five minutes at first use. From thereon, you may just boil it for about 3 minutes before giving it to the baby. 

​Washing Without Sterilization

After your little one has turned six months of age, you may now be less OC and reduce your pacifier sterilization routine to just once a week.

On most days, you can go with just washing the pacifier with soap and water. Latex binkies can easily be cleaned with just warm soapy water. Take note to rinse the pacifier thoroughly as soap residue can stay inside your pacifier’s small nooks and crannies.

If the pacifier always falls on the floor, then you may tie it at baby’s crib next time. You can alternately rinse the pacifier in hot water just to be sure that most germs are gone.

Let it cool down before giving it back to your little one. You don’t want your baby’s favorite piece of soother to get all that pesky germs so just keep his binkies squeaky clean every time.

​Using Microwave Oven To Sanitize Pacifiers

Little child playing with a microwave oven in the kitchen

You may also disinfect your baby’s pacifier by using a microwave oven. Clean the pacifier first with soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Dip your child’s pacifier in a cupful of water and let it run inside the microwave for about 2 minutes.

Not all pacifier types can withstand the intense microwave heat so read the product insert before you pop that binky into the microwave.

Another alternate way to use a microwave for sanitation is to boil a cup of water first in the microwave. Dip in your child’s pacifier into this steaming cup of hot water and let it soak for about 5 minutes. Use a pot holder when removing the cup of water out of the microwave; you don’t want that boiling water to burn you.

​Safety Tips When Using A Pacifier


• Do not let your baby get too attached to his pacifier. Offer the pacifier only when he is done with breastfeeding. Never use it all day, it can interfere with his teeth growth and can even hinder your child’s ability to speak.

• Avoid giving a pacifier to a newborn that has yet to learn how to latch-on your breasts properly. Giving pacifier this early can create nipple confusion; hence you will have a harder time to get breastfeeding right.

• Replace the pacifier with a new one as soon as you had observed it to have tears, bites or missing parts. Never allow your child to chew on his pacifier; it is a choking hazard. If baby’s pacifier gets mangled at the first week of use, chances are you bought the wrong type of pacifier.

• Sterilize your pacifier every time if you’re house tap water is not potable. In this case, washing is not enough. The water might have remnants of rust or fine solids that may irritate baby.

• Wean your child of pacifier use before his first birthday. Do not do this abruptly but rather gradually. Your child must equate giving up his pacifier habit as “growing up.”

Sarah Morgan

Chief editor of and striving mom-extraordinaire.Let me share and inspire you with my daily struggles to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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