Are you struggling to clean all those nooks and crannies in your baby’s bottle?
If you take bottle cleaning seriously, know that a solution is only one good brush away.
The best baby bottle brushes can scrub any bottle back into shape and is a true asset for keeping bacteria at bay.
We’ve rounded up our favorite brushes to get those bottles sparkling in no time.
- Helps nipple cleaner dry fast
- Has its own stand
- Dishwasher safe
- Comes with a nipple brush
- Non-slip grip & ergonomic design
- Fits narrow bottles
- Holds up well with repeated uses
- Works well for washing dishes
- Easy to access nipple brush
- Used on all sizes and brands
- Little risk of damage to nipples
- Sponge dries quickly
- Fit in very narrow bottles
- Evenly and quickly cleans bottles bottoms
- Soft and scratch-free nylon bristles
- Bristles are angled
- Effectively removes dried milk
- Cleans with gentle twisting action
How to Choose a Bottle Brush
Here are some factors to consider when buying a baby bottle brush.
The brush should be long enough to reach the bottom of the baby bottle and still give you enough handle space to move it around.
Types of Bristles
The best brushes have a mix of bristles – some soft for gentle cleaning and some hard to scrape off more serious gunk.
Trying to scrub a bottle when your soapy hand keeps slipping off the brush is no fun for anyone.
Some brushes have an added feature, a sponge tip that makes it easy to scrub off build-up with a simple twist of the brush. But, if you do go for a product with a sponge tip, make sure you wash it thoroughly when you are done cleaning because sponges can get filthy quickly.
Also, keep in mind the sponge part won’t last as long as the rest of the brush because it typically tends to tear off in chunks with repeated use.
Having a flexible neck on the brush makes it easier to manipulate, which is important when you’re trying to reach the spots that a regular brush can’t reach.
Best Baby Bottle Brushes of 2021
There’s something so satisfying about a rack of freshly washed bottles on a drying rack, glinting in the sunshine. Here are the products we think will help you get that sweet, sweet feeling every time.
1. OXO Tot Bottle Brush with Nipple Cleaner and Stand
This brush has every feature that’s important in a bottle brush. The brush head has two different kinds of bristles to cover you whether you need gentle cleaning or something that will scrub away layers of film.
It also has a flexible neck all good bottle brushes should have. It has a rubberized grip on the end of the brush, which means it won’t be slipping out of your hands while you are furiously scrubbing away. Moms may like that it comes with a silicone nipple cleaner, which will help keep nipples and breast pump parts gunk free.
- There are ventilation holes to help the nipple cleaner dry fast.
- This brush has its own stand, which will help it stay fresh.
- Dishwasher safe.
- This brush is large and won’t fit well into smaller bottles.
- The bristles tend to get flattened fairly quickly with repeated use.
2. Playtex SmartSpace Baby Bottle Brush
This brush is softer, but will still scrub away filth while not scratching your bottles. It has a non-slip grip and an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to hold during lengthy washing sessions. The brush’s wide bristles can get to the inner ridges of bottles, which can be hard to reach, giving you a more thoroughly cleaned bottle.
It comes with a nipple brush that fits in the handle for easier storage. You might like that the soft nipple brush won’t shred nipples as some brushes do.
- The nipple brush has bristles on every side for fast, effective cleaning.
- Fits narrow bottles.
- You have to keep the attachment part inside the brush, or it won’t be long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle.
- The handle sometimes comes loose when you’re cleaning.
3. Dr. Brown’s Bottle Brush
This is a nifty brush that fits both standard and wide-neck bottles. It has both a sponge and bristles which helps the brush get in all the crevices that can be hard to reach with a traditional brush. Because the sponge isn’t designed for long-term use, though, you may want to replace it every month or two.
Although this brush stands up on its own, it also comes with a neat little storage clip. At the base of the unit, there are fixed chevron channels for nipple cleaning. It also has a no-slip handle, which makes it easier to use in soapy water.
- This brush comes with a suction cup stand.
- Cheaper than many of the other brushes available.
- This brush splatters a lot of water when you remove it from narrow bottles.
- The sponge sometimes falls off the brush.
4. Philips AVENT Bottle and Nipple Brush
This brush comes with a curved brush head, which is ideal for cleaning the curved sections of baby bottles. The handle part of the brush has an attached, molded tip for cleaning nipples.
The brushes are durable enough to withstand repeated cleanings but soft enough that they won’t scratch bottles, nipples or other feeding equipment.
This brush is BPA and dishwasher safe. It can also be hung up in the cabinet underneath your kitchen sink so that it can dry quickly without taking up too much space.
- This brush holds up well with repeated uses.
- Works well for washing dishes too.
- The nipple brush is easy to access – there’s no cover over it.
- The brush won’t fit in the smallest of bottles.
- The bristles are only on one side of the brush, not all around it.
5. Moomoo Baby Triple Brush Set
This set of three sponge brushes from Moomoo Baby is made of soft, firm foam that cleans the entire bottle surface without scratching it. Moms who are sick of getting sprayed in the face with suds when they pull a traditional brush out of a bottle might like these.
Included are a smaller nipple brush and tiny “straw cleaner” for small holes or straws. When the foam starts to wear away, detach it and put on a fresh one.
- Can be used on all sizes and brands of bottle.
- Little risk of damage to nipples while cleaning.
- Sponge dries quickly.
- Quite tricky to replace old sponges.
- Some parents have found the handle is not very durable and breaks.
6. Munchkin Sponge Bottle Brush
This brush can stand upright, keeping it free from germs, and it can be cleaned in the top rack of your dishwasher. According to the manufacturer, the brush should be replaced every month or month and a half. It has a helpful sponge at the tip of the brush.
The nylon bristles are soft and scratch-free and work on both plastic and glass baby bottles. Like many other brush models, it comes with a smaller nipple brush that is stored inside the handle end of the bigger brush. The non-stick handle is also a nice touch.
- Thin stem fits in very narrow bottles.
- Sponge tip evenly and quickly cleans bottoms of bottles.
- No suction cup on the stand, which makes it easy to knock over when standing upright.
- The metal end of the brush isn’t covered by the sponge, which means it can scrape whatever you’re cleaning.
7. Nuk Triple Action Bottle and Nipple Brush
You can tell a lot of effort has gone into the design of this bottle brush from Nuk. Featuring both bristles and sponge sections, it will get rid of really crusty bits while also wiping away filmy residues without scratching.
The sponge portion is antimicrobial, so you know you won’t be cleaning bottle bacteria away with more bacteria. Included in the handle of the brush is a smaller brush for cleaning nipples.
- The bristles are angled so they really hit every corner of the bottle.
- The hard scrubber on the end can effectively remove dried milk.
- Cleans with just a gentle twisting action.
- Too big for small or narrow bottles.
- Many have found the overall quality lacking.
How Do I Clean My Baby’s Bottle?
The most important rule of bottle cleaning is to do it as soon as possible after feeding. If you toss the empty bottle in a diaper bag, forget about it and then find it a couple of days later, you’re going to have a nasty surprise on your hands. The milk will have caked on, creating a crusty layer that’s hard to remove because your hand can’t fit all the way inside.
You need a brush that can go where your hand can’t, and you need it to be stiff and flexible enough to do the job.
- Rinse bottles as soon as you’re done with them and when you’re ready, gather them all together and wash in a plastic bowl in your sink. If you like, thoroughly wash the sink first and clean the bottles in there directly.
- Use very hot water and ordinary dish soap to start cleaning.
- Use a series of brushes to scrub the screw tops, the nipples, and all the way into the bottle itself. Take your time to get into any little spaces that bacteria might like to hang out.
- Rinse well in clean water and then set out to air dry on a rack or paper towel.
- Alternatively, throw everything into the dishwasher (top rack) for a deep clean.
Baby Bottle Brush FAQs
How Do You Sterilize a Bottle Brush?
It isn’t necessary to routinely sterilize a bottle brush, unless your little one has recently been ill. Cleaning a brush thoroughly along with the rest of the washing up will be enough, but if you’re worried, you can pop the brush into your bottle sterilizer the next time you use it. If your brush is dishwasher safe, a hot cycle once in a while will keep the bristles good as new.
Can You Put a Bottle Brush in the Dishwasher?
Most brushes can be put in the dishwasher. If in doubt, double-check before you buy or use a shorter cycle if you’re not sure. Many bottles can be put in the dishwasher, too, but you might want to hand wash them if they’re particularly gunky.
What Dish Soap is Best for Baby Bottles?
Your everyday dish soap will be perfectly fine to use on bottles, so long as you rinse off any suds carefully. Some moms like antibacterial dish soap and others invest in specially designed bottle soaps, particularly if they’re washing a lot of bottles.
Look for something natural and free of nasty chemicals; though soaps like these can be more expensive than ordinary dish soap, you’ll be using a lot less of it.
The Bottom Line
The OXO Tot bottle brush is the hands-down winner. The two different kinds of bristles on the brush head offer a good mix. It can handle the bottles that your baby just finished drinking from or the ones you left sitting on the counter for a couple of days because you were too busy to wash the dishes.
The flexible neck on the brush will help you reach all the crevices you need to, and the silicone nipple cleaner is gentle on nipples, unlike nipple cleaners that have brushes, which can sometimes cause scratches or tears. Because this brush can stand up on its own, you’ll feel confident that it isn’t picking up any unwanted germs from your kitchen counters.
Moms out there, what does your bottle washing station look like? Can you share any tips or recommendations when it comes to those little tools that can make a big difference? We’d love to hear about it below.