I have recently made the decision to stop taking hormonal birth control due to a number of unacceptable side effects. Instead, I am learning Natural Family Planning (Also known as the Fertility Awareness Method) which involves charting basal body temperatures, cervical fluids, and the cervix position to identify my fertile and infertile periods. Since I now need to take my waking temperature each morning, I needed a quick, inexpensive and effective means of sterilising my thermometer (I used to use antiseptic swabs from the first aid kit- but those are too expensive to use every day).
I spotted Milton Sterilising Fluid at my local Tesco and thought it would work perfectly. This product is designed to disinfect breastfeeding equipment, bottles, teething rings, baby baths, high chairs, surfaces (like kitchen counters and bathroom floors), chopping boards and a host of other items. It can even be used on fruits and vegetables.
Milton Sterilising Fluid comes in a 500ml blue plastic bottle with a child safe cap. To open it you must squeeze two tabs on either side of the lid and turn. Underneath the cap there is a pouring spout similar to that on most laundry detergents. I personally found it quite difficult to pour out a small amount without spilling.
I opened the bottle and was met with the very distinct scent of bleach. I have mentioned in previous reviews that I am highly scent sensitive. I clean mostly with bicarbonate soda and vinegar because most cleaners cause me horrible headaches, dizziness and nausea due to their strong scents (both chemical and perfume). Bleach is one of the most offensive scents.
There is no warning on the label to avoid contact with skin, but when I accidentally spilled a little on my fingers (thanks to the awkward pour spout) they started to sting. I immediately washed my hands, but the next day my fingers were still a little tender and slightly flakey. The dark blue towel I grabbed to wipe up the spill was discoloured on contact (like you would have with any other bleach).
There is no mention of bleach on the bottle, but in tiny print on the back it says the active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite (2%). The Great Google revealed this is more commonly known as bleach. So my suspicion on first opening the bottle was correct: this is essentially expensive, watered down bleach.
Price and Availability
I bought my 500ml bottle at Tesco for £1.96. You can buy this from most supermarkets and chemists for around the same price. There are also 1L and 5L bottles. To compare, you can by 2L of Tesco Value Thin Bleach (<5% concentration) for 29p.
I am probably more sensitive than most people. If you do not have an aversion to bleach, this is not essential a bad product. However, given my skin's reaction to this product, I would question the "no need to rinse" claim on the bottle when sterilising surfaces and bottles, etc. I have sensitive skin, but so do babies. I would certainly not use it to wash my fruit and veg.
I have an electric Philips Avent steriliser which is on everyday, and which I think is a brilliant product. However, on a recent visit to my in laws I found that one of my bottle had leaked out, and although it was only cooled boiled water in it at the time, and me being a paranoid mother, I was worried about it being okay to use. With no steriliser to hand, my mother in law gave me some Milton Sterilising Fluid to use, so I could be sure that the bottle remained sterilised.
Previously I had never even thought of getting my own bottle, but when my husband made the valid point that if the electricity went off in a power cut, we could find ourselves stuck sometime with bottles needing sterilised and a screaming hungry baby. So, I bought my own bottle of this fluid to keep as a back up. A 500ml bottle currently costs £1.75 in Tesco, and although Tesco do their own sterilising fluid at a fraction of the cost, in this instance I felt happier using the branded product.
Since buying this bottle, I have found it to be very useful, for example if I only want to sterilise one bottle, and therefore rather than put on my electric steriliser for just the one bottle, I can use this fluid. On the back of the bottle it states that this fluid can be used to 'disinfect all baby and breastfeeding equipment' including bottles, soothers, teething rings, weaning items, baby baths, high chairs. It is not just restricted to baby items either, as it can be used in various surfaces around the home including on chopping boards.
Instructions are on the back of the product, and you use the cap to measure out the ratio of fluid to cold water, before placing the bottle into the solution. The sterilising process takes 15 minutes and after that, there is no need to rinse the bottle, it is ready to use. There are different ratios for different items, and therefore it is important that you stick to the instructions in regards to measurements as laid out on the reverse of the bottle.
Although I cannot obviously see the effect of the sterilisation on the bottle, I can only assume that it is working, and certainly my baby has been healthy and well, and has never had any problems using bottles that have been sterilised in this way. There is no doubt that the likes of microwave and electric steriliser are very handy and much quicker, especially when you are maybe doing several bottles in one go, however, I think it really is a good idea to have a bottle of this fluid in your cupboard as a backup or simply when you want a bottle to be sterilised without having to stack up the electric steriliser, or if you are out at someone else;s house. I will certainly be making good use of this and therefore feel it is a worthwhile product for any mother to have in her cupboard.
Wow what a brilliant household essential.
I had never heard of Milton before I had my daughter and as part of a baby bundle I got bought a sterilising bucket and Milton. You dilute the Milton liquid into the water at the ratio the bottle states and simply submerge your bottles and spoons etc in the solution, leave for an hour and they are sterile. The best thing about using this method for sterilising is the bucket simply sits on your side waiting to be used again and again all day long. Everything is sterile when you need it so no waiting for the steam steriliser or micro steriliser to do its job each time you need a bottle and your bottles are not hot when you need to use them so no burnt fingers.
Now my daughter doesn't need everything sterilised I still buy Milton to clean her toys and table and chair. I simply dilute in a spray bottle and use it as an anti bacterial surface spray to great effect.
You do need to change the water and Milton solution every 24 hours to ensure the sterilisation.
The smell is not at all too over powering a bleach. After a while you become accustomed to and now I actually like the smell and associate it with a good clean home.
The bottle has a handy safety cap which doubles as a measurement guide that is not too difficult to remove as an adult with wet hands but still as safe for your child. The bottle is a great size for the price and lasts ages.
WARNING, this product has bleaching properties so be cautious not to spill it on your carpets or clothes.
The directions say this is safe to use on anything directly connected with your Childs feeding as it will not harm you even if you drink it despite its anti bacterial properties. I have a tough time believing that after seeing what it has done to a patch of my carpet but it is reassuring that if there is a drop left in your bottles it will not be harmful.
I would recommend this to any household with small children as an absolute must have.
10 / 10
Milton Sterilising Fluid is fantastic for ensuring that your babies' bottles are clean and sterile. When my son was first born I tried breastfeeding so would use a steam steriliser for all of my equipment. After persevering for a while we moved onto bottles which was great knowing that baby was feeding well but also so time consuming when it came to washing and sterilising bottles. After a few weeks I tried Milton sterilising fluid... What a difference!
I buy mine from Tesco's. 500ml for £1.93 (currently on a 2 for £2.50 offer) or 1000ml for £2.92.
I add half a cap full of solution to a washing bowl of water and use this to sterilise everything. By diluting the solution in water you can have your bottles sterilised within 15minutes, killing germs, bacteria and other nasty stuff. Of course you need to rinse out any milk from bottles before using the solution but once that has been done you simply plunge them into a bucket of solution and leave them to it. As well as bottles you can sterilise dummies, knives and forks and plastic baby toys. - I usually sterilise plastic tubs and use a bit of the solution to wipe the sides down. Works a treat
The best thing about this product is that you can use the solution for 24 hours so you can put things in and sterilise them throughout the day. One bottle can last for ages if you use the water more than once. I have used 1 and a half bottles in almost a year but obviously it depends on how often you sterilise. My son is now 16 months so sterilising isn't always necessary, if you had a new baby you would probably use quite a bit more. Also you don't need to rinse the items once you have sterilised them as it is safe enough for baby to use straight away. I do, however rinse them because although it states that there is no unpleasant odour I feel that there is. I wouldn't say that it is unpleasant, but there is definitely a strong smell - like cleaning fluid. Not harmful but quite off putting if it's in your water bottle. My son often turns his nose up at it.
Overall I would definitely suggest this product to anyone with a child. Milton also make sterilising tablets which work in the same way, antibacterial spray for highchairs and surfaces, and wipes which come in handy if you're travelling.
I first came across Milton when I had my children. They were using it in the hospital at the time I was there. You can buy it in liquid form or you can buy tablets that you dissolve in water. I bought a Milton sterilising kit that includes a large container. You put baby;s feeding bottles and any other equipment that you use for babies in there. The fluid kills harmful bacteria and sterilises the items that you put in the kit.
However, even though my children are now aged 14 - 20 I still have my steriliser in use!! I use it to put stained cups in there - 20 minutes in the steriliser and all the stains have disappeared. I also clean up my teaspoons in the steriliser as well. When my worktops get stained I use a lttle neat Milton on the surface and it comes up a treat.
The obvious disdvantage is that the fluid is bleach like in its properties and if you get it on clothing it will 'whiten' it - so do handle carefully.
The phrase the old ones are the best ones springs to mind when I think of Milton fluid. For the uninitiated, Milton fluid is a sterilising liquid with a plethora of uses both in and out of the home. Sterilising liquids are basically mild bleaches which are designed to kill bacteria on items that will come into contact with people. Most commonly one thinks of sterilising in the context of babies and their bottles but Milton does so much more than that.
I first acquired a bottle of Milton years before I had my first child. Id just invested in a second hand set of wooden recorders and wanted something that would clean and disinfect them before I came to play on them. A quick telephone call to my mum and I discovered that the answer was Milton fluid.
Then, years later with the arrival of a new baby, Milton has become a firm favourite in our house. Babies immune systems are not fully developed until they are about a year old and the current advice is that their bottles, dummies (if used) and some toys are sterilised before use. Following a review of sterilising methods that could be used on babies bottles I decided to favour the cold-water (chemical) sterilisation method. For this method to work I would need sterilising solution and the obvious choice was Milton.
Milton has been used for years by health professionals and this alone convinced me that it was probably the thing for me. Its also fairly fuss-free. My coldwater steriliser (Tommy Tippee) had a 5 litre capacity. This meant that I simply had to add 1 capful of Milton to 5 litres of water, pop in the items to be sterilised and then wait a mere 15 minutes. The items were then ready to use. They didnt require rinsing before use either which is a godsend. Items could also be left in the sterilising solution for up to 24 hours without the need to re-sterilise. This too can be a blessing as it means that you can just run one steriliser a day and take out the items as you need them, refreshing the solution every night.
As Milton is a mild bleach I tended to use the 24 hour-old sterilising solution to wash down my worktops and clean dishcloths each evening which made the process even more economical.
The bleaching properties of Milton should not be underestimated, however. Splashes of even diluted Milton can and will bleach the clothes that youre wearing and I do have several tops that have fallen victim (usually when making up bottles with a baby under one arm!). There is an upside to this too, though. If I had white clothing items with food stains on (particularly baby tops with tomato stains on) I would use the dilute Milton as a pre-wash soak and the stains will lift. Its also useful for washable nappies for the same reasons (although needs to be used in a slightly more concentrated form).
For the more adventurous out there, Milton also has a use in the field. As it is safe to drink in dilute form 2.5ml in 5 litres of water when left for 15 minutes will render the water safe to drink. The bottle also suggests washing vegetables and salads in this fashion but I have never, and dont wish, to try this.
Ive also used Milton on the soles of shoes after the removal of undesirable deposits.
Milton does smell a little bleach-like. Its a bit like the chlorinated smell you get at a swimming pool. There is a bit of a taste when the items have been sterilised but it is far from unpleasant and clearly doesnt bother baby.
If Milton fluid is left to evaporate you will get a crystalline residue left behind but this washes off very easily. However, I cant think of many times when this is likely to happen.
If you want to make your life even easier when sterilising using the cold-water method, Milton also comes in tablet form. These take a little while to dissolve in the water but do mean that you dont have to do any measuring.
As with all bleach-based products one should be careful not to mix it with other cleaners and chemicals (eg too many products down a sink or toilet) as it could cause chlorine gas to be released. Naturally, the bottle also has a safety cap, but, unlike some, it is possible to open this one handed (a babies hand wont be big enough!).
Milton has been proven to be effective against salmonella, listeria, campylobacter and candida. It also has some anti-viral properties although, unless youre an expert in the European standards you wont know from the bottle exactly what!
For me, Milton is and will remain a firm favourite. It has so many uses and is a fuss-free, hygienic cleaning method for use around the house.
I have recently ruined 2 shirts and one pair of shorts, I should have known (after ruining the first shirt)to be careful but........ I'd had a bottle of 'Milton Sterilising liquid' sat in the cupboard for ages after buying it to clean my baby's toys. So I thought I'd give it a go on the work surfaces (oops!). Not thinking anything of it, I leant against the work tops whilst still slightly wet. Don't do it! It seems obvious thinking about it now, but because you use the fluid on things that you eat from, you don't tend to think of it as a kind of bleach. You will find that you get yellow/green stains on your clothes and that is it, ruined. I'd make sure you wash the surfaces down with warm water after using it, as it tends to leave a layer of crystals which feel quite gritty.
Milton Sterilising Fluid allows you to sterilise in 15 minutes only, killing all bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores (tough dormant bacteria). It has been used in hospitals for many years as a simple and very reliable method.