If you’re thinking of purchasing or already own reusable straws then you might be wondering how to keep them clean. In this article we give our tips on how to clean reusable straws in and away from home.
Some contributions may take a lot of time and effort.
There is one we can all do that requires no time and very little effort.
From the moment you purchase a reusable straw, you know you’ve made an important contribution to save the environment.
Instead of 550,000 million plastic straws a day piling up in the trash, your contribution is actually a personal effort to reduce your volume of household trash.
At the same time, reduce the toxic effects of plastic straws that end up in landfills and as litter in lakes, streams and ocean.
Once you begin this relatively simple and easy step forward to save the environment, your awareness grows to greater vigilance over all items that in your household trash.
This is how reusable straws benefit you economically by reducing the cost of disposing of your household waste and also inspires you to additional environmental efforts.
How Do I Keep My Reusable Straws Clean?
Reusable straws should be washed and rinsed after each use to avoid residue build up that can alter the flavor of beverages.
Don’t forget to store them immediately after each use.
Teach children how to keep their reusable straws clean and how to wash them so they can make more use of them for school and other activities.
What Do I Need to Know About the Cleaning Brushes?
Since nearly all brands of reusable straws offer cleaning brushes to clean bamboo, glass, silicone and stainless steel reusable straws, take note of the size of the straw in proportion to the size of the cleaning brush.
You may notice the extra long and extra wide reusable straws have brushes with different features.
For example, observe the length of the cleaning brush from bristles to handle.
Extra long size brushes are intended for 24 and 36 ounce beverage glasses.
The metal handle on these brushes averages 12 inches in length. Standard sizes of these brushes are eight and ten inches in length.
The stainless steel handles of these cleaning brushes may be smooth or braided and have a round loop at the end.
The bristles on cleaning brushes for reusable straws are made of nylon.
When you purchase reusable straws that include cleaning brushes, check whether the bristles are natural or synthetic.
Nylon is synthetic which is not biodegradable. However, there are other options such as:
- Bamboo bristles
- Partial plant based bristles
- Charcoal enhance bamboo bristles
How Do I Make Sure Products and Packaging are Biodegradable?
Whenever you purchase a product like these cleaning brushes and want to maintain your environmental program, choose only products labelled biodegradable.
There are many substitutes for household plastic. These include:
- Plant-based plastics
- Stainless steel
It comes down to your vigilance of packaging when you buy groceries and goods.
In order to reduce your household waste and maintain an environmental program, take notice of how your goods are packaged.
Learn to reuse as much of the packaging before disposing of it.
Ideally, you want to return to the environment the natural gifts it has given through recycling household items like reusable straws and cleaning brushes.
How to Clean Reusable Straws
The purpose of reusable straws necessitates cleaning with a cleaning brush or pipe cleaner and hot soapy water to remove residue like pulp from fruit juice, coffee and tea stains and thicker residue from milkshakes, smoothies and slushies.
To clean reusable straws manually, use a mild liquid detergent and hot water.
If convenient, allow them to soak for about five minutes.
Then insert the cleaning brush inside the straw and rotate it clockwise and counter clockwise to ensure thorough cleaning.
Rinse with tepid water and dry.
How Do I Wash Reusable Straws in a Dishwasher?
Silicone reusable straws are dishwasher safe.
Some bamboo reusable straws may not be dishwasher safe.
However, glass reusable straws are dishwasher safe up to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stainless steel reusable straws are also dishwasher safe.
How Do I Wash Reusable Straws Away From Home ?
If you are away from home, travelling or at the office, you can wash reusable straws in a sink under running water.
If detergent is not available, allow running water to enter the inside of the straw to remove most of the residue.
Then, insert the cleaning brush and rotate clockwise and counter clockwise.
Rinse thoroughly and dry before storing it in a reusable pouch or carrying case.
Can I Use Pipe Cleaners?
Should you lose your cleaning brush or forget to place it in the carrying case, keep a few pipe cleaners handy in your office desk or purse.
Pipe cleaners can be used as a substitute for cleaning brushes.
Pipe cleaners for straws should have chenille stems.
Chenille is made from cotton which is a natural fabric and is biodegradable.
How Long Will My Reusable Straw Cleaning Brush Last?
Some reusable straws brushes are sold with a lifetime guarantee.
Check the manufacturers product information.
In most cases with regular reusable straw use and cleaning, these cleaning brushes will last several years.
The bristles are manufactured from long lasting, natural materials.
After two or more years, check the condition of the bristles.
If they appear to be thinning or have lost their stiffness, consider replacing them.
Avoid damage to cleaning brushes by storing them in their proper pouch or case.
When in use, avoid placing them near a flame.
They are not flammable but the bristles can be altered by temperatures over 1500 degrees.
What About Drying Reusable Straws?
Most dishwashers have a dry cycle so drying reusable straws after cleaning in a dishwasher is automatic.
For manual drying of reusable straws, use a dry pipe cleaner to dry the inside of the straw and an absorbent cloth to dry the outside.
If you are travelling or away from home when you need to dry your reusable straw, dry the inside of the straw with a dry pipe cleaner.
Then, choose a paper towel made from recycled paper to dry the outside of the straw.
Learning how to clean reusable straws is so easy a child can do it. Teach children early on how to clean reusable straws so they can become adapted to protecting the environment.