How to Clean The Straw of Your Toddler's Sippy Cups And Bowls

The Danger Is In The Straw

In a recent hub, I shared some disturbing discoveries stemming from the care and cleaning of my no-longer-a-toddler son's sipper cups and bowls. A lot of the parents who read that hub were a bit surprised about the outcome of cleaning the built-in straw that comes with most toddlers sipper cups and bowls.

The content of the straw, as disturbing as it looked was a reality that most of the parents didn't know existed. The fact remains that while most toddlers use the different varieties of these sipper cups and bowls, mothers of toddlers in thousands of household still do not know the danger that lurks in each of their toddler's sipper cups and bowls if not properly care for or cleaned.

My hope is that, you as a parent will hereafter pay close attention to your toddlers cups and bowls with built-in straws, and follow the steps for the proper cleaning and care of those wares as outlined below.

My Collection of Sippy Cups and Bowls
My Collection of Sippy Cups and Bowls | Source
Eew! This is what happens when the straw is left unclean after multiple use.
Eew! This is what happens when the straw is left unclean after multiple use. | Source

Sippy Cup/bowl or NOT

With what you now know, should parents continue to use cup/bowl with built-in straw for their kids?

See results without voting

Cleaning Your Toddler's Sippy Cups and Bowls

As mentioned in the previous hub, it is not just enough to throw your toddler sipper cups and bowls in the dishwasher along with every other dishes or cups. The dish washing machine does a good job cleaning the outside, but not the inside of the built-in-straw of the cups and bowls. Extra care and cleaning is needed to get rid of all the trapped food particles within the straw.

You're going to need the following household products:

  1. Cotton balls or bounty paper towels, and
  2. 12 inch. bamboo skewer.
  3. Dish washing detergent, and
  4. Baking soda (to freshen inside the straw)

After a couple of use, or if possible, every week;

  1. Run some warm tap water through the straws.
  2. Wrap some cotton balls or a tiny piece of the paper towel (enough to fill the straw top opening, but not too much so it doesn't get stuck in it) around the skewer head.
  3. Dab skewer head into dish washing detergent and baking soda.
  4. Push the skewer down into the straw hole, moving it back and forth. Push the skewer all the way until all the cotton balls or paper towels are out of the straw. Repeat the process to get all trapped food particles out.
  5. Rinse through with running tap water to get all the detergent and baking soda out.
  6. Final check. Look down the straw under your kitchen light, and straw should be clean and ready for use again.

Repeating these simple steps as often as possible will help keep your toddler healthy.

Other Drink Wares That May Need Proper Cleaning

Infant Baby Bottles - If your infant baby feeds through a baby bottle with straw, you can apply the above steps in the proper cleaning of your baby's feeding bottle. Be sure to read the feeding bottle's cleaning manual for proper care.

Thermos Coffee Mugs - The rubber ring inside of the lids that makes it air-tight can sometimes harbor yucky bacteria. The ring and lid needs to be cleaned often as this black sediments can sometimes sip into your coffee/drinks and possibly make you sick.

To clean, lift or pop the rubber ring out of the cup lid and wash thoroughly. Put rubber ring back in place and your cup is ready for use again.

Don't Thrash Your Sippy Cups/Bowls

I've heard parents who vowed never to buy these types cups again because, "it's just too much of a hassle", they say. I did too. But, the truth was, my toddler son didn't want another cup or bowl. He wanted what he was already used to. I hid it for a week, bought him a different type cup and bowl, he just wouldn't have it. So I decided to buy another set of the old type in the same exact color as before. At the low price of less that $2.00, it was easy to change his wares every other month, same types, same color. All the while, he thought he was still using the old ones with the food trappings.

My point? Not every child can easily transition from baby bottles straight to regular toddler cups. Some kids would prefer the look and feel of those with built-in straw. So, if your toddlers prefer to drink or eat out of these types sippy cups or bowls, there's no need to throw them away. You can clean them.

5 Reasons To keep Your Sippy Cups and Bowls

 
 
Toddler's attachment
Your little one may not take to having to change his or her sippy cup or bowl. It's called toddler attachment.
Pretty colors
They come in the prettiest colors. What's not to love!
Fun to use
I'm yet to see a toddler that didn't want to eat or drink with these toddler ware. They are fun to use. I loved watching my then toddler son suck through the straws and make those silly noises.
Inexpensive bunch
At about $1.50 or less for each cup or bowl, you can afford to change the cuties every month. Just don't take the fun away from your kids.
Easy to clean
So, what if they do trap some food particles every now and then. They all do. But, these bunch are much easier to clean.

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Do you love to write? Do you have a passion for sharing with others what you know? You can do that by signing up right here on hubpages. And guess what? You'll make some money doing it too. Writing, that is.

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Author: Comfort Babatola - © 2013

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Comments 5 comments

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

This is a great hub for parents to keep handy. Those sippy cups are hard to get clean and I think your suggestion would make sure that is is pure and safe.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Voted up and useful as I am sure there are parents out there that don't think to 'deep' clean those straws.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@teaches12345 & tillsontitan - Thanks ladies. This was really an eye opener as the content of the straw could make a child sick if not washed thoroughly.

Thanks for your comments, very much appreciated.


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

Good tips, Comfort B. Cups are much easier to clean. :)


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@LongTimeMother - Yes, they are much easier to clean. Thanks for the read and comment. :)

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