How to clean inside of straw
I have a plastic cup from a company I used to work at. I like this cup and it's very convenient for me to be able to drink water with the straw, so I use this very often. However, after longtime use, the tip of the straw on the inside has become dirty.
Does anyone have any tips on how to clean the inside of this straw? A typical cleaning sponge doesn't work since it's too fat. I'd like to be able to use some common household items, if possible.
Dunno about "straw cleaners", but pipe cleaners were used (and named) as a cleaning brush for long narrow tubes (e.g. pipes) well before they were popularized as a crafting material for kids.
With cups with plastic straws like that, they have flared ends to stop the straw coming out, and they are hard plastic straws. You don't just "buy another" or "snip it off" - it's not a reusable straw.
@Oxinabox It looks like the type of straw that is secured in to the lid.You can see a more prominant image here. http://g01.s.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1GXXkFVXXXXa9XpXXq6xXFXXXG/221375967/HTB1GXXkFVXXXXa9XpXXq6xXFXXXG.jpg
Your best option is to use a pipe cleaner. Add some dish soap to the pipe cleaner. I like to dip the pipe cleaner in a bottle of soap, but you can pour soap on it. Now just push the pipe cleaner through the straw and rinse it with water.
If you have a straw that has too wide of a diameter for on pipe cleaner, you can braid 2 or 3 together to make it wider.
Espresso machine! Heat up some steam and as long as your re-usable straw is relatively thick, slap it up against the steam shoot for a few seconds per side. Finally, run water through it. Presto! A clean and sanitized straw. I do this all the time.
I would just hold the straw in a vertical position with one of my fingers covering the bottom of the straw. Pour some soap into the top of the straw. Then pour some warm water into the top of the straw.
At this point you can just keep the water running for a while and then eventually remove your finger from the bottom of the straw and rinse the straw out. Or you could cover the top end as well with another finger and then shake the straw all about letting the water hit the edges of the inside straw over and over again. And then rinse it out.
If you want to make sure it gets clean as possible, then you could just repeat the above steps a few times.
An adaptation to a couple of methods already mentioned that involves shoving something down the straw to try and get rid of any dirt.
- You could use an ear cleaner (Q-Tip) - preferably a clean one. Get it wet and add a little bit of soap and that should be quite nifty.
- Dental floss - if you feed a length of this down the straw and keep tight and wiggle the straw around, this should have good cleaning potential (after all, people clean their teeth with this stuff)
Alternatives to dental floss:
- Elastic band
- A chain (like a necklace)
- A shoelace - a clean one (would, I think, be the most effective as it'll be a similar width to the straw so be nice and tight to the edges)
- Buy a new one.
Found these on Amazon. Bought some to clean out the drink straws on reusable water bottles.
Drink Straw Cleaning Brush - set of 4 Stainless Steel brushes for drinking straws, Tumblers, sippy Cups and more! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K4QBYQY/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_-Ki2vb38NNEKK
Cheap and should last a long time. Useful for cleaning out other tiny hard to reach places.
Get yourself some bottle cleaners for the natural flow bottles, they are perfect for cleaning straws for plastic cups! Our 4 year old has a few of the toddler size cups with these plastic straws and we use the natural flow cleaner brushes to clean her straws (and out three month old daughters bottles too!). They are inexpensive, and last a long time compared to having to use a new long q-tip every time you wash the straw.
You can pick these up everywhere that has a baby section, WalMart, Walgreens, CVS, Toys R Us, etc.
The number of people suggesting that you just buy new straws is appalling. The point of reusable straws is to keep those cheap, plastic disposable straws out of the landfills. Say yes to the pipe cleaners and yes to tiny bottle cleaners. Some reusable straws come with mini bottle cleaners (sized for the straw). You want a hack? Cut a dish cloth into thin strips so you can stick it all the way through the straw.