Product Type: Milton kids equipment
Newest Review: ... 15 minutes in the water before assuming its sterilised. Other features of the Milton sterilising unit include a lockable lid, which gi... more
Milton Sterilising Unit
Member Name: CrazyEgg
Milton Sterilising Unit
Advantages: Cheap, good capacity, translucent.
Disadvantages: Heavy when full, have to carry to empty.
In the hospital(s) in which we all resided last year the most frequent form of steriliser on offer was the Milton Tank. I'm guessing it is because they are relatively cheap, (£13.99 currently), easy to store, and don't require PAT (portable appliance testing) because they don't use electricity. In the milk kitchens on the neonatal and special care baby units there were rows of these tanks, labelled with mother's names, often followed by a sequence of dates, some scored through as parent's marked off each time they refreshed the water. In this kind of communal situation, the Milton tank is perhaps the kindest form of steriliser in the sense that everyone has their own and is responsible for it. In the one hospital where they used steam sterilisers there were sometimes queues to use the steriliser, or people would take other peoples stuff out if they weren't there. It was just faffy. The experience of using the steam steriliser confirmed for me that we had made the right choice in opting for a Milton tank at home.
The Milton tank or Sterilising Unit comes in various guises but the one I am reviewing is basically a rectangular bucket. Those of you who have read my previous reviews may be thinking, "CrazyEgg! You paid £13.99 for a bucket? Cheapskate CrazyEgg actually paid? Why did you not just buy a common or garden bucket from the 99p shop?" Well, I did consider that as it happens, but I rejected the notion because the Milton tank is, in its own, basic way, state of the art. It is at the very pinnacle of bucket development technology.
First off it is a pleasing pale, translucent blue. For me the blue gives an air of freshness and hygiene that sits well with its purpose. The translucency is a vital feature, allowing you to see whether or not there is anything in the tank, (although it can be difficult to see bottles as they too are translucent), and so gives you ample opportunity to be reminded that you used the last item and need to put another in. The assumption is that you will be sterilising bottles which are round of base and Milton have thoughtfully provided six 'parking spaces', diligently numbered in the base of the tank. I have no idea why they felt the need to number, but regular readers will also know that regular feeding methods are not in use in the CrazyEgg household so perhaps it will be apparent to someone else. Perhaps someone using the old 'feeding by mouth' method, still common amongst much of the population I understand.
Secondly, the tank has a very sturdy white plastic handle. The tank holds five litres of water and there is no suggestion that the handle is under strain when the tank is full and being transported. The handle also serves as a lock when the lid of the tank is on. It rotates 180 degrees. When it is put down on one side the lid can't be removed; flip it over to the other and the lid comes off. You need the lid to come off obviously so that you can fill the tank and remove stuff from it. It is helpful though that it can be locked, as this, along with the specially designed lid, makes emptying the tank easier.
The lid fits snugly on the top of the tank. One side of the bucket part has a spout at the top. The lid is designed so that you can either have the spout blocked off or not. With the lid locked, and the spout accessible you can empty the tank easily: the water pours out, your items remain inside, you haven't had to fish them out. You have to change the solution every 24 hours and this feature makes the process quick and easy.
There is one other feature, and this is a tray that sits inside the top of the tank. It has holes in it so that water can drain through. Its purpose is two-fold. Firstly, it ensures the contents of the tank is kept weighted in the sterilising solution; anything bobbing above the water line will not have been sterilised. Secondly it can be used as a sterile tray when you remove items for use.
We use a lot of syringes as well as a few bottles and teethers and the tank is ideal for these. With the steam steriliser I had to use the syringes kept falling through the tray and onto the heating element. The tank is big enough to hold and sterilise breast pump funnels, bottles and syringes all at once. It is the cheap and cheerful champion of sterilisers! Well done Milton!
Summary: A very good steriliser