Sippy cups are great for training and preventing spills while your little one masters the skill of drinking from a cup. Keeping all the parts, valves and straws clean is a bigger challenge. Your on-the-go toddler often leaves sippy cups in the least likely places and by the time you find them all, they look more like a petri dish full of gunk and mold.
Note: You can refer to manufacturer guidelines for your specific sippy cup for cleaning recommendations.
It’s a good idea to sterilize sippy cups and all parts, including valves and straws prior to the first use and any time there is visible build up in the cup or parts. Sterilizing uses steam or a bleach solution to kill 99.9% of germs.
- Boil: Place all parts of the sippy cup, including valves and straws into a pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove items using clean tongs. Allow to air dry on a paper towel.
- Steam: steam sterilizers can be used in the microwave or there are counter top electric versions. The high temp steam will reach even the tightest or smallest spaces and kill bacteria and mold.
- Bleach: Prepare a bleach solution using 2 teaspoons of unscented bleach per gallon (16 cups) of water in a clean wash basin. Submerge all parts, including valves and straws. Soak items for at least 2 minutes. Remove with clean tongs. Do not rinse. Allow to air dry on a paper towel.
Weekly sanitizing in the dishwasher is a good idea. Most all sippy cups are dishwasher safe. Disassemble all parts of the sippy cup to ensure hot water reaches all surfaces. Be sure that all parts are completely dry before reassembling the cup.
Cleaning removes food particles that harbor bacteria and can cause mold to grow.
- Rinse the sippy cup immediately after each use.
- Disassemble the sippy cup completely for washing, including valves and straws.
- Soak in hot, soapy water for 15 – 30 minutes.
- Use a bottle brush for the insides of sippy cups.
- Use a smaller brush for cups with spouts.
- If the sippy cup has a straw, use a straw brush. Clean the straw from the bottom up. Take care to avoid puncturing the drinking end of the straw.
- Allow all parts to completely air dry before reassembling the sippy cup.