Baby development

How to Sterilize Pacifiers: A Simple Guide

Here's how to sterilize pacifiers at home the easy way.

How to Sterilize Pacifiers: A Simple Guide

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For new parents, the world of babies is unfamiliar territory—every day is a new learning experience! One of the top items on every new parent's newborn checklist are the best pacifier for newborns—the instinctive action of sucking helps to soothe babies and what’s better than a calm, content baby?

What parents don’t hear enough about is learning how to sterilize pacifiers, which is a key skill to have on lock. Pacifiers are constantly in and out of your little one’s mouth throughout the day—by cleaning and sterilizing it, you’re minimizing the risk of bacteria and germs from harming them.

With just a few simple steps, here’s how parents and caretakers can sterilize their little one’s pacifier.

Why it is important to sterilize pacififers

As baby is adjusting to the world, it’s key to make this experience as seamless as possible. “[Using] can be helpful to soothe a fussy infant in a variety of situations,” explains Dr. Mona Amin, board-certified pediatrician at International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

“They are particularly helpful at night to help an infant fall asleep and in public spaces when you’re trying to keep your infant calm and quiet.” Not to mention, they can also help with ear pressure changes on flights!

From clothes to the floor, pacifiers pick up many germs as they travel from baby’s mouth to other surfaces. “[Pacifiers] can grow mold or fungi and spread infections like thrush, a common fungal infection of the mouth,” says Dr. Amin. “It is important to sterilize the pacifier before the first use and clean it after each use.”

How to sterilize pacifiers for baby

Per Dr. Amin’s recommendation, your baby’s pacifiers should be sterilized often. “Sterilization is more important with infants under the age of six months or those at higher risk for illnesses, such as immunocompromised children or kids attending daycare.”


While it’s not necessary to sterilize pacifiers each time you clean them, Amin recommends that pacifiers are cleaned with soap and water daily.

Step 1

Before serializing your little one’s pacifier, start by washing it with warm water. Do not use abrasive cleaning agents, harsh dish soaps or antibacterial cleaners on the pacifiers.

Step 2

To sterilize a pacifier, parents can utilize a sterilizing device or let it sit in boiling water (meaning the water is bubbling) for five minutes. Both are effective methods!

Step 3

Carefully remove with a clean kitchen tool, like a large spoon or ladle. Be extra cautious when working with boiling or hot water. If any excess water remains in the pacifier teat, gently squeeze it flat and away from you.

Step 4

Place on a clean drying rack or dry with a clean towel, squeezing the nipple to make sure it's fully empty. Make sure the pacifier has cooled down completely before giving it to your baby, and voilà!

Gear you'll need to sterilize pacifiers at home

Dr. Brown's Bottle and Pacifier Healthy Wipes

dr. brown's pacifier cleaning wipes, how to sterilize pacifiers Merchant

Before we get into the nitty gritty, a brief cleaning of your baby’s pacifier is needed. These wipes are the perfect solution to safely clean pacifiers, bottles, teethers and more. Using all-natural, plant-based xylitol and fruit extract each wipe easily removes dirt and dust while you’re at home.

No need to rinse off the wipe residue, making these ideal for on-the-go sterilization of dirty pacifiers.

Our Place Perfect Pot

our place perfect pot, how to sterilize pacifiers Merchant


“A simple pot on a stove with boiling water can sterilize items well,” explains Dr. Amin. This is the simplest method to sterilize your baby’s pacifiers, but requires pacifiers to be submerged in the water, “which can be a time-intensive method, especially if you have many parts to clean,” she adds.

If you've got the time, it includes a spoon, which helps to scoop out the pacifier!

Philips AVENT Microwave Steam Sterilizer Bags

philips avent microwave steam sterilizer bags, how to sterilize pacifiers Merchant

This product makes sterilizing quick and easy. “It’s a small, reusable, microwavable bag that can be easily tucked away in a purse or backpack during a day of travel,” explains Dr. Amin. Better yet, it completes the sterilization process in 90 seconds! Each bag can be used up to 20 times, which is tracked directly with checkboxes on the bag.


Munchkin Portable UV Sterilizer and Sanitizer Box

munchkin portable uv sterilizer and sanitizer box, how to sterilize pacifiers Merchant

Babies drop things in dirty places at the worst times. This portable UV-C sterilizer sanitizes pacifiers in under a minute—so you can be on your way! It safely eliminates 99.9% of germs using UV light and has been tested by independent labs. No chemicals, heat or water needed.

Philips AVENT Premium Baby Bottle Sterilizer with Dryer

philips avent premium baby bottle sterilizer with dryer, how to sterilize pacifiers Merchant

For busy parents with many products to clean, this product makes it easy. “It sterilizes using the power of pure steam to kill 99.9% of harmful germs and then a focused jet of filtered air dries bottles and accessories, making them ready for instant use,” notes Dr. Amin.


“It completes the process in 40 minutes and fits all the other essentials, from bottles to breast pump parts.” We should note that this steam method may damage latex pacifiers.

This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

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Heather Taylor-Singh is a commerce writer at St. Joseph Communications. Based in Toronto, she covers trending topics in lifestyle, culture and sustainability. When she's not feverishly writing, she enjoys overanalyzing movies and listening to her perfectly curated playlists on Spotify.