If you're in a hurry and just want to find out what the best bottle soap is, I'd recommend the Medela Quick Clean Breastmilk Removal Soap.
Do you ever find yourself trying to decide whether a baby bottle soap is any different from your typical dish soap? While it’s certainly easy to overlook the idea of special bottle soap, it’s mainly essential when thinking about your baby.
Babies, especially when they’re first born, are incredibly susceptible to bacteria and other potentially harmful chemicals. Because of this, it’s critical to make sure you’re using a gentle soap. Gentle soap adequately cleans bottles, pump parts, and pacifiers without exposing harmful chemicals.
I’ve come up with a list of the top five best baby bottle soaps to help you make your decision easier.
Here are the soaps I will be reviewing:
So how do you know if a dish soap is potentially harmful? A pretty easy indicator is if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, they probably aren’t safe. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has an effective system that grades cleaning products on several different factors. Each product ends up with a specific letter grade to determine how “safe” it is to use.
Here are some of the most common ingredients you’re going to want to stay away from:
There’s also the use of “non-specific” ingredients. These include surfactants, water softeners, and preservatives. Here are the most noticeable non-specific ingredients you’ll see in dish soap:
Non-specific ingredients are dangerous because you don’t actually know what it is, hence the name. There isn’t a requirement for companies to list ingredients on household cleaning products, so this opens up the opportunity for brands to get sneaky.
There are certain things to watch for during your search to ensure that you find the baby bottle soap that works for you. After all, your baby’s health is your number one priority as a new parent, and that means not exposing them to harmful chemicals. Here’s what you should look out for.
Your baby bottle dish soap should be a mild detergent, preferably marketed as all-natural or organic. That label will ensure that you’re using a product that won’t potentially harm your little one.
When looking, make sure the soap is paraben and phthalate-free and that it doesn’t contain sulfates, SLS, or sodium lauryl sulfate. All of these chemicals can cause issues with your child’s body systems.
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous paragraph. You don’t want to get a soap with any added fragrances. Fragrance can cause issues with allergies or skin irritation, not to mention sometimes the scent won’t leave the bottle. It’s nice to have a soap that smells good, but there are natural dish soaps out there that don’t use any artificial fragrance.
This consideration is entirely up to you and your preferences. Do you want to buy in bulk or would you rather have a countertop bottle? Before making a purchase, keep in mind the space you have to store it and how often you think you’ll need to use it.
You also need to bear in mind how often you want to spend money on the product. Buying in bulk means you can save trips to the store as well as your money in the long run.
Some baby bottle soaps may come with convenient add-ons like bottle brushes or on-the-go cleaning wipes. These are helpful to keep an eye out for because you save money by purchasing them together rather than separately. In most cases, they’re things that you’ll end up needing anyway, so it only makes sense to save money and buy them together.
Now that we’ve covered the important stuff, I want to give you my top five list of the best baby bottle soaps. Each of these options scored a passing letter grade on the EWG scale.
This soap is made of 98 percent natural products and is free of added colors, preservatives and other unnecessary chemicals. The bottle contains 13.5 ounces of soap and is guaranteed to last at least 158 “sink fulls” of dishes. A little goes a long way with this one, which is nice because you don’t need to worry about always running out to buy more.
It’s plant-based and lightly fragranced with lavender and lime essential oils for a gentle scent. It’s also both pediatrician and mom-approved, so you know you’re getting a high-quality product. You also have the option of buying it with or without a bottle brush.
Because this soap is natural and free of the yucky stuff, it’s safe to use on your pump parts, pacifiers, or anything else that comes into contact with the mouth. It’s been proven effective on breastmilk and formula, which is helpful knowing you’re washing away all the remaining bacteria.
This product also comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. To add on to that, it’s also cruelty-free, the bottle is recyclable, and it’s hypoallergenic as well. You should use the soap bottle within six months of opening.
Non-toxicity is perhaps the most critical characteristic of a quality baby bottle soap. This one, in particular, is not only non-toxic, but it’s also 100 percent natural and baby safe. Purchasing this product benefits Autism Speaks, so you’re not only buying a safe product for your baby but your helping others too.
It’s pediatrician-recommended and has passed all U.S. EPA Safer Product Standards. The company tested each ingredient to make sure everything is entirely safe for babies and toddlers.
There are several natural dish soaps to choose from, but this brand made a specific formula just for baby products. It’s an advanced formula meant to be super gentle on the skin which is perfect for anybody with sensitivities.
The free & clear formula they use is free of all fragrances, dyes, and triclosan. This dish soap is certified hypoallergenic, GMO-free, and gluten-free as well. The product is also completely vegan and is not tested on animals.
This dish soap comes in a pack of three 30 ounce bottles. I like this because you don’t have to worry about buying so often.
With this one, you get two 16 ounce bottles of plant-derived, hypoallergenic baby bottle soap. It’s a hyper-concentrated formula guaranteed to last over 150 “sink fulls” of dishes and was developed by pediatricians. The formula is made to be easy to rinse while leaving each bottle spot-free.
This particular soap is vegan, meaning that like my previous picks, they also don’t test their products on animals. All products in this brand are USA-made. This is nice because it allows you to keep your money in the States rather than outsourcing. Products made in the USA are, typically, of better quality as well.
I like this soap a lot because it claims to get those tough stains from breastmilk or formula without totally ruining your hands in the process. Their ingredients are coconut-based, so you get plenty of deep-cleaning suds when using it.
This baby bottle soap also comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. If you aren’t thrilled with the product you can send it back, no questions asked. This is a nice touch because it can be difficult trying to find a soap that works for your dishes and skin. This way, you don’t need to worry about wasting money on a non-returnable product.
This next top choice comes in a 13.5-ounce bottle of soap, and you have the option to buy one or three bottles of it. It’s anti-bacterial, eco-friendly, and water-based. These are all significant indicators that you have a good quality soap.
It’s considered non-toxic and is naturally biodegradable. I like this because not only is it safe for your baby, but it’s friendly to the environment too. This one is organic and vegan, and it doesn’t contain any added chemicals either. This company also doesn’t test on animals, so that’s another plus.
This soap is made with an instant-lather formula and won’t leave any gross residue after washing your bottles. It’s best to use warm water with this soap to maximize the cleaning results.
I also really like this one because it’s enriched with spearmint, leaving a pleasant aroma as you wash your baby’s bottles. To make the bottle even more convenient, the manufacturer includes an extra cork if you’d rather have a squeeze bottle over a pump.
Any mother who has chosen to pump for their baby can attest to just how stubborn breastmilk can be to get out of bottles. This reigns especially true after a day or two of leftover milk sitting in the bottle. This baby bottle soap is meant to tackle that issue.
It’s guaranteed to remove pesky breastmilk residue that’s up to three days old. It also has no added fragrance, so it doesn’t leave an odd taste after washing. This soap has been clinically tested and is considered safe and hypoallergenic.
There are also breastmilk quick clean wipes that come with it. These wipes are beneficial for when you’re at work or out somewhere, and you need to do a quick pump clean. The pack comes with 24 wipes.
The only major downside to this one is that the bottle only contains 6 ounces of product. This is much less than the others on my list.
The soap formula is designed so that you don’t need to scrub to get the residue off and the bottle contains specific instructions on how much to use each time. I like this because you don’t need to worry about accidentally using too much and wasting product.
Finding the best baby bottle soap can prove quite tricky with the number of options available. So many products boast that they’re “natural” or “gentle on the skin.” However, this is hardly ever the case. That’s why it’s so important to look closely at these types of products, especially when they’re for your baby.
While I would recommend any of the soaps on this list, my favorite one is Medela Quick Clean Breastmilk Removal Soap. It’s scrub-free formula is highly effective, which is most important to me.
By the way, while we're on the topic of cleaning baby bottles, check out my bottle sterilizer and dryer review.
Cristin is a co-founder of Smart Parent Advice, and the loving mother of two wonderful children. In her free time, she can often be found in a yoga studio or catching up on her favorite shows.