It’s great that so many people are helping to reduce landfill waste by using water bottles and reusable straws. If you’re one of them, when was the last time you washed yours? And how often should you be washing it? And how in the world do you wash a straw? Read on friends, and we’ll share how to protect your health while you’re protecting the environment.
Ideally, reusable bottles and straws should be washed daily, or as often as you use them. If not daily, at least every few days. At the very least, taking the lid off between uses is important so the bottle can breathe and dry out. Water bottles and straws should also be sanitized weekly, for a deeper and more thorough clean.
Whether you have a glass, stainless steel, or a hard plastic bottle, the clean-up is the same. Use a bottle brush and hot, soapy water to reach every nook and cranny, paying particular attention to the neck of the bottle and other tough to reach spots. Hot water and dishwashing liquid will also help remove oils and grime on the outside of the bottle as well.
If you have a bottle with a straw or pop-up sports cap, these also need extra attention. Run a small bottle brush or pipe cleaner through the straw to thoroughly clean the inside.
Hot water and soap won’t kill every type of bacteria, so sanitize your bottles once a week as well. You can use one tablespoon of chlorine bleach in a gallon of hot water and let them set for 15 minutes or two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar per one cup of hot water and let them set for 15 minutes before rinsing them and letting the bottles air dry.
To get your straws squeaky clean, dip a narrow straw brush or pipe cleaner in hot, soapy water and insert it in the straw, passing through the entire length of the straw. If you can still see bits of smoothie fruit clinging to the inside of the straw, for instance, dip the wet brush or pipe cleaner in some baking soda and try again. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that will help remove stuck-on food.
A stainless steel, glass or silicone straw can also be cleaned by boiling it in water for 10 minutes or if the straws are dishwasher-safe, running them through the machine in the cutlery basket.