bugandbibs:We use our microwave sterilizer at least once a week. Our dishwasher leave a cloudy residue, so we wash bottle by hand. I sterilize my pump parts and bottles every Friday. I also like using it for pacifiers and teething toys. They aren't very expensive (ours was $15), so I would recommend having one.
ellewoodsSC:I don't sterilize with every use. I handwash with soap and hot water or use dishwasher. Every now and then I will either sterilize in a pot of water or use the Medela microwaveable bag sterilizers for pacis, pump parts and bottles. I don't think that routine level of sterilization is necessary unless you're fighting thrush or have a baby with some special circumstances.
This exactly. I registered for the Medela Micro Steam Bags... you can get up to 100 uses from 1 box. It's so easy to use and very affordable. You can actually fit a lot into 1 bag at a time too. I sterilized all my bottles, nipples, caps, parts and others in 1 bag using it about 3 to 4 times.
I never bought one or had a use for one. Hot water + soap = clean
My dishwasher sucks (its 22 years old now) so I hand wash bottles, among other things. I have got to get a new dishwasher.
I think that amount of heat is only necessary in the case of something like thrush or a child with special needs (immunocompromised for example).
Extreme heat will deteriorate plastic. Whether it comes from boiling water, a dishwasher or a steamer. Heat + plastic = deterioration. If deteriorating plastic concerns you, you'll want to go with glass bottles. They sell silicone bands that fit over the bottles so you can get a better grip.