How to Clean Reusable Straws

If you're looking for ways to make your lifestyle more sustainable, try using reusable straws instead of disposable ones they create much less waste, so they are much better for the environment. They are also a great option if you just like using straws and want to have one available wherever you go. While their narrow opening might make them seem tricky to clean, cleaning out reusable straws is actually a simple process. The best way to clean a reusable straw is by using a pipe cleaner or cleaning brush. But don't fret if you dont have either on hand, there are other ways to clean out reusable straws that work just as well.


[Edit]Cleaning Reusable Straws with a Brush or Pipe Cleaner

  1. Choose a pipe cleaner or brush that fits into your straw. Many reusable straws come with little brushes that are specifically designed to clean them out. If you have one of those, great! If not, you can easily use pipe cleaners to get the job done. Make sure the brush or pipe cleaner is long enough to clean out the entire straw.[1]
    Clean Reusable Straws Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • If you are using a pipe cleaner that isnt long enough, try twisting 2 or 3 together to get the desired length. Make sure to twist them tightly, so they dont fall off inside the straw.[2]
    • Always use clean pipe cleaners.
  2. Add dish soap to your pipe cleaner or cleaning brush. Squirt a few drops of dish soap onto the pipe cleaner or cleaning brush. You can use whatever dish soap you have on hand, or buy any brand you prefer.[3]

    • Try a dish soap that contains natural ingredients if you are worried about ingesting soap residue.
  3. Insert the pipe cleaner or brush into the straw and scrub vigorously. If youre using a pipe cleaner, insert the pipe cleaner entirely through the straw until it comes out the other end. Pull it back and forth a few times to clean out any hidden material in the straw. When using a brush, insert it into the straw and vigorously scrub the brush against the inside of the straw to remove buildup.

    • You may have to work on each end individually, especially if you're cleaning a twisty straw or an L-shaped metal straw. If this is the case, do your best to scrub each section of the straw, working on one end at a time.[4]
  4. Scrub the outside of the straw with a sponge. While the main reason you want to clean out your straw is to deal with hidden residue inside the straw, dont forget to give the outside a quick scrub as well.[5] Use dish soap and a sponge to scrub the outside of the straw.

    • If you dont have a sponge available, just soap up your hands and scrub the outside of the straw with your fingers.
  5. Rinse the inside of the straw under warm water to remove the soap. Once youve scrubbed the inside and outside of your straw thoroughly, rinse it under warm water until you have removed all the soap residue you wouldn't want to accidentally drink soap the next time you use the straw![6]

    Clean Reusable Straws Step 5 Version 2.jpg
  6. Place the straw in an upright position so it can dry completely. Standing your straw in an upright position will allow excess water to drain out, letting the straw dry completely. Avoid mildew by letting your straw dry before putting it away.
    Clean Reusable Straws Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • Use a drying rack to help your straw stay upright by leaning it against the metal frame.

[Edit]Cleaning Reusable Straws without a Pipe Cleaner

  1. Run hot water through the straw as soon as you are done using it. If you dont have a pipe cleaner or brush, it is best to rinse out your reusable straw immediately after use. If the straw sits for too long, the liquid you were drinking will dry and cake onto the inside of the straw, making it much harder to clean. Rushing hot water through the straw immediately after use will clean it out nicely.

    • If you can't immediately rinse your straw, stick it into a water bottle and take a few sips of water. While this is not as effective as hot water, it is better than nothing.[7]
  2. Soak the straw in warm soapy water, then rinse it completely. Soaking your straw in warm soapy water will break up any material stuck inside the straw. You can soak the straw for anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Once you're done, run hot water through and over the outside of the straw to rinse our any loosened residue that might still be stuck in the straw.
    Clean Reusable Straws Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • Try filling a large mason jar with warm soapy water and add the straw. Cap the jar and shake it thoroughly to help dislodge material. Then, rinse out the straw until all of the soap is removed. When cleaning bamboo straws, this is the best method to use.[8]
  3. Run the straw through the dishwasher. Most straws are dishwasher safe, but it is best to check the manufacturer instruction for the straw you are trying to clean. Once youre confident your straw is dishwasher safe, place the straw in the bulk utensil section and run the dishwasher.[9] When clean, make sure the straw stands upright long enough for it to dry out completely.
    Clean Reusable Straws Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • Stainless steel straws and glass straws do well in the dishwasher. Bamboo straws, on the other hand, should just be soaked and rinsed.

[Edit]Things Youll Need

  • Cleaning brush or pipe cleaner (optional)
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Dishwasher (optional)
  • Mason jar (optional)


[Edit]Quick Summary

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