top of page

Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Breast Pump Parts

Emily's baby_edited.jpg

Mothers’ Milk Bank of Tennessee provides lifesaving donor milk to the most critical infants. Therefore, it is imperative that each donor follows the following guidelines at all times so that we can provide the safest donor milk possible. 

Wash your hands.

Don’t touch your clean pump parts until you wash your hands. Once you wash your hands, don’t touch anything else to avoid cross-contamination.

Pump Parts (2).png

Wash your pump parts after each use.

Place pump parts in a clean wash basin used only for infant feeding items. Do not place pump parts directly in the sink. Add soap and hot water to basin. Scrub items using a clean brush used only for infant feeding items. Rinse by holding items under running water.


Place pump parts, wash basin, and bottle brush on a clean, unused dish towel, paper towel or drying rack. Do not use a dish towel to rub or pat items dry! Clean wash basin and bottle brush.

Pump Parts (3).png
Pump Parts (4).png

Sanitize Daily

Place pump parts and breast milk containers in boiling water for 10 minutes each day. If you cannot boil your items, please place them on the top rack of your dishwasher and run utilizing the sanitizing cycle. Air dry on clean dish towel, paper towel or drying rack.

Transferring and Labeling for Donation

Pumped milk should be transferred from the pump containers into milk storage bags (BPA Free) and place in the refrigerator or freezer immediately. See below for additional storage guidelines.

Label breast milk storage bags above the bag seal line using a permanent marker with the full date (including the year) that the milk was pumped, your last name and donor number. 

When ready to transport milk to the nearest Milk Drop Depot, place individual milk storage bags in a large Ziplok style bag. Label this larger bag with your last name, donor number and date of oldest milk in the large bag. Place bags of milk in a cooler with ice packs. Breast milk must be frozen from the time it is pumped and remain frozen until it is delivered by you to a Milk Drop Depot.


Milk Bags (1).png

Safe Storage Guidelines

Room Temperature

1 – 4 hours

Room temperature is generally recognized as approximately 70 degrees F. If it is possible to move the milk into a cold or refrigerated place sooner, that is best.

In the Refrigerator

 1-4 days

Store milk for donation no longer than 96 hrs. in the refrigerator (+/- 40 degrees F) before moving to the freezer.

Freezer door

7 days

Long term storage in the door of the freezer is not recommended because the temperature does not get cold enough, but it does freeze milk and food.

Deep Freezer

9 months

 A deep freezer ( -20 C = 4 F”) is a separate unit that is only a freezer and the best place to store breast milk if you think it may be there long term.

Do Not Store Pump Parts in the Refrigerator Between Uses

Refrigeration does not stop bacteria from growing. Infants have become ill from contaminated milk due to bacteria grown on pump parts that were not cleaned properly. Proper cleaning of breast pump parts and feeding items, and appropriate storage of milk, can help preserve the nutrient and protective properties of breast milk, and reduce the risk of introducing germs to an infant. Thus, cleaning pump parts thoroughly after every use is the best way to help protect babies from harmful germs that could be on pump parts, especially for babies who were born preterm or have other health conditions.

Do Not Use Pump Cleaning Wipes

Pump cleaning wipes do not adhere to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)’s milk storage guidelines, as they do not reach into all the internal surfaces of the pump’s parts and may leave residue which is unsafe for medically fragile babies.

Do Not Combine Breast Milk That Are Varying Temperatures

“Stacking,” “layering,” or combining milk from more than one pumping session should be done only when the milk is the same temperature (i.e. all milk being combined is refrigerated). Mixing warm milk with cool milk is an opportunity for bacterial growth in the milk. Make sure all milk that is to be combined over multiple pumping sessions have been in the refrigerator for at least 30 mins. Label this combination bag with the oldest date of milk pumped. Store all milk in a milk storage bag designed for breast milk storage. Bags not specifically designed for breast milk storage may not be sterilized in the same way as milk storage containers.

bottom of page