Cleaning and Sterilizing Pacifier: The Ultimate Guide

Did your baby just drop the pacifier on the ground? Then it was picked by other people? Has it been used for more than few hours now? In any of the cases above, you should clean and/or sterilize the pacifiers as frequent as possible. Remember, there is no five-second rule for pacifiers so pick it up and clean and sterilize it in ways we can.


There are many ways to ‘clean’ your newborn’s pacifiers. First could be through putting it under some running water, second is using pacifier wipes, and third is by putting it in a boiling water, which sounds similar to sterilizing.

1. Running Water Method

If you notice dusts or smaller solid particles stick to your baby’s pacifier, go to the faucet and wash it with running water. Check until the dirt has been flushed away. If you have a heater at home, it is better to use hot running water as it will both work as a cleanser and sterilizer.

You may also opt to use soap in cleaning it through the warm running water. Bottle soaps can also be used for your pacifiers. However, you should carefully choose which soap will you pick from the grocery store. Check out Best Baby Bottle Soaps in 2018 – A Complete Review to know the updated list of bottle soaps in store for you!

2. Pacifier Wipes

No running water around you? If you are in a public space and you really need to clean your baby’s pacifier, some pacifier wipes can suffice. Pacifier wipes are made out of 100 percent food grade ingredients including water, sodium benzoate, disodium EDTA, polysorbate 20, citric acid, dehydroacetic acid, potassium sorbate, sodium bicarbonate, and glycerin derived from vegetables. So, if you are about to get one from the store, check the ingredients to see if this is safe for your baby!

Using pacifier wipes is similar to using wipes to clean your hands from dirt. Make sure to clean your hands first before using pacifier wipes on your baby’s little toy to avoid further germ contamination. Pacifier wipes are also available online at Amazon.

3. Boiling Water

If you are not in a hurry in cleaning your baby’s pacifier, you may spare five minutes of it being soaked in a hot or a boiling water. This method is also a form of sterilizing. However, compared to the use of pacifier wipes and the running water method, this one takes more time but cleanses more compared to the first two.  

You must take note than not all pacifiers are made of materials which are safe to be soaked in hot water for quite a long time—say five to ten minutes. It is best therefore to check first the user manual to see if the pacifier will be fine after being cleansed through boiling water or not. Definitely, it depends on the materials that specific brand use.


The method of sterilizing is more capable of killing germs in your baby’s pacifier. There are many ways to sterilize, and among these are:

1. Boiling

If you choose boiling your sterilizers and by boiling means reaching the temperature of 100 degrees Celsius, you need to make sure that the pacifier is cool enough before you give it to your little one. Boiling takes around five minutes.

2. Sterilizer

Other than manually boiling the pacifiers, you may also consider getting a sterilizer. Bottle sterilizers will suffice, and you can get it in the nearest appliance store near you. To help you in picking the best sterilizers for your bottles and pacifiers, the WellBeingKid has done it all for you.

3. Microwave oven

Here are the basic steps on how you can use your microwave oven to sterilize your stuff:

  1. Depending on the brand, check if your pacifiers can be sterilized through microwave.
  2. Gently clean the pacifier and soak it in a microwaveable beaker with at least 25 millimeters of water.
  3. Put it inside the microwave at high for two to three minutes.
  4. Let it cool down for five or more minutes. You can check if it is cool enough by damping it on your skin.

Drain the water and let it dry. You can give it to your baby once it dried up.

Which method should you choose?

Cleaning and sterilizing can be used to eliminate the dirt accumulated in your baby’s pacifier. In choosing, you have to take into consideration your time, the possible causes and sources of dirt and microbes, and your resources.

Sterilizing would be the best but it will take time. Also, if you plan to get a sterilizer, that is an additional expense. The prices of bottle sterilizers range $47 to $120 depending on the brand. You can get in in Amazon as well.

Cleaning through pacifier wipes and bottle soaps is really ten-fold cheaper and this will really work if you are cleaning solid dirt like soil and powdered things. However, consider also that there are types of microbes which can thrive in wet places. So, it is suggested to supplement cleaning with at least boiling it for 5 minutes.

Regardless of picking between cleaning and sterilizing your pacifiers, there is no forever cleaning and sterilizing and definitely, you would need to replace your pacifiers. Aside from it being teared, you need to replace your pacifiers when your baby bridged through the six months.

Remember that the size of pacifier is based on the age—it comes either for 0 to 6 months old, or 6 months and older.

While other websites will recommend you to change as often as possible, pacifiers are like out toothbrush that needs to be changed every two months. This is because there are accumulated dirt and microbes which were stuck and remained in place no matter how you clean and sterilize your pacifiers.


Pacifiers are the ultimate source of joy of babies, in case mom’s breasts and bottles are not in the place. They are handy and can be used wherever. To take your pick, read through the Best Pacifiers for Breastfed Babies: A Complete Review. Once you bought one, you have to keep yourself informed on how you should maintain the cleanliness of your pacifiers to avoid germs from attacking your baby’s health. 

Have you taken your pick on whether you will just clean it or sterilize? The answer here is you do not have to pick one because you can do both.

In day time, you can clean is so you can give it back to your baby as quick as possible. In night time, you can leave it in a sterilizer or let it naturally cool down from being boiled. Check also your wallets because if you can afford sterilizers, then why not? It may give you a 99.9 percent clean from germs.

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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