How to Get Rid of Sour Milk Smell in Baby Bottles

Updated on June 21, 2010
L.M. asks from Arlington, VA
17 answers

Hi Ladies,
I hand wash our son's baby bottles in soap and hot water and I noticed that the insides smell like sour milk. How can I get rid of this smell? Do I have to buy new bottles?

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answers from St. Louis on

Baking soda, that's all you need for any type of smell, carpets, diaper pails,laundry it even works great as a fiberglass tub cleaner. I set a box in the laundry room it even helps whiten things.

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1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

hi have not used this on baby bottles but do use to get rid of pasta sauce, garlic etc smells from glass jars. I use the coffe grounds from my morning coffee and put them in the jar and top of with warm water and let it sit for a day then just run them through the dishwasher and the smell is gone !

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answers from New York on

You can soak them in a mixture of vinegar and water or baking soda and water if you don't have a dishwasher. It is also helpful not to let the old milk sit in the bottle. When baby is finished with the bottle, immediately rinse out the bottle. This way the milk residue isn't going to sour in the bottle before you wash it. I hope this is helpful.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

If you do not have a dishwasher, you can use denture cleanser.. Follow the directions on the box.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Run them through the dishwasher.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I had this problem with my daughter's cups. Put them in a large bowl or dish pan (plastic or glass, not metal) with hot water, dish soap and some vinegar--about a cup. Let them soak for a day and then do a regular wash. The smell should go away. This has worked for me and is also great for getting the stale smell out of our water bottles and lunch pails when we had them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I use a squirt of dish soap and fill with hot water and shake it up and leave it for a few hours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Sounds gross, but 1/2 hot water and 1/2 vinegar works great. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and it cuts through fat (from milk or breastmilk), leaving it clean and smell free!
Just make sure after you let the water/vinegar sit for awhile you scrub it and rinse well with water. :)


answers from Dallas on

I like to put baking soda and white vinagar in, put the lid on, shake it up and let it sit for a day. Then wash with hot water and dish soap. It works!



answers from Columbus on

I like AG's answer. I put a squirt of dish soap and hot water in the bottle and let it sit for a day... or two if it's really gross. Rinse it out and wash it again and you should be good to go.


answers from Washington DC on

Throw them all in the dishwasher.
It gets them cleaner...



answers from Albuquerque on

Yuk! We have this same thing with our sippy cups! Usually I try to rinse them out right away, but if one rolls under the sofa or gets lost in the car... forget about it! Anyways, I just fill up my sink with fresh hot-hot water and a few squirts of dish soap then take all the pieces apart (for sippy cups, that's lids, cups, caps, nipples, straws, and valves) and let them soak for a while (at least 30 min to 1 hour). I go in and slosh them around a few times and then scrub with a dish sponge that also has soap on it. I rinse them in a sink full of fresh hot-hot water (soak for at least 30 minutes). This is my hands-off approach and it seems to work. I do these before any other dirty dishes which also gives the water time to cool down before I stick my hands in it. The vinegar soak works too, but I hate the lingering smell of vinegar (in the house and on my hands)!
Good Luck!


answers from Washington DC on

All bottles and nipples should be boiled on a daily basis. You can place the nipples and bottles to soak in a baking soda, dishwashing liquid solution using hot(boiled water) that will get rid of the sour milk smell. Sterilizing the bottles are very important for it keeps away germs that will cause your baby to be more susceptible to colds and other ailments.



answers from Cincinnati on

I used a microwave sterilizer (they sell them as bags and also you can buy a plastic system) and it almost always gets rid of the smell. I also would try baking soda - that stuff can get most smells out and it isn't poisonous if there are trace amounts left in the bottles.


answers from Los Angeles on

My doc told me its ok to use bleach but only a very small amount. When I did all I could smell was bleach in the baby bottles. I just started buying the cheap bottles at walmart and throwing them away as needed.



answers from Washington DC on

Do not boil everything on a daily basis! Some nipples, especially, should only be boiled once. Usually baking soda and/or vinegar gets smells out...I just use dishwashing soap and water and I use those hard bottles and I don't have any smells...or you could try the drop-ins - those are disposable, so they are consumable and cost more than re-usable, but they are also easy to clean up - toss and get a new one! Although, my LO hates those bottles - she was so cranky earlier today and I couldn't figure out why she wasn't eating- then I gave her the old, hard bottle and she was happy! Haha...babies are so funny.



answers from Washington DC on

If a smell is lingering, makes you wonder what else might be lingering.........In our home, we use all chemical free products, and they do a terrific job of cleaning and getting rid of smells. Sol-U-Mel in particular is fabulous at removing odors. If you might be interested in safer, cost-effective products that really work and are delivered right to your door, let me know. Or, perhaps you have a friend who shops with Melaleuca; they could help you with some products that would alleviate the smell in the bottles. Good luck!

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