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How to Descale the Avent Steam Sterilizer

By Barker Brown ; Updated April 18, 2017
A clean sterilizer helps keep your baby's bottles fresh.

The Avent Steam Sterilizer is a handy tool for moms who need a quick way to disinfect bottles, lids and breast pump parts. Over time, mineral deposits (lime scale) will accumulate within the machine and around the heating coil. These deposits may be particularly heavy when hard water is used. Avent recommends descaling the sterilizer once a month to keep it at optimum effectiveness.

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Citric Acid Method

Combine a 10g packet of citric acid and 200 mL of water. Remove the sterilizer's cover and transfer the mixture to the empty machine. Citric acid is available at pharmacies.

Turn on Mode 1. Allow the sterilizer to run uncovered for one to two minutes.

Disconnect the unit and set it aside for half an hour.

Pour out the citric acid mixture and run clean water through the sterilizer.

Replace the cover and activate a complete sterilizing cycle using precisely 90 mL of water. Do not attempt to sterilize any bottles or other equipment at this time.

White Vinegar Method

Combine 200 mL of cool water with 100 mL of white vinegar and add the mixture to the machine.

Leave the mixture in the machine until the lime scale disappears. Avoid turning on the power during this process.

Empty the machine and clean it well.

Replace the cover and activate a complete sterilizing cycle using 90 mL of water. Do not sterilize any bottles or other equipment at this time.

Things You Will Need

  • Citric acid
  • Water
  • White vinegar


Use filtered or distilled water to minimize lime scale accumulation.


Avoid using bleach, antibacterial agents or other chemicals in the sterilizer. Avoid using water from a softener in the machine.

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About the Author

Barker Brown is an independent public relations consultant and writer. Since 1998, Brown has worked in Austin, specializing in media relations and press release writing for non-profits, local businesses, political campaigns and individuals. Brown has a Bachelor of Science with Highest Honors in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas.

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