You’d be forgiven for assuming that baby bottle soap was a luxury, not an essential. On the surface, it’s barely distinguishable from the plain old dish-soap sitting right next to your sink, and it’s certainly a little bit more expensive.

Many paediatricians do recommend that you take the time to find a special, baby-friendly bottle soap though.

This is because regular dish soap can actually be quite harmful to your infant, and while they’re often a slightly pricier alternative, baby bottle soaps do generally benefit from a much more natural formulation – allowing them to kill germs without irritating sensitive stomachs, or disrupting your baby’s internal flora.

internal floraSome of the chemical detergents found in ordinary dish soap can irritate sensitive skin as well. A great many formulations contain high levels of a chemical group known as sulfates, which are known to actually strip away protective oils leaving skin dry, cracked and prone to inflammation.

This can affect your baby, particularly if they come into contact with any leftover soap on the outside of the bottle. It can also affect parents too though – you’ll be dipping your hands into a lot of soapy during those first few months, and if you suffer from dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema or any other skin conditions (like sensitive skin), this can cause some fairly serious discomfort.

Most baby bottle soaps are also designed to be free from potential carcinogens, parabens and other nasties that could harm newborns. If you’re concerned about safeguarding your child from harmful chemicals, making sure that you have a good, vegetable-based baby soap is definitely the first step.

Best Baby Bottle Soap Buying Guide

When it comes to actually buying a specialist baby bottle soap, it’s important to remember that they’re not all created equal. There’s a lot of variation in terms of the ingredients that are used, the concentrations, and the additives that are added to give different options a distinctive scent.

By and large, it’s safe to say that most natural baby bottle soaps will be safe. Chances are that they’ll also be better for your baby than regular dish soap too. But when it comes down to how effective they are at actually removing milk residue, or eliminating bad odors? Unfortunately,  that’s a completely different story.

various bottle soapsTo help you pick a good soap, we’ve put together this buying guide, which breaks down all of the elements that make up a good soap, and provides an overview the different things that you should look for. As follows:

Make sure it’s vegetable-based

To kick things off, we’d always recommend that you limit your search to vegetable-based soaps. This is a nice, easy way of making sure that you don’t accidentally buy something that’s loaded with artificial surfactants, or other, equally damaging chemicals.

Vegetable-based soaps are generally the most gentle too, so you’re minimizing your risks of picking up something that will hurt you or your baby.

Look for SLS or ‘sulfate-free’ soaps

Once that’s out the way, we’d always recommend checking for the presence of sulfates, SLS, or sodium lauryl sulfate too. These chemicals are added to a great many soaps (yes, even ostensibly natural ones) to create the foamy lather we’ve all been taught to associate with ‘clean’ things.

Unfortunately, they’re also an irritant. This means that they can exacerbate skin conditions and cause some damage if ingested. There is some evidence to suggest that they are OK in small doses, but we think it’s better to avoid them, as a general rule.

Make sure it’s paraben-free too

After sulfates, parabens are the next-most dangerous additive found in most common cleaning products.

These preservative compounds aren’t an irritant, but there is some evidence to suggest that they may be carcinogenic, so you definitely want to make sure that any bottle soap is 100% paraben free.paraben free -best baby bottle soap

Has it been formulated to eliminate milk residue?

This might seem like an obvious one, but milk residue is actually fairly difficult to shift. It has a high fat content, and contains a lot of large ‘colloid’ particles that are quite difficult to break down and remove.

Some of the weaker bottle soaps really struggle in this area, and there’s nothing more frustrating than re-washing a bottle for what-feels-like-the-1,000th time.

To make sure that your soap packs enough punch, we’d recommend keeping an eye out for options that explicitly state that they’ve been designed to tackle milk residue.

Is it vegan?

This may or may not matter to you, but there are plenty of vegan bottle soaps out there, and it’s always worth double checking if you’re keen to make sure that you’re being as ethical as you possibly can be.

Non-vegans should take note too: The presence of this moniker does also generally indicate that the product is completely natural, and you can use it to quickly identify soaps that are 100% natural. This is super handy if you’re trying to make a quick decision, or don’t recognize some of the ingredients.

Is it fragrance-free?

This one’s really a matter of personal taste, but it’s still something you should consider! Soaps with a strong fragrance can leave your bottle smelling of flowers, herbs or tropical fruit.

This isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world – some babies do even seem to enjoy drinking out of a bottle that’s been washed in fragrant soap – but it can be off putting for some infants, and it’s always a bit of a gamble.

Unscented soaps are normally a much safer bet, unless you’re sure that your baby will appreciate the fragrance.

5 Best Baby Bottle Soap(Reviews and compare)

Quick View
Click for DetailBest forFeaturesCheck Price
Attitude Baby Bottle Soap – best for fair skinFair skin▪ ‘A’ Rating from the EWG
Dapple Baby Bottle Liquid – best for moneyMoney▪ All-natural formula
Dr Bronner’s Liquid Baby Soap – best for sensitive skinSensitive skin▪ Specially formulated for sensitive skin
▪ 9-item ingredient
Babyganics Foaming Bottle Soap▪ Unique plant extracts
Elysium Eco World Premium Bottle Soap – best for allergiesAllergies ▪ Unique herbal formula

Attitude Baby Bottle Soap – best for fair skin

This bottle soap is a real joy to use. Packed with plant-based cleaning agents, it cuts straight through milk residue and the nasty fat deposits that often form around the lip or lid.

Attitude Baby Bottle Soap

Features
  • All-natural formula
  • Strong, plant-based cleaning agents
  • Sulfate and paraben free
  • ‘A’ Rating from the EWG

It’s an all-natural product, which means that it won’t leave behind any harmful residues, and it’s also unscented, which means that your baby won’t be drinking detergent flavored milk.

Best of all though?

We absolutely loved how soft and gentle this soap is.

It’s not drying, and it’s not loaded with the harsh, detergent chemicals that cause normal dish soap to strip the protective oils from your skin. This makes it one of the best bottle soaps for fair skin, or sensitive hands. We’re confident that you could use it for months on end, and not see any evidence of irritation or dryness.

Top rated

Attitude’s bottle soap one of the few bottle soaps to be given an ‘A’ rating from the EWG (Environmental Working Group) too. This rating is only issued to products that are viewed as ethical, environmentally-neutral and 100% safe. It’s also awarded quite rarely, so we see it as a strong plus point.

EWGThe flip side?

This soap doesn’t really create all that much lather. This isn’t technically a problem, in the sense that the soap does still clean well, but if you’re swapping from regular dish soap you may find the difference quite striking.

The pump (or lack thereof) is also a minor issue: Most of the bottle soaps that we’ve reviewed here feature a handy, pump-style dispenser, like the one you’d find on a bottle of hand sanitizer. These pumps allow you to ration the exact amount of soap that you are using, and allow you to eke a lot of extra mileage out of each bottle.

This product is issued in a more traditional ‘dish soap’ style bottle, with a pull cap that makes it hard to measure out, and very easy to waste.

  • Great for fair or sensitive skin
  • Still packs a real punch, and cleans well
  • Free from any harmful chemicals and additives

  • Bottle lacks hand pump
  • Doesn’t lather as much as some other soaps
  • There are reports of lots of damaged bottles being delivered, which may be a packaging or a transport issue.
Check It out on Amazon

Dapple Baby Bottle Liquid – best for money

Dapple’s bottle soap is reasonably priced, and boasts an all-natural formula that should reassure parents concerned about harmful, chemical detergents.

Dapple Baby Bottle Soap

Features
  • All-natural formula
  • SLS and paraben free
  • Hand-pump dispenser
  • 100% fragrance free

It’s streets ahead of regular dish soap, and it cleans without leaving any unpleasant residue – making it a great pick for parents who are shopping on a budget, but still want to safeguard their baby’s health.

Easy-to-use

The handy, pump-style dispenser is another big plus, particularly if you’re trying to keep your use of soap to an absolute minimum.

We’ve found that it’s very easy to pour far too much bottle soap into the basin/sink that we’re washing in, and this over-abundance of detergent is often what ends up leaving bottles with a distinct, soapy taste. Anything that helps to counteract that eventuality is a pro in our book!

Dapple’s unscented offering is also, in all fairness, a perfectly good bottle soap. It cuts through milk residue and fat deposits without too much trouble, and it does leave bottles looking fresh and clean.

It’s not quite as well formulated as some of the other options on this list though: Whether it’s a weaker detergent or a slightly less concentrated solution, the simple fact of the matter is that you’ll need a little bit more of Dapple’s bottle soap to clean the same stains, which means that you may find yourself burning through it a bit faster than you would equivalent bottle soaps.

Bottom line

At the end of the day, this product is a great pick for the price, and it is probably the best baby bottle soap for the price, but if you want a soap that’ll let you quickly blitz a sink-full of dirty bottles, there may be better picks.

  • Cleans bottles well, and doesn’t leave a soapy residue
  • Very safe, gentle cleaner, with no artificial chemicals
  • Low price point makes it perfect for parents shopping on a budget

  • A slightly weaker formula, which means you may use this product up faster than equivalent bottle soaps
  • Lacks some of the sophisticated, plant-based antibacterials found in equivalent soaps
  • Doesn’t lather as well as other, all-natural options
Check It out on Amazon

Dr Bronner’s Liquid Baby Soap – best for sensitive skin

Dr Bronner’s liquid soap is a great choice for anyone that’s looking for a natural and organic bottle soap.

Dr. Bronner Baby Bottle Soap

Features
  • 100% organic and natural formulation
  • 9-item ingredient list
  • Fully recyclable packaging
  • Specially formulated for delicate or sensitive skin.

Unlike a lot of other detergents, this simple, 9-ingredient baby soap is formulated to bust nasty stains without leaving any chemical residue behind, or irritating your hands.

Best for sensitive skin

Because the only ingredients are natural, organic and derived from plants, this soap is by far the best baby bottle soap for eczema, and one of the best options for sensitive skin too.

It simply does not contain any of the unpleasant chemicals, irritants or allergens that are responsible for exacerbating conditions like psoriasis, and it’s a really gentle option for those of us with sensitive babies.

Multi-functional

This is a very versatile soap too: Although it can definitely be used to wash bottles, it’s multipurpose formula means that it can also be diluted down further, and used to wipe surfaces, clean laundry, and even wash your little one’s hair.

hair washingThe downsides?

It’s a castile soap, a class of soap-based products that are quite finicky to get to grips with, and do require a bit of extra reading to use effectively. One particular issue is that, if used with hard water, they can leave a white film behind due to the oils reacting with compounds in the water.

You do also have to dilute the soap yourself – using a regular old bottle without a special hand pump –  and while it’s very effective at the right concentration, adding too little of this soap will leave you struggling to tackle tough residues. This means you may find yourself struggling to adapt if you’re used to the convenience of a more regular bottle soap.

Bottom line

As mentioned above, this is definitely one of the best baby bottle soaps for sensitive skin, and it’s also great for the eco-minded parent, but there are more convenient alternatives if ease-of-use is a major priority for you.

  • Really gentle formula, which is great for eczema, psoriasis or sensitive skin
  • Wholly natural formula won’t leave behind any harmful residues
  • Can be trusted to clean thoroughly, and leave bottles germ-free

  • Has to be diluted by hand, which can be a chore
  • May interact with hard water
  • Is less convenient than some other products on this list
Check It out on Amazon

Babyganics Foaming Bottle Soap

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense bottle soap, capable of obliterating dirt without compromising your baby’s health, this is probably the product for you.

Babyganics Bottle Soap

Features
  • Natural formulation
  • Unique, ‘triple threat’ formulation uses 3 different plant extracts to clean
  • Sulfate and paraben free
  • Handy, pump-style lid

Babyganics are a well-known manufacturer, with a reputation for producing highly-effective, natural alternatives to cleaning products that are traditionally quite chemical-heavy. Their bottle soap has been formulated using a unique combination of three, plant-based cleaning agents to ensure a deep and long lasting clean.

Get things well done

We’ve found that it leaves bottles nice and germ-free, without leaving behind any unpleasant streaks or residues, and we also think it’s great for really getting in there and blitzing those hard-to-reach areas like the threads on a screw top bottle, which can sometimes get a bit gunked up if you aren’t thorough.

Drop a splash in your sink, pour in some hot water, and watch all the fat deposits, milk residue and nasty stains just melt away. It’s 100% fragrance free too, which is great if your little one is a bit picky about funny flavors, and frequently turns the bottle away.

Fragrance FreeThere are a couple of things that we didn’t rate about this product though: Despite the short ingredient list and natural formulation, it’s not quite as hypoallergenic as some of the other items on this list, and you may find it slightly less friendly to very sensitive skin. It’s also a fairly concentrated soap, which means a lot of bubbles, and a lot of rinsing.

Actually accessing the soap can be a bit of a chore too. The pump-style lid, while seemingly super useful, is prone to getting stuck in the ‘down’ position. This might seem irrelevant, but it does mean that you might find yourself pausing halfway through cleaning a bottle, just to get the pump back up and some soap squeezed out.

  • A fantastic product, capable of cleaning the toughest milk stains
  • Fragrance-free, which is great for picky babies
  • A little goes a long way, and this product will last if used properly

  • The pump can get stuck in the down position sometimes
  • It is a very concentrated soap, which means you do need to rinse a lot if you use too much
  • Not as hypoallergenic as some other options
Check It out on Amazon

Elysium Eco World Premium Bottle Soap – best for allergies

Elysium’s bottle soap is a premium option, with a 100% organic ingredient list and a unique, ‘herbal’ formula that’s been fine-tuned to cut through dried milk.

Elysium Baby Bottle Soap

Features
  • 100% organic ingredient list
  • Unique herbal formula
  • Sulfate and paraben free
  • Can be fully recycled

This soap does sit in a higher price bracket than a lot of the other products on this list, but it’s still a really good pick.

We were impressed by the amount of lather it produced, and we’re pleased to report that it does a fantastic job of cleaning up dirty bottles. It doesn’t leave a nasty, sticky, dish-soap residue either, which is always a big plus.

After testing it for a few days, we can honestly say that we’re not surprised to see the manufacturer offering a full, money back guarantee.

An eco-safe option

The completely eco-safe formulation is a big selling point too. In trying to create a truly ethical product, Elysium have had to remove all of the parabens, sulfates, phthalates and alcohol derivatives from their bottle soap.

Since these compounds are normally the key culprits in any soap-related skin reactions, their absence makes this option a great choice for anyone that’s looking for a very gentle soap, and we’re confident that it’s also the best baby bottle soap for allergies too.

Gentle bubble - best baby soapSmall negatives

Firstly, this soap does have a distinct peppermint fragrance, which some people may find a little off-putting. Secondly, it is definitely the most expensive bottle soap on this list, which may be problematic for those of us shopping on a tight budget.

Bottom line

If you suffer from strong allergies, are looking for something that fits into a very ethical lifestyle, or want a top-end product that’s guaranteed to deliver results, this bottle soap is a great pick. Otherwise? You might be able to find what you want for less.

  • Does an absolutely fantastic job of cleaning dirty bottles
  • Short ingredient list and focus on natural products make it a great pick for people who suffer from allergies
  • A very ethical choice

  • High price point
  • Strong peppermint fragrance may not be amenable to some infants
  • There are some reports of bottles arriving damaged, which can be irritating, but Elysium do seem keen to ensure new products are sent out to anyone affected.
Check It out on Amazon

How to Get the Taste of Soap Out of Your Baby’s Bottle

When it comes to actually cleaning your baby’s bottle, proper methodology is the key to success. Used poorly, even the best baby bottle soap will leave an unpleasant taste, which can upset your baby or worse still, put them off their food.

To start To start
we’d always recommend filling a sink or basin full of hot water; being sure to add the required amount of bottle soap as the water is running in.

This provides you with plenty of hot, soapy water, and also means that you don’t have to apply the soap straight to the bottle, which is what often leads to the development of that unpleasant, soapy taste.

The next step? The next step?
Taking the bottle apart, and immersing all of the individual pieces in the soap/water solution. We’d also recommend using a good bottle brush to really get in there and scrub out any nooks and crannies.

Note: Pay particular attention to the threads of screw-cap bottles, as gunk can build up here, and cause unpleasant odors.

After that After that

You’ll need to rinse, thoroughly, in running water, before setting the bottle aside to dry.

We’d always recommend hand-washing over the use of a dishwasher, as you’re in complete control over everything from the temperature of the water, to the vigor with which you scrub.

In Conclusion

There’s no shortage of natural bottle soaps , and the overwhelming majority do avoid the major pitfalls associated with using everyday dish soap to clean your baby’s bottle. That said, the best of the bunch do all have something extra to offer, whether that’s a particularly gentle formulation or an EWG-approved formula.

The 5 soaps that we’ve profiled here are the absolute best on today’s market, and we’re confident that every parent will find an option to suit their baby using the information presented here.

That said, if you’re struggling to pick between them, we’d definitely recommend taking a quick look at the Amazon reviews for each product, so that you can see how a variety of people feel about them.