How to Clean a Pacifier | Parenting Guide

how to clean a pacifier

Having at least 1 or 2 pacifiers is a must in every parent’s baby list. But, as much as you love your baby’s pacifier, cleaning it can be quite frustrating. Honestly, babies drop their pacifiers all the time! So, for your baby safety, you should clean the pacifier even if it lands on a clean surface like your table. There are many different ways to clean a pacifier, some are better than others. Let’s look at some of the best methods to know how to clean a pacifier probably.

Inspect Your Pacifier First

Remember to give it wipe or a quick wash before you do this. Once those pacifiers are clean, check them over to make sure they’re still in good shape. If you see any cracks, tears, or compromised parts, you need to toss it out right away. There is no need to waste time trying to fix or reuse a broken pacifier.

Best Ways to Sterilize Pacifiers

Before you sterilize the pacifiers, you first need to make sure your baby’s pacifier has been washed well. Putting a pacifier under a running faucet is enough to remove the dirt on the surface. However, using only water won’t do much to remove the stubborn bacteria and germs that cling to it. So, here are the most common and effective ways to clean your pacifiers:

Washing with Soap

Fill up a big bowl or your sink with hot, soapy water if you have time. You can use whatever soap you have in your house. Just make sure there is no soap clinging on the pacifiers after sterilizing. When you’re washing the pacifiers, make sure you use a clean sponge or dishrag. This method is quite fast so you should wash your pacifiers daily. However, water may get inside the nipple during the cleaning process. You can remove it by squeezing the nipple.


If you decide to boil a pacifier to clean it, you should heat the water until it is boiling for at least 10 seconds. Then put the pacifier in and continue to boil it for 5 minutes. And, don’t worry because boiling can’t melt your pacifier if it’s made of good quality materials. This is a great method because it’s easy to do and you don’t really need to use any chemical to clean. Also, remember to let the pacifier cool down before giving it to your baby. Instead of squeezing the nipple to see how hot it is, try to shake any trapped water out onto your wrist. 

Using a Microwave, Dishwasher or Sterilizer

You can buy sterilizers to get the job done it the most convenient way. But, the only downside of this method is that it costs more money. And, if you’re using a sterilizer, read the instructions carefully before using them.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to buy any extra things, you can also toss your pacifier in the microwave. When using a microwave sterilizer, it’s also important to follow these instructions. Fill the container halfway and partially submerge the pacifier, run the microwave for 2 minutes, and then flip the pacifier over and run the microwave for another 2 minutes. You don’t want to let them too long because it can damage the pacifiers.

When using a dishwasher as a sterilizing method, make sure you only put the pacifier on the top shelf of the dishwasher. It’s not made to go on the bottom rack because the heat can be too intense. Before using the dishwasher, make sure on the package of your pacifier that it says it’s okay to put in the dishwasher. You can use this method with most pacifiers, but latex pacifiers may not be as dishwasher safe as other materials.

Let it Dry And Put Away

After finishing cleaning, make sure the pacifier is dry before giving it to your baby. It should air dry fairly quickly. To speed things up, you can grab the handle and shake any excess water off or out of the pacifier. While it’s drying, put it on a clean dish towel so you aren’t contaminating it by putting it on any unsafe surface.

To keep your baby’s pacifier clean between uses, you should put it away until you need it. A good place to keep it is in a plastic Ziplock bag. They fit easily into purses or diaper bags and will keep all the junk in your purse or in your bag off the pacifier. 

There is nothing a mom won’t do for her babies. So, sometimes you can see a mom use her own mouth to clean the pacifier if there’s nothing else around to clean it. But, we suggest not doing this technique at all. Cleaning and sterilizing your baby’s pacifier doesn’t take any special talent, but it is something you shouldn’t skip. Just a few steps and your baby is protected from all harm. We hope this will help you keep your pacifier clean, so you can feel confident whenever you hand it to your baby. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments!