In a nutshell

A fast and effective method of sterilising that won't break the bank and is a cinch to use. However, there is a smell involved.

What we tested

  • Ease of use
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Ease of cleaning
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Compactness
    A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
  • Design
    A star rating of 3.0 out of 5.
  • Durability
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Worth the money
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
Overall Rating
A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.


  • Fast and simple to use, there's no need to rinse, equipment stays sterile for 24 hours


  • Strong smell of chlorine is off putting, a pair of tongs would be useful to rescue items from the bucket

Simple to use, excellent value and with a sterile period of 24 hours, the Milton Maximum Protection Cold Water Steriliser ticks pretty much every box.


If the longevity of a product is anything to go by, the Milton Method of sterilising is sure to catch your eye. Milton pioneered the modern methods of sterilising baby equipment. It was in the early 1900s that bottlefeeding first became widespread. At the time, boiling bottles was the only option for sterilising but when an outbreak of gastroenteritis caused the death of 4,500 babies in the late 40s, it was traced back to contaminated baby bottles. And so it was that the Government asked The Milton Pharmaceutical Company to come up with a solution.

Ever since, the Milton Method has been trusted by hospitals, midwives and mums for safely and effectively sterilising baby equipment. And the system is incredibly simple. All it takes is the Milton bucket, some water and Milton sterilising solution in either tablet or liquid form.

Both the sterilising fluid and tablet options have been proven to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses (including swine flu) in just 15 minutes. Another big plus with Milton is your baby equipment stays sterile in the solution for 24 hours.

Both the tablet and liquid sterilising options are convenient and quick but the tablets are likely to last longer – you only need one tablet per 5 litres of water and there are 28 tablets in a box.

Cost wise, the sterilising unit is £13.61; sterilising fluid is £2.05 for 50ml, the sterilising tablets are £2.19 for 28 tablets.

What we love

The bucket lid is easily secured and released by swinging the handle into the locked or unlocked position. It holds up to six standard baby bottles and there’s plenty of extra room for the odd dummy as well.

The Milton Method promises to be simple and it certainly is. Simply fill the bucket with cold water to the 5 litre marker, add either one tablet or two capfuls of fluid, then pop in your bottles. Things do tend to bob about a bit but there’s a handy tray to hold everything underwater. And if you’re only sterilising a few items, there’s also the eco option of only filling the bucket half full.

While we’re on the subject, Milton sterilising fluid is kind to the environment. It does contain bleach, which may leave you wondering how it can possibly be eco-friendly. Well, the science behind it is pretty complicated but the long and short of it is, when you tip the Milton solution down the sink, it decomposes into water without leaving any chemical nasties behind.

The two greatest things about the Milton Maximum Protection Cold Water Steriliser are the short time it takes to sterilise – only 15 minutes – and the length of time items remain sterile – a very handy period of 24 hours. This makes it ultra-convenient and you can grab bottles from the bucket as and when you need them. There’s definitely no fumbling around with fiddly electric settings in the night. Also, because it literally is a bucket, you can sterilise anything you like, from breast pumps to toys.

There’s also no reason to rinse your equipment before use. You simply drain off the excess liquid and voila. Mums online also love the Milton’s ease of use and rave about its portability. Many recommend it as the best sterilising system they’ve tried.

This isn’t the prettiest or smallest of sterilisers but it absolutely makes up for that in terms of practicality. Even once you’ve stopped sterilising your baby accessories, it’s worth holding on to for dish cloths and Tupperware. With so much going for it, this sterilising method offers outstanding value for money.

What to watch out for

There’s one thing that can’t be ignored – the smell. Both the sterilising tablets and fluid smell very strongly of chlorine. Milton told me the smell is given off as the solution breaks down all the nasties on your baby’s bottles. So you could see it (or smell it) as reassurance that your baby equipment is definitely sterile. However, the smell was pretty strong before I’d even put the baby bottles in the bucket. Saying that there are absolutely no health or safety reasons to rinse equipment after sterilising (I couldn’t actually taste chlorine on the teats myself), and rinsing them could risk re-contamination.

It’d be a useful addition to have some tongs for rescuing your bottles from the solution as I found the smell of chlorine very hard to get off my hands. As a busy mum grabbing bottles from the solution regularly throughout the day, you’d struggle to be rid of that swimming pool aroma!

When using the tablets I also found that, like a soluble painkiller, they didn’t completely dissolve, leaving flakes in the bottom of the bucket that I had to stir in. I also found the water level markers quite hard to see on the thick blue plastic. However, after a couple of uses it’s easy to learn how full the bucket needs to be.

Who is the Milton Maximum Protection Cold Water Steriliser best for?

Busy mums, perhaps with more than one baby, after hassle-free sterilising that doesn’t require a microwave or electrical socket to be anywhere in sight.


MadeForMums verdict

The Milton Maximum Protection Cold Water Steriliser is definitely recommended for its functionality, value for money and the confidence it gives you that it’s doing the job it’s designed to do. It may not look pretty and the chlorinated smell would certainly take some getting used to but it works quickly and the equipment stays sterile for longer than most other sterilisers.

Product Specifications

ModelMaximum Protection Cold Water Steriliser
Steriliser typeCold water
Number of bottles it can hold6
Bottle typeVarious
Length of sterilsing cycle15min(s)
  • Tray to hold equipment under water
  • Items sterile in 15 minutes
  • No need to rinse items after sterilising
  • Contents are sterile in solution for 24 hours
  • No microwave or power supply needed
  • Choice of fluid or tablets
  • Can fit breast pumps or toys in the steriliser unit/bucket