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How To Clean And Dry Breast Pump Tubing (Prevent Mold-Yuck!)

How To Clean And Dry Breast Pump Tubing (Prevent Mold-Yuck!)
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When I used my breast pump, it seemed that almost every time I pumped, water droplets would appear in the tubing that connected the flanges to the pump, especially with my Medela pumps.

I did some research on how to remove the condensation from the tubing, and this is what I found.

So, how do you dry breast pump tubing?

  1. First, remove the flanges. Be sure to leave the tubing attached to the pump.
  2. Next, allow the motor run for five minutes, which will remove the condensation.
  3. If any condensation remains, remove the tubing and carefully twirl it in front of you.

I found that this process of running the pump motor for five minutes would remove the condensation most times from the breast pump tubing.

There were a few more steps to follow if running the motor did not fully dry the condensation from the tubing.

When I used my different pumps, I realized that the process to clean the tubing was a little different between the Medela pumps I used and the Spectra pumps I used.

I also discovered if there was anything other than water droplets in the tubing, then there are a few more steps in the process to make sure the tubing was completely clean.

If you are looking for a super fast way to clean all of your other pump parts and bottles (other than the tubing), I highly recommend this sterilizer (link to Amazon). It saved me so much time and was so easy to use.

Medela PISA with clean pump tubing. PumpingMamas.com

How To Clean Tubing in a Medela Symphony or Medela Pump in Style Advance (Medela PISA)

To clean the tubing, turn off the pump and unplug it. Remove the tubing from the pump and flanges. Wash the tubing in warm, soapy water, and then rinse to ensure the soap is removed. Hang the tubing to air dry.

How To Dry Tubing On A Medela Pump

If you wash the tubing, it may be difficult to remove all of the water from the inside of the tubing.

In order to fully dry the tubing, connect the tubing to the pump and allow the pump to run for five minutes. If water droplets still remain in the tubing, twirl the tubing in the air.

After the tubing has been washed, you may notice dry water spots inside the tubing.

If these exist, you can try using a syringe filled with vinegar. Insert the vinegar into one end of the tubing and allow it to run through the tubing.

Then, follow the process above to air dry. The vinegar works well to remove any water spots inside the tubing.

If you notice milk in the tubing, or if the tubing looks dirty, it is important to clean it so mold does not begin to grow in the tubing.

It is a good idea to have an extra set of tubing on hand so you can use it while your first set of tubing is air drying.

How to Clean Medela Sonata Tubing

To clean the tubing, turn off the pump and unplug it. Remove the tubing from the pump and flanges. Wash the tubing in warm, soapy water, and then rinse to ensure the soap is removed. Hang the tubing to air dry.

This process for cleaning the Medela Freestyle tubing is the same as the process for cleaning the tubing in the Medela Symphony pump and the tubing in the Medela Pump In Style Advance pump.

How to Clean Medela Freestyle Tubing

To clean the tubing, turn off the pump and unplug it. Remove the tubing from the pump and flanges. Wash the tubing in warm, soapy water, and then rinse to ensure the soap is removed. Hang the tubing to air dry.

This process for cleaning the Medela Freestyle tubing is the same as the process for cleaning the tubing in the Medela Symphony pump, the tubing in the Medela Pump In Style Advance pump, and the tubing in the Medela Freestyle pump.

If you cannot get the tubing clean, it is best to replace it. Here is a link to where you can find Medela Freestyle tubing.

How to Clean and Dry Tubing in a Spectra Pump (Spectra S1, Spectra S2, or Spectra S9)

The easiest way to clean Spectra tubing is to simply replace the tubing. Aquarium tubing fits the Spectra pump and backflow protectors, and it can be cut to a length that is comfortable for the user.

I found this aquarium tubing that fits my Spectra S2 and Spectra S9 perfectly. The best part is that the replacement tubing is so inexpensive, it is not even worth the time it would take to clean.

Another great thing about this tubing is that it comes with 25 feet. I typically cut my replacement tubing to 2 sections that were each 3 feet long. This means that it will last through several replacements.

The tubing on my Spectra pumps did not have frequent condensation. It occasionally happened, but the condensation was much more of a problem with the tubing on my Medela pumps.

I believe that the Spectra backflow protectors helped a great deal with preventing the accumulation of condensation on the tubing.

If you are looking for some more tips for the Spectra, here is an article that contains all my best tips and tricks on how to use the Spectra S1 and S2 pump.

Can You Boil Breast Pump Tubing?

It is generally not recommended to boil breast pump tubing. If you boil breast pump tubing it may melt in the high temperature of the water. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning the tubing in warm soapy water and allowing it to air dry.

Be sure to check the instruction manual that came with your breast pump to determine if boiling the tubing is allowed. If the tubing is so dirty that you are considering boiling it, it is a better choice to purchase new tubing.

How Do You Remove Mold From Breast Pump Tubing?

If there is mold in the breast pump tubing, it should be thrown away and replaced immediately. Using moldy tubing is unsanitary because mold spores can be transmitted through the air in the tubing and into breast milk.

It is important to inspect the tubing and look for mold each time before you begin pumping.

It is also a good idea to have one or two extra sets of tubing on hand in case you notice mold in the tubing. In my experience, I noticed that the tubing on my Medela pumps needed to be replaced about every two months.

Where Can You Purchase New Tubing If It Needs To Be Replaced?

Breast pump tubing can be found on Amazon. It may also be found on individual pump manufacturers’ websites.

If your pump was purchased through insurance, you can call the Durable Medical Equipment company that provided your pump to see if they have extra sets of tubing available.

Another option is to call the customer service number of your pump manufacturer to see if they offer replacements.

If you are looking to purchase tubing in-store because you need it immediately, I have seen Medela Pump In Style tubing available in store at Target and at Buy Buy Baby.

You can also try contacting the hospital where you delivered to see if they have breast pump sets for sale at their gift shop.

I received a couple sets of breast pump tubing from the hospital. Another option is to contact a local lactation consultant and ask if she carries replacement sets of tubing.

Related Questions

How Do I Clean My Breast Pump Before The First Use?

To clean your breast pump before the first use, wipe the pump exterior with a disinfecting wipe.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the plastic pieces that come in contact with milk, such as the flanges, membranes, and bottles.

Set the pieces out to air dry. Check your instruction manual to ensure the pieces in the set are safe to boil.

Recommended Reading

  1. Find your perfect pump bag – Sarah Wells Vs. JuJuBe Pump Bags (Best Stylish Pump Bags)
  2. All my best tips for pumping milk – 17 Best Pumping Tips for Beginners
  3. Watch out for these side effects you may experience when eating lactation cookies – 7 Terrible Side Effects From Eating Lactation Cookies

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