How to Sterilize a Bulb Syringe

Corey M. Mackenzie

Bulb syringes are used for many things, including removing mucus from a baby’s (or even a pet’s) nose. If you rinse the bulb after each use, this gets rid of the mucus trapped inside the bulb, along with some germs. Washing it in soapy water is even better.

However, even washing it in hot soapy water in your kitchen sink won’t guarantee all the germs are gone. To keep the bulb syringe sanitary, and prevent spreading germs, you must sterilize it. The method for sterilizing these syringes isn’t difficult and is well worth the extra effort.

  1. Fill a bowl with hot water and a squirt of dish detergent. Fill the syringe with the soapy water to loosen any debris inside the syringe. Squirt out the soapy water and refill with clean warm water to rinse it out. Fill the bulb syringe again with warm water, this time keeping it inside the bulb. Set the syringe aside.

  2. Place a pot half-full of water on a stove. Turn on the burner and bring the water to a rolling boil.

  3. Place the bulb syringe in the pot of boiling water. According to bchealth.com, you should keep the syringe in the boiling water for three to five minutes.

  4. Use tongs to remove the bulb syringe from the water. Place it on a clean cloth to cool down. When it has cooled (after about 15 minutes) squeeze it to remove the water from the inside. Place it in a dish drainer (or other well-ventilated area) with the bulb’s tip down, until the next use.

  5. Try using rubbing alcohol or white vinegar. You can also sterilize bulb syringes with rubbing alcohol (70-percent isopropyl) or white vinegar, according to sneezedoctors.com. Fill the bulb with the vinegar or alcohol. Shake the bulb so the sanitizing liquid touches all of the interior, and then squeeze the bulb to release the contents. Let it air dry completely, tip down, before use.