7 Simple Tips on Getting Breast Milk Fat Off the Sides of the Bottle or Bag

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Refrigerated breast milk often has fat content sticking on the side of the bottle. If you wonder how to get breast milk fat off the sides of the bottle while pouring, we have 7 simple tips, so your baby gets all the goodness of breast milk.

Breastmilk is loaded with amino acids and provides necessary nutrients for developing organ systems in the body.

The initial breast milk, called colostrum, is the most nutrient-dense and provides everything a newborn needs to thrive in small quantities.

breast milk in a baby bottle with milk fat sticking on the sides
Breast milk fat sticking to the sides of the bottle

If you have refrigerated pumped colostrum, you will notice a rim of fat sticking to the side of the storage bottle while getting it ready to feed the baby. And when you pour the refrigerated breast milk, you don’t get all the milk out of the bottle. So, not all of the liquid gold makes to the tummy of your newborn.

Usually, your baby not getting all of the breast milk is not a huge issue unless you have a genuine low milk supply. In that case, you want every tiny drop of breast milk to get to your baby’s tummy.

Those mamas, who are exclusively pumping and feeding their babies, also hesitate to waste the last drop of refrigerated breast milk.

So, how do you get rid of breast milk fat off the side of the bottle so your baby can have all the essential nutrients to thrive?

Here is how you can get breast milk fat off the side of the bottle.

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Why does Breast milk stick to the bottle?

When you refrigerate breast milk, it separates into two layers. The fatty layer at the top and the watery layer at the bottle. The breast milk sitting in the refrigerator without being disturbed can cause fat from the fatty layer to stick to the side of the bottle. So, your breast milk sticking to the side of the bottle is simple because it is not homogenized.

5 Simple Tips on Getting Breast Milk Fat Off the Sides of the Bottle

To get all of the fatty milk off the side of the storage bag or bottle, you want to

1. Gently Swirl the Bottle

Refrigerated breast milk is not homogenized. So, fat from the creamy top layer will stick to the side of the bottle during refrigeration.

When you take refrigerated breast milk out to feed your baby, swirl the bottle to homogenize and loosen up fat sticking to the side of the bottle.

However, you want to swirl as gently as possible. You don’t want the excessive bubble to form in the breast milk to avoid gas pain in the baby.

2. Flip the bottle upside down

Do you think swirling takes forever to melt fat off the sides? It took forever for me. So here is what helped me to speed up the process.

First, tighten the lid of the storage bottle, then slip the bottle upside down for a few minutes. It will allow the fat to be immersed in the breast milk. Then swirl the bottle to get the fat off the sides. Again, turning the bottle upside down will help get fat off the side of the bottle quicker.

3. Wamr tap Water

running tap water over breast milk bottle
Running tap water for getting fat off the side of the bottle

If you are preparing a bottle to feed your baby, then the easiest way to get the fatty milk off the side of the storage bag is by running it under warm faucet water.

Hold the storage breast milk bottle or bag in a slanted position (away from the opening) and run the faucet water over the side of the bottle with milk fat.

You want faucet water to be warm and NOT HOT. Also, make sure that the storage bag or bottle is tightly closed to avoid water mixing with breast milk.

4. Warm Water Bath

If you don’t want to use faucet water to get rid of fatty milk from the side of the bottle, use a warm water bath.

Warm water in a pan and stick the storage breast milk bottle into it until the fat melts off the side. You can also gently swirl the bottle in warm water to speed up the process.

5. Bottle Warmer

Running the bottle under the warm faucet water or waiting for the fat to melt off the sides in a water bath can seem very time-consuming when preparing a bottle for the middle of the night feeding.

The bottle warmer can get rid of fat off the sides while warming the milk to feed your baby. A bottle warmer is a blessing for the middle of the night feeding for exclusively pumping mamas. It quickly gets the fat off the sides and warms the milk for the feeding.

Before using a bottle warmer, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions on the temperature setting for warming the milk. Overheating breast milk can kill the essential nutrients of breast milk.

And if you are using a bottle warmer or any other method of warming breast milk, always get into the habit of checking the warmed breast milk temperature on your hand before feeding your baby.

6. Use your hands

If your baby is not screaming out of hunger, you can hold the refrigerated milk bottle into both hands, swirl gently and wait until the warmth of your hand melts the fat off the sides.

7. Spoon and Spatula

If you have a storage bottle with a wide neck, you clean a baby spoon or silicone spatula to scrape off the fat from the side of the bottle.

Make sure you use a clean or sterile baby spoon before inserting it into a bottle of breast milk.


How to get rid of Greasy Residue in Baby bottle?

Refrigerated breast milk can leave a greasy residue in a baby bottle because of the fat content of the breast milk. If you see your baby bottles or nipples cloudy after several uses, it means that breast milk fat is sticking to the bottle no matter how good you are washing your bottle with soapy water.

Usually, soaking a bottle with warm soapy water for a few minutes and cleaning it with a bottle brush and water will remove the residue. But if your bottle and nipple still look cloudy, you want to soak them in water/white vinegar solution in an 80:20 ratio for 20-30 minutes. Then wash it with soap and water.

You can also increase the amount of vinegar if you can’t get rid of cloudiness from the bottle. For example, I have used a 70:33 ratio of water to white vinegar to eliminate greasy residue from the bottle.

How to get rid of Odor from the baby bottle?

Breast milk can build up in the bottle and cause a slight odor or stronger odor like sour milk.

If you are not regularly washing your baby bottles with soap and water, breastmilk residue can cause odor. Even when you are washing it regularly but not letting it dry completely before assembling it, it can cause odor.

You can get rid of a slight odor from the baby bottle by soaking them into water/vinegar solution for 30 minutes, followed by washing with soap and water.

If the baby bottle has a strong odor like sour milk, fill the bottle with warm water and add a teaspoon of baking soda. Leave it a couple of hours or overnight to soak, and then wash it with soap and water.  


Pumped breast milk is so precious, and when it separates or fat sticks to the sides of the bottle in the refrigerator, it may make you think it is spoiled.

But just like regular milk, breast milk separates and sticks to the sides in the refrigerator. Once you take it out and homogenize it by swirling or warming it up, it will return to its original consistency. If your refrigerated breast milk looks clumpy or chunky, give it a good swirl and do a smell taste before you feed it to your baby.

And if you are looking for alternative uses for leftover breast milk that your baby did not finish, here are alternative uses of leftover breast milk.

Good luck, Mama!

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