Arnold's Breastpump Cleaning Tips
What do I know about cleaning?
When my wife was pumping full time I contributed by doing all the pump washing and setup. Full time meant she was pumping 8-9 times a day.
In most cases, the first thing you will do is to sanitize the pump parts by boiling them in water. Just follow the manufacturers directions on how long. TIP: The tubing does not need to be sanitized, milk is not suppose to go through it.
Some directions might tell you that you will need to boil the parts before every use. In general this is not true, unless you have a immune compromised infant (say a preemie), a good washing is all that will be necessary. If you have doubts consult you lactation consultant.
A key decision we made was we could afford to trade some money for sleep. We bought enough pump supplies so that I didn't need to wash after every pumping. The big factor was to have enough to get through a night of pumping without having to wash. This meant that we ended with four sets of pumping supplies. Laura ended up switching pumps so we actually ended up with a full set of Medela and a full set of Ameda Egnell equipment.
The secret to effective washing is hot soapy water. I would let all the parts soak in hot soapy water. I usually used a couple of bowls. One bowl held the flanges, another bowl held the small parts like the valves. Using a nipple brush I would go over the inside of the flanges to make sure they were clean.
Cleaning the bottles is straightforward with an appropriately sized bottle brush. I would fill each bottle up with hot soapy water and then I would run the brush through the inside.
Since the little parts are just about impossible to brush clean, it is important to have them come clean basically by soaking. By keeping them in separate bowl, the water would not get so dirty as to redeposit oils on the parts.
The little baskets are handy for holding the little parts. In particular the the valves and lids can go in the basket so they don't get lost. For the Medela valves I would separate the white part from the yellow part while they were in the bowl of soapy water. Once I had them rinsed I would assemble them together and let them dry assembled. It's not ideal but I got tired of tracking down the little white parts. Now if I found a basket that would hold the white parts I would have been in business.
Cleaning the tubing
If you have an Ameda Egnell pump you probably won't need this directions. But if you have a Medela pump then you have probably encountered either condensation or milk in the tubing.
First, run water through the tubing, do this by holding the tubing against the faucet with the water turned on. then run soapy water through by creating siphon. Stick one end of the tubing in a bowl of soapy water, Start sucking at the other end and before the soapy water gets to you, put that end down lower than the end in the soapy bowl. This works quite well if you set the soapy bowl up on the counter and then you can set the other end in the sink to get the flow going.
Once satisfied that the tubing is clean, rinse it off by flushing clean water through..
Now for the real trick, getting the tubing to dry. Take a small amount of isopropyl alcohol and pour it in the tubing. Run the alcohol from one end of the tubing to the other. This will flush/absorb the water in the tubing. Now just hang the tubing to dry.