Buying a set of reusable straws feels good. You bought this shiny set of reusable straws because you care about the environment and it’s Plastic Free July. You’re on your way to reducing your contribution to landfill trash and saving the turtles.
However, what they don’t tell you is that the straws don’t stay shiny for long, and cleaning them properly confounds many people. Before you know it, the inside of your straw is lined with dried smoothie particles from all the times you decided to “just rinse them.”
If this resonates with you, don’t be discouraged, and definitely do not try to convince yourself that the residue of other drinks will simply add flavor to your current beverage. Here are some proper methods to keep those straws clean, because letting them get so dirty that you just want to throw them away completely defeats the purpose.
How to clean reusable straws
Most reusable straws are made of metal, plastic, bamboo, or silicon, so the way you clean them will vary depending on the type.
The little brush
This method works across all varieties of reusable straw, though it does take a bit of effort. Just make a soap and water mixture and rub the small straw brush vigorously into the straw until all the particles are gone, then rinse thoroughly.
If your reusable straws are metal, bamboo, or silicon, then putting them into the dishwasher will clean them effectively without breaking or warping them. Ensure that you place them over the prongs or in the cutlery basket so that the jets of water and detergent can get into the inside of the straw. Laying them flat won’t do the trick.
Most silicon, metal, and bamboo straws can handle sterilization in boiling water, but make sure to check the washing instructions just in case.