Do you clean your reusable straws? If yes, when was the last time you scrubbed the residual food debris stuck inside those tubes? Do not lie to us, silly. If you do clean your reusable straws, you probably know what a pipe cleaner is and what it is used for.
Pipe cleaner or straw cleaning brush always comes together when you purchase reusable straws such as metal straws, bamboo straws, glass straws, or silicone straws. But a pipe cleaner is not the only option you have for cleaning reusable straws. You can also use household items like dental floss, Q tips, wet wipes, baking soda, and many more. In this post, we listed the best pipe cleaner alternatives to keep your reusable straws in tip-top condition.
How to Clean Reusable Straws at Home
Cleaning your reusable straws in a dishwasher is the most basic method there is. Nothing too complicated is needed, just your dishwasher and some soap and water.
What You’ll Need:
- Rine the reusable straws with hot water.
- Grab some dishwashing soap and rub it around the straws. If you have a straw cleaning brush you can use it to go inside the straws and get rid of food particles that may have been stuck.
- Place the straws on the utensil dish rack of the dishwasher and run the machine as normal.
- Once the cycle has been completed, remove the clean straws and let them dry thoroughly.
2. Boiling Water
Lo and behold the mighty remover of all dirt, boiling water. Boiling water can kill pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Of course, if it can take away those organisms, it can also get rid of stubborn dirt that got stuck in your reusable straws.
What You’ll Need:
- Pot of boiling water
- Vinegar or baking soda (optional)
- Place your reusable straws inside a pot with water. Let it boil. You can add a tablespoon of vinegar or baking soda for a thorough cleaning.
- Allow the straws to stay in the boiling water for about 10 minutes.
- Let the straws cool down. When boiling glass straws, do not immediately rinse them with cold water as it can result in breakage.
- Your squeaky clean reusable straws are ready to be used again.
3. Dental Floss or String
When a straw cleaning brush is not around, you can use a piece of dental floss or string to get inside the reusable straws. You can also use water mixed with baking soda or vinegar if you want your reusable straws to undergo deep cleaning.
What You’ll Need:
- In a basin, combine the dishwashing soap with warm water.
- Place some dishwashing soap into the straw.
- Soak the straw into the water and soap mixture for a few minutes.
- Grab your dental floss or string and pass it into the inside of the straw several times.
- Rinse your straw with tap water.
4. Long Q-Tips
A great alternative to a straw cleaning brush is a long q-tip. This personal hygiene product effectively gets through the insides and corners of your reusable straw.
What You’ll Need:
- Long q-tip
- Dishwashing soap
- Warm water
- Place some dishwashing soap in the interior of your reusable straws.
- Using the q-tip, scrub the mouth of the straws first then work towards the insides.
- If the tips are already worn out or dirty, use another one.
- Rinse your straws with warm water.
How to Clean Reusable Straws While on the Go
Not everyone is a homebody. Whenever a cold drink invites us while we are outside, a reusable straw always comes in handy. Although using them while dining outside is a good practice, we cannot deny how limited the options are when cleaning them. Fret not! You can still take delight in using clean and safe eco-friendly straws while on the go by following these simple tips.
5. Wrap Your Reusable Straw with a Napkin
When your straw pouch or case is not around, the best way to pack your reusable straw is using a cloth napkin. As much as possible, avoid the paper ones since you have to dispose of them now and then. Just secure your reusable straws into the napkin and place them in your bag or pouch. You can also use the napkin to wipe your hands or mouth later.
6. Use Wet Wipes
When you go somewhere without water access, wet wipes are the go-to alternative for cleaning your reusable straws. It may not deep clean the insides but it can still get rid of particles on the mouth and exterior.
7. Go To The Washroom
If you are using your reusable straws in an area that has a washroom, go there and run your straws in hot water. Try to focus the flow of the water on the insides of the straw while gently scrubbing the exterior.
Eco-Friendly Straw Cleaning Brush Alternatives
Dishwashing soap is still the golden standard when cleaning reusable straws. But when you run out of this cleaning solution, consider these options.
8. Use Baking Soda
This baking and cooking staple ingredient is a classic natural disinfectant and cleaning agent. If this can be used to remove stains on walls, tiles, or plates, then it will work on your reusable straws.
9. Disinfect with Distilled Vinegar
Just like baking soda, distilled vinegar is known to have antibacterial properties. This can get rid of any possible dirt that has accumulated on your reusable straws.
10. Squeeze Lemons
Do not worry about the acidity of the lemon and its reaction to your reusable straws. It is not that strong to cause any chemical reaction. The good thing about lemon is that it has natural antibacterial properties that kill germs and molds.
Ensuring your reusable straws are free from germs helps protect you and your loved ones from illnesses. Give these simple pipe cleaner alternatives a chance and see how squeaky clean your sipping tool can be even without a straw cleaning brush. If you have additional tips to share, leave us a comment below.