Easy Ways On How To Scald Breast Milk

Is your freshly expressed breast milk tasting and smelling a little different? Perhaps it has a metallic taste and a soapy smell? If it’s a yes, then there’s excess lipase in your breast milk. This enzyme is present in breast milk and keeps it well mixed in normal conditions. It’s also beneficial in the breaking down of fats allowing your baby to digest the breast milk easily.

With overproduction of lipase, breast milk is likely to get spoilt very quickly. These easy ways on how to scald breast milk will come handy. Any change in taste and smell of milk might cause the baby to reject it. So, scalding is the best way to keep breast milk safe and acceptable to your baby.

Is the scalding process new to you? Even with no idea, this guide is here to tell you the best ways on how to go about scalding breast milk for your baby. You will not have to worry about struggling to breastfeed your baby. Just continue reading.

Important considerations when scalding breast milk

When beginning the process of scalding breast milk, ensure that the milk is drinkable. So, you will only be scalding it to get rid of lipase. This enzyme has a likelihood of changing the smell and taste of breast milk. Failure to do this might make the baby reject the milk.

Though scalding lowers the nutrient level in breast milk, it’s not to a significant amount. So, you must ensure to scald breast milk before storing it in the refrigerator.

Items to use

Baby bottle

A stainless steel bottle is recommended instead of a glass one. It can withstand the high temperatures with no risk of breaking. It’s easier to remove it from after being heated to cold water without breaking as a result of a change in temperature.


This can be a digital one with an alarm, temperature gun or a kitchen thermometer. A digital thermometer will prevent overheating the milk to above 180 degrees. If it comes with an alarm, it will go off so that the milk does not overheat.

Bottle warmer

Bottle warmers come with different settings on them. Turning it to a high setting will make it easily heat the milk getting it rid of lipase. It would have caused issues with pumped milk.


You need this to heat the milk if you are to cook it on a stovetop. 

A thermometer gun is highly recommended when scalding the milk on the stove or microwave. If you are to use a bottle warmer, consider using a digital thermometer with an alarm.

Scalding the breast milk

There are three ways you can use when scalding breast milk whether on a stove, microwave or in a bottle warmer. You have a choicer to go with one which is more convenient and suits your needs.

The best way to retain more nutrients and avoid overheating your milk is to heat using a microwave.

Boiling milk on a stove

  • check
    Prepare the breast milk then put a small pot over low heat on the stove. Afterward, pour the freshly expressed breast milk into the saucepan.
  • check
    Monitor the temperature will boil faster compared to when using a microwave or bottle warmer. Use a gun thermometer to control the temperature and avoid overheating.

To prevent milk from forming at the bottom, stir it every time the temperature rises by 10-20 degrees.

As soon as the temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, you have to remove the pan from the heat. Formation of bubbles on the edges of the pot is a sign that the milk is ready.

Heating milk in a microwave

  • check
    Put one cup of fresh breast milk in the microwave with the temperature set to high. Cook for about two minutes.
  • check
    After about a minute, open the microwave and then use a spoon to stir the milk. Close the microwave and heat again for a moment.
  • check
    Open the microwave again and check the temperature of the milk using a kitchen or gun thermometer. If the temperature is at 180 degrees Fahrenheit, transfer the milk into the baby bottle.
  • check
    Continue microwaving if the temperature has not yet reached the target. However, this time set the temperature to low and continue to cook. Ensure to check the milk every 15 seconds to ensure it does not heat beyond 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heating breast milk using a bottle warmer

  • check
    Pour fresh breast milk into a stainless steel bottle in a warmer with water. The water in the warmer should be at the same level with the milk in the bottle. Add warm tap water in the warmer if you want to speed up the process.
  • check
    Set the alarm on the thermometer to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to monitor the temperature. Stir the milk the moment it goes up to 10 degrees to prevent build up at the bottom of the bottle.
  • check
    Turn off warmer and remove the baby bottle the moment the alarm goes off.

Cooling the breast milk

Now that you are done with scalding, it’s time to transfer the milk from the pot into a stainless baby bottle. Did you heat the milk using the third technique? Then, it’s time to remove it from the warmer. Then place the bottle in an ice bath.

Prepare the ice bath by using a container where the bottle fits. Fill this with water and ice. Put the bottle full of hot milk here and let it cool for a few minutes. 

A funnel comes handy when transferring milk from the saucepan to the bottle. It helps avoid spillage.

How to store the milk

Has the milk cooled down? You have to store it according to some standard storage procedures. The milk should be put in a bottle and placed in a refrigerator. Here, it has a lifespan of about 5 -8 days. Do you want it to last longer? Then, consider putting it in a freezer bag and freeze.

How to keep stored breastmilk fresh

You must ensure that the milk is appropriately sealed regardless of whether it’s in the refrigerator or the freezer. It helps it not to absorb any odor from other foods. Below are some useful ideas.

Use proper storage containers

Always use glass, storage containers or plastic bottles which are BPA free. The best containers to use are those made of glass or hard plastic. These properly preserve the nutrients in the milk. If you have misgivings about using plastic storage containers, glass containers are a better option.

Mind about the storage location

Are you planning to use the breast milk after about five days? Consider freezing it as soon as you finish pumping. When you are to use the milk, put it in a refrigerator for thawing. Keep in mind that thawed milk is used within 24 hours.

Store in proper conditions 

Keep breast milk at the back of the refrigerator or freezer instead of keeping it on the door or towards the front of the shelf.

Useful tricks for successful scalding 

Be careful heating with a microwave

Ensure that you don’t overheat your breast milk when heating with a microwave by using a thermometer. There is also a likelihood of uneven heating with a microwave. Some portions of the milk might become hot enough while the other might be cold. So, ensure to stir the milk as it boils. Uneven distribution of heat when using a microwave might make your milk to get spoilt faster.

Taste your milk 

It’s a good idea to freeze your breast milk and thaw it. Afterward, taste it and judge for the presence of lipase. Keep in mind that frozen and reheated breast milk will taste different from freshly refrigerated milk. Does your frozen milk have a metallic taste? You should consider scalding it.

Use clean and sterilized equipment

Always clean and have all containers, pump accessory and breastfeeding bottles sterilized to ensure your milk does not end up with a gross taste. After that, then you can right away freeze your pumped breast milk.

You can also consider double bagging the milk for proper sanitation. It also protects your milk from acquiring smell from other foods like meat or seafood in the freezer.

Position and store properly your milk in the freezer

Always keep the milk bags at the center of your fridge. Avoid keeping it closer to the sides to avoid risks of uneven freezing and temperature changes. It is very beneficial if you are using a self-defrosting freezer.

You can also consider storing the breast milk in small portions. It helps to minimize wastage and overfeeding. Consider a maximum of 4.oz for each container. The bags should be flattened when freezing. Further, rotating and labeling your stash is a great idea. Always place the oldest on top. First in, first out ensures that you use the oldest patch first.

Can you regulate the freezing temperature to stay constant? Then, you have a possibility of storing the breast milk in the freezer for about 6 months. Avoid thawing and refreezing any leftover milk. It is likely to go stale fast. On thawing, only keep it in the freezer for 24 hours before consumption.

Look out for signs of infection

Does your expressed milk appear pinkish or with streaks of blood? It’s possible to scald it and store it the usual way. However, if you have a fever or your milk appears to contain pus, consult your physician immediately. 

You don’t have to throw away any sour smelling milk. This milk is helpful for the baby’s bath. It can help moisturize and soothe your baby’s skin from irritations caused by eczema, chemicals, diaper rash and sunburn.


Some mothers produce too much lipase making their expressed breast milk to get spoilt faster. It gets a metallic taste with a soapy smell. Though lipase does not affect your baby, its impact might make your baby reject breast milk. So, scalding is a better option to address this issue.

With this comprehensive guide, there is no need to worry about how to go about scalding anymore. Ensure to pick a method convenient to you and follow the steps. It successfully reverses the taste and smell of your breast milk.

Has this guide been useful? Why not share it with your mom friends!

Spread the Word
Joscelyn Booker

Hello, I'm Joscelyn. I’m a 30-something wife and working mom of two kids, a boy and a girl. I juggle work, kids’ activities, caring for the family and of course blogging. I enjoy sharing my thoughts on motherhood. We don’t have to try hard at being perfect mothers.