Get Rid of Medela Pump In Style Tubing Mold

breast pump tubing moldThe Medela Pump In Style is one of the best breast pumps on the market: it is very fast, effective and capable of imitating your baby’s way of sucking milk perfectly with their proprietary expression technology, which allows a comfortable pumping session.  As a matter of fact, it still retains the top spot in our best breast pump picks!

But despite the usefulness and features of this electric breast pump, one of the problems moms experience when using it is the building up of mold in the tubes after continued use. Here we will take a look at why tubing mold appears and how you can prevent it to make the most of the Pump In Style.

Do All Moms Experience a Molding Issue With Medela Tubing?

No, this is a problem that only some moms using the PIS experience. The truth is that many others can pump without having to deal with molding, even with a lot of pumping sessions per day!

Even though you can notice condensation appear on the tubes, this doesn’t necessarily leads to mold growth.  Condensation can be wiped out just by following a few steps after each use, as you’ll see later on.

From what we’ve researched by talking to other moms and from our experience, this seems to be an hygienic issue caused by not cleaning and sterilizing your Medela Pump In Style parts properly.

Why Does Tubing Become Moldy?

The Pump In Style uses what is called an “open pump system”. This means that the system doesn’t prevent milk from flowing back into the tubes. There’s no barrier that isolates the collection kit from the pumping system.

With continued use, there’s a possibility that particles of milk start getting into the tubes, especially if don’t take the necessary steps to clean it after each use. Over time, mold will start forming , clogging the tubes and in extreme cases, the motor.

Despite what you may think, having an open system is not a bad thing. This type of pumping system can make your milk expression efforts more efficient, helping the pump compensate for tissue elasticities and different sizes / shapes of breasts.

How to Clean a Medela Pump In Style and Prevent Mold Growth

As I said earlier on in this article, this problem can be avoided by taking the needed time to sterilize and clean very well your breast pump after each use.  That shouldn’t be a big deal, as cleaning and sterilizing is something that you need to do anyway to make sure that there is no bacteria or viruses inside your collection kit.  Cleaning a pump can take a few minutes off your time, but your baby will thank you.

To clean the Pump In Style, take apart all the parts of the pump and wash them using soapy water. If you decide to use a dishwasher, put the parts on the top rack and then use a nipple brush to get on tiny crevices.

Once your pump has been washed either by hand or dishwasher, you need to sanitize it. This is done by boiling water and then placing the parts in it for 10 minutes.  You can also speed things up in the microwave with the help of a Medela Quick Clean Micr-Steam bag.

You should also check the tubing regularly to make sure it is in good condition.  If you find that there is some condensation, simply let the breast pump on and running for a minute or two, completely detached from the pump kit, this will clear the tubes.

I’ve heard from some people saying that you can use alcohol, but Medela advises against this, because next time you use the pump, you can blow back alcohol fumes.  The instruction manual of the PIS is a great help to follow all the cleaning procedure.

TIP: Avoid leaning forward when using the PIS, as this easily leads to milk overflow.

Can I Buy Pump In Style Replacement Tubing?

Yes, as a matter of fact, Medela enocurages doing this if mold has formed. From the manual:

“If tubing becomes moldy, discontinue use and replace tubing. Contact Medela Customer Service at or 1-800-435-8316”

If you prefer, you can also online find Medela tubing replacements from other companies which are fully compatible with the Pump In Style and are made of safe BPA-free material.

Check out these Medela tubing options on Amazon. They’re usually around $8 – $10, just make sure the tubing has been designed for the model you are using right now.

Having a clean pump is the best way to ensure your baby is getting the best nutrition in a safe way.

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