July 05, 2011,
R.C. asks from Milwaukee, WI on October 10, 2008
Medela Pump Tubing
I have the In Style breast pump from Medela. I'm having a hard time cleaning the tubing. They get full of condensation and then start to mold. I run the pump after I'm done to try to dry up the moisture, but that doesn't seem to help. I've boiled them and it's still there. I'm on my second set of tubing in 4 months of pumping. Does anyone else have this issue and how have you cleaned them? Thanks.
K.B. answers from Waterloo on October 13, 2008
I had that problem and had to buy a new set of tubing. Try running the pump for a couple minutes after each pump sometimes up to about 10-15 min. good luck
B.R. answers from Des Moines on October 11, 2008
N.S. answers from Minneapolis on October 11, 2008
It sounds like maybe the problem is your pump...perhaps you need to replace valves?? The pump should be sufficient in drying out the tubes. When mine got worn, the machine didn't "suck" so well. Replacing valves and the rubber cup (not sure what it's called) near the pumper part did the trick.
For myself, I kept two sets of tubing so that when one is being sterilized, I could pump. This also gave me the necessary time I needed to let the sterilized set dry properly.
To sterilize I used any of the following; Medela microwave sterilizing bags, my electric bottle sterilizer (it had shelves inside so you could clean pacifiers etc., and I also had the Avent microwave sterilizer (but stopped using it because stuff became discolored from the heat process).
Often there would be condesation, and sometimes if I pumped incorrectly, milk would go into tubes and I'd have to flush them with water, I'd whip them lasso style until they dried out.
Looks silly, and be sure no one is around, but it works. This is basically what the pump does too. If any moisture remained, I turned on the pump to finish.
If you air dry, be sure to hang the tubes vertically so water can't collect in the middle. Make the room or area is temperate. If it's too warm or cold that might cause moisture too.
1 mom found this helpful
K.S. answers from Rochester on October 11, 2008
I had that same problem. I contacted Medela. They said not to clean those tubes since it doesn't effect the milk.I thought that sounded strange, but they kept saying that the valves were one way and the air was only used to provide suction. They did send me replacement tubes free of charge. They're great to work with, so I would give them a call.
D.K. answers from Minneapolis on July 05, 2011
The issue probably lies in the fact that you have mold in the pump itself because Medela uses an open system. I've seen mold form in Medela pumps and at that point there's nothing you can do. The best thing is to switch to Ameda, although their pumps aren't as fancy.
M.M. answers from Minneapolis on October 11, 2008
You are suppose to NEVER wash the tubbing to your breast pump. This is where a lot of women make mistakes. The other problem is when women wash the bottles and or bells and use them before the parts dry. This too causes condensation. Medela is a great pump and the tubing issue is the only issue that most seem to have with the pump. Once the tubbing gets mole in it, please do toss it and by new tubbing. You can never get the mole spores all out and the spores can travel back into the milk.... Ameda is Medela's competition and actually have made back-up filters for their pump and advertise it as the solution to the Medela tubbing problem. If you have wet tubbing, buy new and do not use it when the bottles are wet and never wash it again....
A.J. answers from Omaha on October 12, 2008
The great thing about Medela pumps is you don't need to clean the tubing, only the parts that touch the milk. The lactation consultant told me in the hospital to be sure to keep bottle upright after pumping to ensure no milk gets into the tubing. She also said if moisture did get in they would need to be replaced b/c due to the valves there isn't really a way to clean them out. All that goes through the tubing is air so you shouldn't need to clean the insides, only wipe down the outside if it gets dirty. Hope you have better luck with the next set!
J.K. answers from Fargo on October 11, 2008
I boiled some water and put my tubing in that (after removing the heat source). Once the tubes had softened up a bit, I removed the end piece (the part with the plastic "head" that connects to the bottle) then I used a syringe (that we have for administering medicine to our baby) to flush the tubes out, that actually made quick work of the mold on the inside and they looked brand new. Make sure to put the plastic "head" back on before the tubes get completely cool or you will find they may be hard to get back on. If that is the case, just put them back in hot water to soften the tubes up, and try putting them on then.
M.C. answers from Minneapolis on October 10, 2008
I've always had spots on my tubing and maybe some discoloration a foggy hugh. I used the Medela microwave bags and I've boiled them too. I liked the bags because it's easier but never noticed mold.
R.L. answers from Minneapolis on October 13, 2008
I have seen your many responses.
I too had that problem and tried to clean out the condensation with alcohol along with my husbands air compresser to blow it out after each use.
Fish tank tubing is great, but trying to take off the attachments of the tubing that connects to the pump is next to impossible along with re-attaching them to new tubing. Those connections are really really tight.
Well, through several attempts, mold started growing in mine, so I googled "medela tubing replacement" and was able to order new tubing.