Using bleach to clean baby bottles is one way to remove germs and prevent the spread of illness. It's important to use caution with bleach, however, because it is highly corrosive and can dissolve some plastics. Bleaching baby bottles can be done regularly to sterilize and remove stains from formula or juice. Both glass and plastic baby bottles can be cleaned with bleach.
Wash glass or plastic bottles thoroughly using hot water and dish soap. Make sure that all of the dish soap is rinsed away completely before proceeding, because a layer of soapy film can interfere with the action of the bleach.
Allow the bottles to air-dry. Use a dish rack or bottle dryer so that the moisture in the bottle can escape without condensing on the sides. Use this time to prepare the bleach solution.
Fill a sink, or one side of a dual sink, with cold water. The average sink holds 2 to 3 gallons of water; the amount of bleach you use will depend on the size of your sink. One capful of bleach dilutes properly in one gallon of water, so use 2 to 3 capfuls for a normal-size sink.
With gloved hands, place each bottle into the bleach solution. You can do several at a time. Immerse the bottles and allow them to fill up. Some bottle nipples can not be bleached, so read the label before you try bleaching one. The ring-necks and lids may be sterilized with bleach using the same method as the bottles.
Soak the bottles for up to 10 minutes. Remove them from the bleach water and allow to air-dry. Do not rinse the bleach off. Impurities in the water can harbor bacteria and lead to illness and infection. When diluted properly, the bleach will dry, leaving no odor or residue.