Clean Your Reusable Straw In A Pinch With This Surprising Dental Essential

When washing dishes after a meal, reusable straws are typically more challenging to clean compared to plates, cups, and silverware. The tiny openings on either side of the drinking utensils are too small for standard sponges and dishcloths to reach, and simply rinsing them with water from your kitchen's faucet doesn't offer a deep-enough clean to disinfect them after use. Because of this, packs of reusable straws often come with a thin brush that's designed to fit inside the opening of the straw and dislodge any stuck particles when washing. However, if you've misplaced your cleaning brush or never had one to begin with, no worries! The cleaning substitute you need might be readily available in your bathroom. Grab some dental floss and thread it through the straw, circling it around the straw's interior to release any food particles that may have gotten trapped in hard-to-reach places.

While reusable straws are great for the environment, they can be detrimental to your health if not properly cleaned between uses. These straws, along with tumblers, Tupperware, and other materials you use to eat and store food and beverages, can develop mold and bacteria over time if not cleaned effectively, which can bring about serious illness if consumed. Give your reusable straws a thorough washing after every use by following these simple steps.

How to clean reusable straws with floss

Whether your reusable straws are glass, metal, plastic, or bamboo, this dental floss cleaning hack can be completed with hot water, dish soap, and a thorough scrubbing with the thin dental tool. Start by giving your straws a quick rinse with hot water, washing away any easy-to-remove remnants of your last beverage. Next, drizzle a bit of soap and water into the straw and insert a piece of the dental floss, swirling the string around the inside to lift and remove any particles that may be left behind. The piece should be long enough for your fingers to firmly grasp each end of the floss, which should be sticking out from each side of the straw. 

If dental floss and soap aren't strong enough to achieve a deep clean, try adding a bit of baking soda, which will help wash away persistent particles with more force. Once the inside is clean, scrub the straw's exterior with a wet, soapy sponge or dishcloth. Finally, rinse the entire straw once more with water to wash out any remaining soap. Alternatively, you can soak your straws in a bowl of hot, soapy water or hot water and vinegar for 30 minutes to dislodge any stubborn leftover debris, then use the floss and rinse thoroughly. If handling the string of floss while cleaning feels too awkward, a pipe cleaner or an extra-long cotton swab should produce a similar effect.