How To Scald Breast Milk

How To Scald Breast Milk

In search of how to scald breast milk? 

We have a responsibility to nurture and provide nourishing food for our children. Sometimes, as mothers, we cannot always fulfill that obligation.

Fortunately, milk can be expressed and frozen and then given to the child if so needed.

Excess lipase is a problem many women face when they are exclusively pumping.

This enzyme can cause milk to curdle and taste soapy or sour after being stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

The correct process of how to scald your breastmilk will help prevent the milk from turning into cottage cheese by killing off the excess lipase, and it will also give you milk that has a milder taste.

How to Scald Breast Milk

Some nursing moms who store their milk sometimes find that the defrosted milk gives off an unpleasant fishy or soapy smell.

This happens because of too much of a certain enzyme called lipase in the milk.

The lipase starts working on the fat in the milk soon after it’s expressed from the breast, and this change in composition is what causes the milk to smell or taste funny after it’s been frozen and thawed.

The remedy for this problem is to scald your milk before storing it, which will ensure that the milk stays fresh until you need it. 

But how to scald breastmilk properly? Here is a step-by-step guide!

  • Step 1- Use a spouted kettle to heat breastmilk. Before putting the milk into the kettle, sterilize it with hot water. Then put the kettle in an ice bath to cool it quickly.
  • Step 2- Heat the milk slowly on low heat, watching carefully. Don’t leave for even a second as the milk heats up quickly. Turn off the fire immediately if you see little bubbles forming at the side of the pan, or if you feel any heat.
  • Step 3– Cool the milk by placing it in ice water.
  • Step 4– Measure the milk in bottles before pouring it into milk bags. Milk bags may not have accurate markings, and some of the milk you put in a bag may evaporate during the scalding process.
  • Step 5– All your milk is stored in the fridge. Milk no longer smells!

What is the best way for you to scald breastmilk?

For women who are trying to collect breast milk for storage and future use, it can be difficult to do so if they are without access to a refrigerator regularly.

Scalding the milk (heating it to about body temperature) is a method of pasteurizing breast milk that does not require a refrigerator, and thus works well if you do not have access to one.

You can scald your breastmilk on the stovetop or by using a bottle warmer.

1. Scalding on the Stovetop

An easy way to scald breast milk is to pour it into a saucepan and heat it over medium, gently swirling the pan so that the milk heats up evenly.

You can also do this in a double boiler. Stir the milk occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.

When you do this in a saucepan on your stovetop, stir its contents occasionally and heat it steadily until it reaches 170 F (77 C).

Do not let the milk boil. Use an instant-read thermometer to check its temperature.

When you are finished scalding your breast milk, store it in a glass bottle or some other container (such as a glass jar or plastic bag) in a refrigerator until you’re ready to use it later.

2. In a bottle warmer

To scald breast milk in a bottle warmer, place a stainless-steel bottle (for an ice bath) in a large bowl or another container.

Place ice in the bowl, then pour some breast milk into the bottle and use an instant-read thermometer to measure the temperature of the mixture.

Heat breast milk to 180 degrees. If you are using a bottle warmer with auto shutoff, overheating may result in a burnt taste.


Although it can be a great convenience for mothers who must return to work after their babies arrive, pumping and storing one’s milk is not without challenges.

Among the most troubling is that many mothers notice changes in the taste and aroma of the milk after it has been stored.

When breastmilk has been stored for an extended period, some people notice a soapy or bitter metallic odor.

This can be avoided by scalding the milk before reheating it. Some people cannot taste any difference in the milk when it has not been scalded, but this is not an indication that the milk is spoiled; the milk may not have undergone the spoiling process to which their tongues are sensitive.

In any case, milk that has gone bad generally gives off an awful rotten smell.

Now, you know how to scald breast milk, you can set aside the fear that your breastmilk will smell bad!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you scald breast milk after refrigerating?

When you’re away from home and need to save refrigerated milk, you can protect it from bacterial growth by heating it to a temperature above the normal boiling point (212°F [100°C]).

The process of scalding milk involves heating it to a temperature high enough to kill unwanted bacteria but not so high that the milk is cooked.

How do you scald milk to remove lipase?

Heat breast milk (after expressing it) by placing it in a saucepan, and then heating it over medium heat until its temperature reaches 82 C (180 F).

This can take about 20 minutes. Once you reach 82 C (180 F), remove the pan from the heat for about 1 minute.

Then pour the warm milk into a container that you have already placed into a container filled with ice water.

As you do this, be sure to leave space between the containers so that the milk is cooled to 40 C (104 F) within 30 minutes.

Can you scald breastmilk in the microwave?

Many parents find their breast milk is at the correct temperature for feeding babies when it has been warmed in a bottle warmer.

Bottle warmers are also useful for heating baby food jars. The milk should never be microwaved, as it can scald, or burn, and this will result in a bad taste.


Iesha Mulla

Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She's an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.

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