Frustratingly unpacking the dishwasher, I always wondered why plastic goes cloudy?
Turns out that it’s a deposit of minerals on the surface that stick there because of both the dishwasher and the steriliser’s intense heat and quick drying methods. More often than not this is made worse by how hard your water is.
Hard water is very high in minerals and chemicals such as chlorine, calcium and magnesium to name a few, and is also less conducive to soap causing it to lather less. And this will vary depending up upon where you live and your water source.
So what can we do to minimise this first world woe?
1. Don’t Clean the Bottle Together With Other Utensils
We’re all busy mums, often knuckle deep in some kind of kid goop and would like to clean the baby bottle sooner-rather-than-later. And with a capable dishwasher on hand, why not just toss in the bottle with the other utensils. Save time and effort, right? True, this method is faster and spares your precious pinkies. But, do you know that strong colored sauces(carrot, tomato) and spices from other utensils will penetrate the plastic material during the cleaning process. Yes, it will be clean and well sterilised, but the bottle will become cloudy or discloured.
2. Don’t Forget To De-scale the Electric Steriliser
We can all rave about how the electric steriliser has made life easier. You no longer have to worry about starting a fire or triggering the smoke alarm just because you left the pot of water on the stove for too long. Also, you don’t need to rely on the electric kettle. Simply place the baby bottle in the electric sterilizer and wait for magic to happen. However, the bottle will be clear as long as there is no limescale inside the steriliser. Failure to de-scale will make your bottle start to become cloudy.
3. Avoid Very High Temperatures
Mums pay very close attention to the hygiene of the baby bottle not wanting to pass on any nasty germs, bacteria or infections. This is why we prefer placing a steriliser inside the microwave oven or boiling in very high temperatures. Yes, the higher the temperature the more assured you are in regard to hygiene. But, plastic tends to degrade and lose its chemical properties. This can be symbolised by a cloudy or whitish appearance.
4. Don’t Use Cold Water with Strong Sterilising Solution
Many parents choose to use cold water mixed with strong sterilising solution. Yes, this solution will definitely work and will get rid of any germs, dirt, stains and much more. Nonetheless, cold water isn’t very effective when compared to warm water. What happens is that the strong sterilizing solution may attack the surface of the plastic and cause the cloudy appearance. The best approach is mixing hot water with the sterilizing solution.
5. Avoid Hard Water
If you live in a region that is supplied with hard water, or draw water from a well or bore, your bottles are more prone to the cloudy appearance and discoloration. Hard water contains more natural minerals that can affect the plastic bottle. The minerals will have the same effect as limescale which covers the bottle’s surface. There are a number of products on the market that can soften the water, but a splash of bicarb soda should do the trick.
6. Soak Bottle in Water & White Vinegar
Soaking the baby bottle in a dilute solution not only helps avoid the discoloration but also eliminates any cloudiness. White vinegar is an anti-oxidant that helps get rid of germs, limescale and other stains. However, you shouldn’t use it too often or soak in very strong solution as this may weaken the plastic. And of course, make sure you thoroughly rinse the bottle, or else your milk may curdle.
Contrary to what you may have heard or believe, keeping the baby bottle clean and transparent isn’t difficult.
You also don’t have to keep replacing good bottles just because they have become cloudy. In fact, by following this simple strategy, cloudy bottles will become a thing of the past.
Got a hot dish hack? Let us know below.