Feeding time constitutes the majority of the time you spend with your baby. The transition to baby bottles comes with many questions, beginning with the right bottle to choose, the brand, size, and quality of the teat. After all of these factors are taken into account, and you buy a bottle following much deliberation, there is the problem of the bottle turning yellow.
This is worrisome, as you do not know what causes this change, and if it is going to affect your baby adversely, in addition to the hassle of owning something that looks worn out or old. Nothing but the best will do for your baby, so how do you use a bottle that tends to look like it has been through the mill? Is a yellow bottle a dirty bottle? Should you throw it away immediately?
Surprisingly, you are not the only one with the conundrum. Baby bottles that are made of plastic have a tendency to turn yellow because of their contents, fat deposits, and changes in temperature. This could also be due to the way you clean – the brushes used or if the bottles are cleaned in the dishwasher.
Here are some answers to the most persistent queries that you have regarding your baby’s bottles turning yellow.
Is it normal for baby bottles to turn yellow?
Yes, it is perfectly normal for plastic baby bottles to turn yellow after a few months’ use. This could be attributed to various factors- fat deposits, food residue, temperature, cleaning agents, and so on.
- Fat deposits: The most important reason behind the bottle turning yellow with use is the food that goes into it. Although baby feeding bottles contain only milk most of the time, especially during the first few months of your baby’s shift from breastfeeding to using a bottle, there are fat deposits that tend to remain in the bottle if it is not cleaned properly. Most times, even if you rinse the bottle (without using soap or detergent), and run your finger on the inside surface, you can feel the oily remains of the milk that the bottle contained. Over time, there is discoloration and the material takes on a cloudy appearance. This seems to worsen with use over time, prompting you to dispose of the bottle and buy a new one, which ultimately faces the same fate.
- Pigmentation: Juices, flavored drinks, or formula could also contribute to discoloration. This is due to obvious factors—the pigments present in the food that is fed to your baby. Just as colored vegetables and fruits, such as beetroots, spinach tomatoes, and strawberries cause a change in the color of your blender when you make purees, the plastic of your baby bottle changes color owing to the pigments that are naturally found in the foods that are contained in them.
- Cleaning agents: Another reason behind discoloration is cleaning agents. Using harsh chemicals while cleaning could cause tiny abrasions in the material, making the stains harder to remove. While most of us may believe that excessive cleaning or extra-scrubbing would help keep the bottle clean, it may, in fact, prove detrimental.
- Dishwasher: Washing the baby bottle in a dishwasher, along with other common utensils could also lead to discoloration. Most parents tend to wash and sterilize baby bottles separately, but if there are any residual staining agents from a previous cleanse of utensils, the baby bottle could gather new stains and thus get discolored.
- Calcium build-up: Calcium build-up, because of the use of hard water, could also be a factor that contributes to the change in color of the baby bottle, and this can be easily avoided.
- High temperature: In the same way, subjecting the bottle to high temperatures in the hope of killing all the germs that could be clinging to the bottle, waiting to enter your baby’s body, is another reason for your bottle having a worn-out look. Plastics, even EA-free ones, tend to be affected by temperatures that are higher than what is specified. This could again lead to damage to the material, and the only indication could be the change in color.
Pro Tip – It would be a great idea to choose baby bottles that are made to be odor and stain-resistant. These bottles also contain no residue and can be cleaned easily with warm soapy water. The advantage of using these bottles is that you do not have to use a bottle brush to clean the bottle, which means that there are fewer chances for the occurrence of scratches or abrasions. Being stain-resistant, these bottles have greater longevity and are not susceptible to discoloration due to the action of natural pigments present in the food it comes in contact with. Although these bottles are a tad bit more expensive, they prove handy in the long run, as they are easily cleaned and retain their new look for a longer time.
How to get yellow stains out of the baby bottle?
There are various DIY remedies for the cleaning of your bottles, but not all of them are safe. So, it would be advisable to make an informed decision about which materials to use to rid your bottles of discoloration. Organic soaps, silicone brushes, baking soda, and vinegar solutions, are some go-to remedies that parents swear by.
Before we go into the ways to get rid of the stains, we must remember that not every bottle is the same, or made of the same quality of plastic. Using a superior grade plastic that is BPA and EA free, like those used in the production of niñio baby bottles, would ensure that you do not cause much damage to the material in your vigor to remove stains. These bottles will be less prone to discoloration, more durable than others, and can be cleaned easily, without the fear of abrasions and scratches.
- Wash bottles after every use: It is important that baby bottles are washed thoroughly after every use. This is to make sure that all the milk or formula leaves the bottle. No, a thorough rinse is not enough. Hot soapy water is usually used when cleaning, but we would recommend that you choose one of the better organic soaps that are available in the market these days, to ensure that there are no chemicals entering your baby’s food. Washing bottles after every use is beneficial to keep germs at bay and to keep the bottle looking new.
- Soak in vinegar: Vinegar as a cleaning agent has been around for a long time. Since it is acidic, it is recommended that equal amounts of vinegar and water are mixed together before it is used to clean. This would be the second step in a cleaning process— to be used after the bottle is thoroughly cleaned with soapy water so that there is no residue in the bottle. Although vinegar does not work for harsh stains, it helps to remove cloudiness and slight discoloration. Make sure that the bottle is cleaned thoroughly with cold water after the vinegar soak, to prevent curdling of milk.
- Sterilization with boiling water: Sterilization is important to make sure that your baby’s bottle is bacteria-free. It is also a fool-proof way to delay discoloration in plastic bottles. The most effective method of sterilization to prevent cloudiness or yellowing is using boiling water to sterilize the baby bottle.
- Washing baby bottles with baking soda: Baking soda is another home remedy for cleaning tough stains, and baby bottles are no exception. Using baking soda to clean the baby bottle is easy— add a teaspoon of baking soda to a bottle that is filled with warm water, and keep the solution overnight. The next morning, scrub the bottle with a silicone brush and no soap.
This is an effective way to remove stains and any lingering odor. It is important to wash out the bottle after that, to prevent any residual baking soda from mixing with the milk or juice that you pour into the clean bottle.
There are other ways, such as soaking the bottle in soapy water and bleaching. However, we do not recommend using bleach in your baby’s products, as it could lead to more problems than you would anticipate. Bleaching requires a lot of care after cleaning- you have to air the bottles out and never boil, steam or clean the bottles in a dishwasher. Any of these actions could lead to more problems, affecting your baby.
Is it safe to use baby bottles that turn yellow?
Yes, to a certain extent, it is safe to use a baby bottle that turns yellow. However, it is necessary that the bottles are changed periodically.
Many companies attribute the discoloration to the materials that go into the production of the bottle, the polymers that are present in the plastic, and also how we use them. The remedies suggested previously could help you combat the issue of discoloration, and add to the duration which you use a baby bottle.
Discoloration and cloudiness could tempt you to throw away your baby’s bottle. You may wonder if the bottle is safe to use and if there could be adverse effects on your baby’s health because the bottle carries a worn-out look. You do not need to throw away the bottle at the first hint of discoloration, and it is still safe to use though it has changed from transparent to a slight yellowish hue.
Cleaning the bottles thoroughly, trying some of the remedies suggested, and making sure that the plastic is not damaged could help prolong the life of the plastic feeding bottles.
If the bottle is chipped, cracked, or has changed shape, it definitely is time to throw it away. Check your bottle periodically for cracks, deep scratches, and any breakage. Also, if the bottle has been used for a long time, more than four to six months, it is time to replace the bottle.