How to Clean Reusable Metal Straws in 5 Steps

For those looking to make more sustainable lifestyle choices, reusable metal straws are the way to go as they create less waste, making them much better for the environment.

If you already have metal straws or are looking to get some, may we suggest our excellent, high-quality stainless steel straws, then you’re probably wondering what the best ways to clean them properly are. Well, keep reading as we have everything you need to know about cleaning reusable straws right here.

Why you should you keep your straw clean

It might surprise you just how much gunk and bacteria builds up from previous drinks in your metal straws. A quick rinse out with water just isn’t enough to keep straws free from mold and food particles, they need to be properly cleaned and sanitised to keep any potential harmful germs away. And, of course, you want your metal straws to last as long as possible to help fight against plastic pollution, so cleaning them regularly is a must!

In an ideal world, your straws should be cleaned after every use depending on what you’ve used them for. If you’ve used your straw for a fruit smoothie, for example, then it should be cleaned almost immediately after to get rid of any leftover food and drink inside the straw before it hardens and sticks. However, if you only drink water through your straw then they can be cleaned at the end of each day.

The best way to clean metal straws in 5 steps

The best, and easiest, way to clean your reusable metal straws is by hand with pipe cleaner or a brush. Most metal straws do come with their own cleaning brush that is specifically designed to clean them, making it a much quicker process.

  • First you’ll want to rinse the straw out with hot, soapy water.
  • Then, you’ll need to also wet the straw cleaning brush with the hot, soapy water.
  • When the brush is sudsy push it back and forth into the straw to clean it. If you’ve had a smoothie you may need to do this a few times to ensure the remnants of the drink are completely gone.
  • Don’t forget to use the brush to clean the outside of the straw too.
  • Once you’re positive the straw is properly clean, rinse it out with hot soap and water and leave to one side to air dry.

Can you clean your straw in a dishwasher?

Yes, technically you can clean your straw in a dishwasher, but it won’t be as clean as washing it by hand. This is because while the dishwasher does a great job cleaning the outside, it can’t get inside to scrub and sterilise it, especially if it has a bent neck, which is what’s needed for a thorough clean.

Tips to cleaning your straw in the dishwasher more hygienically

If you still want to clean your straw in the dishwasher, we’d suggest cleaning it out properly with the brush beforehand to ensure that it’s sanitised and free from bacteria inside. Then, place the straw in the utensil basket section of the dishwasher and run it as normal for a squeaky clean finish on the outside of the straw. When the cycle is over remove the straws and leave them to air dry before storing them away.

How to clean straws without pipe cleaner

If you’ve had your straws for a while and don’t have a pipe cleaner or brush to clean them out with don’t panic! There is another way to clean them effectively without needing either tool.

  • First run hot water through the straw immediately after you’ve finished using it. This prevents any drink residue drying to the inside of the straw.
  • Soak the straw in a bowl with warm, soapy water. You can soak it for a few minutes or a few hours depending on how deep it needs to be cleaned.
  • Once it’s done soaking, rinse it out with hot water again and any particles that were stuck inside should be loosened.
  • Lastly, run the straw through the dishwasher for it to clean the outside fully.

Best eco-friendly solutions to clean your stainless steel straw with

If you’re wanting to use more eco-friendly cleaning solutions to clean your metal straws with, there are a few common household items that are very versatile and can be trusted to sanitise your straws. These include:

  • Baking soda - This is an affordable, multi-purpose product that can be used for both cooking and cleaning.
  • Distilled white vinegar - Just like baking soda, distilled white vinegar is perfect for a non-toxic cleaning solution.
  • Dish soap - Liquid dish soap is something that every household has and can be used to clean many items, even jewellery.
  • Hydrogen peroxide - This is a mild antiseptic that’s typically used on the skin to prevent infections but can also be used as a cleaning product too.
  • Lemon - The acid juice in lemons can kill bacteria, mold and germs so it’s a great alternative to clean your straws with.
  • Tea tree oil - This is an effective cleaning solution thanks to its microbial properties and you only need to use a few drops so it should last a long time.

The best place to store your reusable straw at home and on the go

When you’re using your reusable straw, the best place to store them at home is either vertically in a cup that’s in your kitchen cupboard to prevent any dust getting in them, or alongside your other cutlery in a drawer. If you’re on the go, the most hygienic place to keep them is in a little pouch that you can slip inside your bag.

Take a look at our tips on how to clean your stainless steel water bottle.

Also, find out why plastic straws are bad for sea turtles and how you can help make a difference with reusable straws.