Which baby bottle brushes are best?
One of the biggest hygiene problems with infants is the baby bottle — old milk and other gunk builds up in the crevices, the nipple and at the bottom, which leads to bacteria growth and potential health problems for the baby.
That’s where baby bottle brushes come in. Baby bottle brushes like Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Brush are effective because they reach all the way down to the bottom of small bottles and gently clean them.
What to know before you buy a baby bottle brush
Some designs work better for some bottles
Before choosing a baby bottle brush, double-check the size and shape of the baby bottles you primarily use. Avoid getting a regular bottle brush, since these are usually designed to clean larger containers like jars or water bottles. These brushes are often too large or stiff to be suitable for baby bottle cleaning.
Different bottle brushes come in different widths, lengths and materials. A straw brush can clean out long, narrow plastic straws and usually has stiffer bristles. A miniature brush is perfect for smaller baby bottles with a tapered opening because they have shorter bristles. And nipple brushes have a special design to clean the hard-to-reach areas in the baby bottle’s nipple. Some of these brushes come with bristles on one end, while others have a molded tip.
It might have other uses
Since baby bottle brushes normally have more delicate bristles than other bottle brushes, they are also effective at cleaning other glassware. This includes champagne flutes, wine bottles and even small home appliances or aquariums.
Sets vs. individual brushes
Baby bottle brushes come individually packaged and in sets. Most individual brushes serve a specific purpose. Sets often include a variety of brush styles for cleaning different types of baby bottles. Even with sets, many people tend to have a preference of one or two brushes over the others.
What to look for in a quality baby bottle brush
Most baby bottle brushes are made from nylon, silicone or polyester, but what matters most is the material of the bristles. The most common material for bristles is nylon due to its strength and stiffness. This can be good if you need something a little abrasive, but it can also scratch more fragile bottles.
Silicone bristles, meanwhile, are softer and more flexible than nylon. This makes them ideal for cleaning delicate items. Silicone also usually lasts longer than other materials, but such brushes do require thorough, gentle cleaning.
Finally, there are polyester brushes. These are less common, but are still highly effective at cleaning bottles without damaging them. Instead of the standard bristles, these brushes usually have a scrubber or handle.
The handle of most baby bottle brushes is made from plastic, silicone or wire. Some come with an ergonomic grip to allow for easier handling, but this isn’t common. When looking for a good bottle brush, look for a handle with a good amount of flexibility so the brush can reach all the corners inside the bottle.
Bristle size and placement
In general, bristles that are less than one inch in length are more rigid than longer bristles, and are thus better at scrubbing and removing buildup in the bottle. Brushes with too few bristles or with bristles located along the handle can be useful for cleaning along the sides of bottles.
Some baby bottle brush sets come with a traveling case, a caddy for counter storage or a drying rack. If you travel or don’t want to buy all baby bottle brush items separately, consider purchasing a set.
How much you can expect to spend on a baby bottle brush
On the low end, expect to spend around $4-$10 on a baby bottle brush or small set of brushes. For a larger set, or if you’re looking for a specific high-quality brush, buyers may pay around $15.
Baby bottle brush FAQ
How often should I replace my baby bottle brush?
A. If you take care of your brushes and use them as intended, they should last a long time. However, it’s best to replace them every month or month and a half to avoid potential bacteria growth or worn-out bristles.
How can I clean a bottle brush?
A. Fill a sink with hot water and gentle liquid dish detergent. Place the bottle brushes in the water and let them soak for 30 minutes or so and then rinse. For newborns, pour hydrogen peroxide over the head and handle of the brush to kill any germs. Let it sit for 15 minutes, rinse and let it air-dry.
My baby bottles are dishwasher-safe. Do I still need a bottle brush?
A. Yes. Washing a bottle in a dishwasher may not clean every nook and cranny. If leftover formula or milk gets caked onto the base of the bottle, the dishwasher may not be able to get it off. Additionally, if you plan to travel, a couple of baby bottle brushes can be handy.
What’s the best baby bottle brush to buy?
Top baby bottle brush
What you need to know: If you are looking for a strong, angled nylon bristle brush that can easily scrub away residue in most baby bottle types, then this one is perfect for you.
What you’ll love: The angled bristle pattern combines with a contoured, ergonomic soft-grip handle to offer a wide range of movements.
What you should consider: Due to its larger size, the brush head may not fit in particularly small baby bottles.
Top baby bottle brush for the money
What you need to know: This bottle brush is durable, easy to use and built with strong bristles that work great with angled bottles and for cleaning a bottle’s nipple.
What you’ll love: The straightforward design allows for easy cleaning without the confusion of some fancier designs. It’s also highly affordable and versatile.
What you should consider: Although the sturdiness of the handle is usually a good thing, it makes this brush less flexible.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This set of two brushes comes with sponge tips for easy, thorough cleaning of even the most delicate bottles.
What you’ll love: These bottle brushes are gentle and can get into every part of the baby bottle thanks to their tips and flexible design. They also sit upright for convenient storage and are top-rack dishwasher-safe.
What you should consider: Frequent use may cause the sponge tips to separate from the brush, meaning they need regular replacement.
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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