Can You Wash Bottles in the Dishwasher with Other Dishes

Washing bottles can be a bit of a chore, especially for parents with young children or anyone who frequently uses reusable bottles. The convenience of a dishwasher often tempts us to throw everything in at once, but can you wash bottles in the dishwasher with other dishes? In this article, we’ll explore the do’s and don’ts of dishwasher bottle cleaning and provide you with some valuable tips to ensure your bottles come out sparkling clean and safe for use.

Understanding Dishwasher Basics

Before delving into whether you can wash bottles with other dishes, it’s essential to understand how a dishwasher works. Dishwashers use hot water, detergent, and mechanical sprays to clean and sanitize your dishes. While this method is highly effective for most items, it may not be suitable for all.

The Dishwasher’s Cleaning Process

  1. Pre-Rinse: Dishwashers typically have a pre-rinse cycle that removes loose debris from your dishes.
  2. Main Wash: This is where the detergent and hot water combine to clean your dishes thoroughly.
  3. Rinse Cycle: The dishwasher rinses off any remaining detergent and debris.
  4. Drying: Some dishwashers have a drying cycle to ensure dishes are ready for use.

Washing Bottles in the Dishwasher

Now, let’s address the burning question: can you wash bottles in the dishwasher with other dishes? The answer is both yes and no, depending on a few key factors.

Yes, You Can!

  1. Glass Bottles: Glass bottles are generally safe for the dishwasher. Make sure they are dishwasher-safe, and place them securely on the top rack.
  2. Baby Bottles: Many baby bottles and their components are designed to be dishwasher-safe. However, it’s advisable to check the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  3. Bottle Caps and Nipples: These small parts can be placed in a dishwasher basket on the top rack.

No, You Shouldn’t!

  1. Plastic Bottles: While some plastic bottles claim to be dishwasher-safe, it’s best to hand wash them to prevent warping or degradation of the plastic.
  2. Bottles with Labels: If your bottles have labels or decorative prints, hand washing is the safest option as the dishwasher may damage or peel them.
  3. Bottles with Narrow Openings: Bottles with small openings can trap water and detergent, making it difficult to ensure thorough cleaning.

Tips for Washing Bottles and Dishes Together

If you want to wash bottles in the dishwasher alongside your other dishes, here are some helpful tips to follow:

1. Pre-Rinse Bottles

Before placing bottles in the dishwasher, give them a quick pre-rinse to remove any leftover milk, juice, or residue. This helps prevent food particles from sticking to other dishes.

2. Use a Dishwasher Basket

Invest in a dishwasher basket designed for baby bottles and small parts. This keeps bottles secure on the top rack and prevents them from falling over during the wash cycle.

3. Avoid High Heat

Select a gentle or low-temperature wash cycle to protect plastic bottles and bottle accessories. High heat can cause plastic to warp or release harmful chemicals.

4. Separate Heavily Soiled Items

If you have heavily soiled dishes or pots and pans, it’s best to wash them separately from your bottles to ensure thorough cleaning.


In conclusion, washing bottles in the dishwasher with other dishes is possible, but it requires some caution and consideration. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific bottles and accessories, and follow our tips to ensure a safe and effective cleaning process.


1. Can I wash stainless steel bottles in the dishwasher?

Stainless steel bottles are generally safe for the dishwasher, but it’s advisable to check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some may have specific care instructions.

2. Is it safe to wash bottles with baby utensils in the dishwasher?

Yes, you can wash bottles with baby utensils in the dishwasher, as long as both are labeled as dishwasher-safe. Use a dishwasher basket to secure smaller items.

3. Should I use a separate detergent for washing bottles?

It’s not necessary to use a separate detergent for bottles unless your baby has specific allergies or sensitivities. Most dishwasher detergents are designed to be safe for baby bottles.

4. Can I wash breast pump parts in the dishwasher?

Breast pump parts can be washed in the dishwasher if they are labeled as dishwasher-safe. Otherwise, hand washing with warm, soapy water is recommended.

5. How often should I clean baby bottles and accessories?

Baby bottles and accessories should be cleaned after each use to prevent the buildup of bacteria and milk residue. Regular cleaning ensures your baby’s safety.

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