How do you wash your pumping parts?
We have a little blue mixing bowl from Ikea. Everything goes in there to soak, with some hot water and Ecover dish soap- pump parts, bottles, nipples, bottle tops- everything. Soak for a while, and rinse.
Of course our bottle brush doesn't fit into the little parts and grooves of my pump flanges. When I have time and am feeling more detail-oriented, I use my fingers to get soap into all those little places. But when I'm in a rush (read: almost always), I just trust that the soaking got all the dirty stuff out, rinse and go.
Luckily, I have 2 sets of parts for my Ameda pump. When Baby S was in the hospital for jaundice, I requested to use their pump since she wasn't eating enough and my breasts felt like Pamela Anderson's. Since they use Ameda at the hospital, the pump pack they gave me was identical to the one I had at home. Score! Now I can have one soaking and one drying (or one dirty and one dry) so I can always have a clean set to throw in my bag as I am running late for work.
I remember when I was pumping 9 times a day for Toddler B. At that point I only had one set- and it needed to be used every 2-3 hours. After pumping, I never wanted to wash and dry them. All I wanted to do was get on with whatever else I had to do- sleep was always on my mind. I had to force myself to take that extra 3 minutes to do it. I would beg my partner to wash them- which he would do some of the time, and forget to do the other half of the time. Oh, those horrible moments when I went to pump and found the flanges still soaking in the bowl!
There are also the parts that I have lost while washing my pump at work. Those slippery little membranes like to hide and disappear down the drain...
I keep in my head the thought that one day I will be done washing those stupid little parts for good.