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How to Sterilize Something

There are many reasons why you might need to sterilize something. New mothers often sterilize their babies' bottles, pacifiers and toys. If you have been ill, you might want to sterilize your toothbrush or other items. Sterilizing a pet's chew toys periodically will help your dog or cat stay healthy.


If you are sterilizing a glass or ceramic item, stand it upright in the pot before boiling to help prevent breakage.


Make sure there is enough water in the pan so that it does not boil dry.

Be careful when dealing with boiling water, as it could cause severe burns.

While hospitals, tattoo artists and other professionals might use more stringent methods, you can sterilize many items at home without using bleach or other potentially harmful chemicals.

  1. Wash hands, and then wash the item to be sterilized, using dish washing liquid and warm water. Make sure the item is thoroughly cleaned.

  2. Set the item inside the pan. Fill the pan with cold water. Place the pan on a stove burner.

  3. Heat the water in the pan to a rolling boil and then place the lid securely onto the top of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium to prevent the water from boiling over.

  4. Allow the water to boil for fifteen minutes. Remove the pan from the burner and let it sit with the lid on for fifteen to thirty minutes, until the water has cooled.

  5. Remove the item from the pan, using clean tongs. Set on a clean dish towel or drying rack and allow to air dry completely.