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How to Clean a Pacifier

By Melissa Lewis ; Updated April 18, 2017
Babies younger than six months are still developing strong immune systems.

If your baby likes and relies on his pacifier, then you should have plenty on hand to use between cleanings. In many homes, pacis also have the ability to perform magical disappearing acts, so extras are more of a must. Like other items babies put in their mouths, regular cleanings are necessary to keep germs and fungi at bay. While it might seem like a lot at first, you'll soon get into a regular groove of cleaning those pacifiers.

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Clean a new latex pacifier using warm water and dish soap. If it's a silicone pacifier, you can clean it on the top rack in the dishwasher instead. This first cleaning helps get rid of any chemical residue that might be on the new product. Some parents boil pacifiers in water for 5 minutes before the first use, but according to Steven Shelov, M.D, of the American Academy of Pediatrics, boiling pacifiers is not necessary.

Rinse the pacifier under hot water if it drops on the floor in your home or another fairly clean environment. Most doctors do not recommend putting the pacifier in your mouth to clean it. If it falls outside, in a restaurant or other areas where unfamiliar germs are prevalent, wash it with warm water and soap, or in the dishwasher, before using it again.

Clean pacifiers between each session in the dishwasher or with warm water and soap. This is especially necessary for the first 6 months while your baby is developing a strong immune system.

Sanitize the pacifiers once a day in a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water. Let it soak for 3 or 4 minutes, rinse and let air dry. This practice helps prevent mold and other fungi from forming on the pacifier.

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About the Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

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