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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to clean reusable straws


My parents got me a juice for Christmas, it's a Hurom and wonderful! I have been juicing almost every day. I bought one of those insulated plastic cups with a plastic straw so I could take my juice on the go. I figured a reusable straw was better than all the disposable straws I use to use.

I was doing fine running water through the straw to clean it until I left juice in the cup for a few hours and food residue was left in the straw. When I ran water through it, nothing happened.

Bits of food left in the straw

I looked up straw brushes on Amazon but zero came up. I wondered, how do people clean these things? I did find a pastry bag brush that seemed like it might work but it was $12 for a set of 6 and I only need one so I didn't order them.

Then I went to Target to see if they had a pastry tube brush. They didn't. They had a turkey baster with a cone shaped brush that looked like it might fit in the tip of the baster...probably would fit in the straw, at $10, I declined and left.

Today it came to me. I just needed something to create a bit of friction, like a piece of fabric. Now how am I going to get a tiny piece of fabric through a straw?!

The same way you pull an inside out spaghetti strap through itself, with a long stick.(sewing trick) I started walking around the house getting my necessary props; hanger, pliers, wire cutters, fleece.



I cut the fleece about an inch thick and at least 6 inches longer than the straw. I cut the "hook" part of the coat hanger off and pulled the cardboard tube off. I was left with a reasonable straight piece of wire with a hook on it where the tube use to be. I used the pliers to straighten out the rest of the wire and cut the extra piece of the hook part off.
Straightened wire
I then cut a tiny hole in the fabric and slipped it over the hook part. I used the pliers to clamp down the hook so the fabric didn't move.



Then I tested it, and it actually fit! Snug but it fits. And snug is really what you want so it cleans the sides.




I ran the water and pulled the fabric back and forth through the straw. After several passes I pulled the metal wire and fabric all the way out and whola! A clean straw!

Here is a video of the process. Sorry for my arm covering the shot at one point, I'm not great at taking video.

video


12 comments:

missmarquisha said...

I'm surprised you didn't find the Straw Cleaners on Amazon, I found a set for $4.50 with my Prime shipping, but NOW I'm not going to order it, because I've read your How-To and I know how to make one myself! Thanks!

ThatsMyTri said...

Missmarquisha, I'm not sure I looked on amazon. Or if I did I thought they were too expensive. Most of the things I found were too big really. I actually got a second straw with a different cup that is even smaller, I have to use a pair of pliers to get the wire to come through. Still love it and it was basically free so i love THAT even better! Thanks for reading my blog, hope you enjoy your straw cleaner!

gypsyangel said...

Thanks I am definitely going to use this idea!

kollette27 said...

Love it!! I have several of those clear Starbucks cups with the green straw, and then several similar cups from Amazon with a brown straw. I had always ran to the nearest bathroom sink when I was done drinking my smoothies or juices to rinse the straw really well, but I was never sure. It's one of those things that cross your mind when you are drinking out of it, "I hope I got this thing clean!". I am so glad I came across this. Wonderful idea!

KimberleyW said...

Finally clean straws! I just finished making & using this & it is amazing. I've been trying to figure out how to clean my straws for days & this is exactly what I was looking for. I couldn't see spending 10-15 dollars for just a brush.. Thanks a ton for posting this..
I even made a few extra just in case.

Shannan Gilbert said...

You can also go to the craft section at any store and get a bag of pipe cleaners for a few dollars. You can used each cleaner a few times before you have to toss it.

Rocque said...

Thanks for these hints on straw cleaning. I did a Google search since I am at that point, too, where I do not want to throw the straw away but want to make sure they are really clean.

Thanks again.

Desiree Thomas said...

I have been using Qtips.....lol...I put about 3 thru the straw with soapy water and shake...Then use another qtip to push them thru...! worked this morning

Lisa F said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Gladys Gonzalez said...

I am a bit of a freak when it comes to dirty gunky straws! This is a great idea, thanks so much. Gladys

beautyk said...

Thanks so much for sharing I just tried it and now i don't have throw my straw away!!!

kailyn Verity said...

Thank you so much for this, I have been so baffled on how to clean my straw and this worked pefect and I had everything so it was free!!... even better :-)

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