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cleaning a sippy cup

How to Clean Sippy Cups

We’ve all been there—thinking we’ve diligently cleaned every part of the sippy cup, only to discover a hidden detachable part harboring untold gunk and mold. With the right tools and our step-by-step guide, however, you’ll easily enjoy sparkling clean sippy cups.

7 min read

If you’ve ever found mold inside your toddler’s sippy cup, don’t beat yourself up. It’s happened to the most careful of parents because those little cups are full of nooks and crannies. So even when you think you’ve cleaned them thoroughly, inevitably residue gets trapped in hard-to-reach spots.

Good news: Your days of sippy cup cleaning-anxiety are done! We’re about to show you exactly how to properly clean your kiddo’s cups and water bottles to avoid mold build-up, gunk, funk and anything else that doesn’t belong in those little lids and straws! And for an added stress-reliever, the parts in OXO Tot’s cups easily disassemble so you can give them a thorough cleaning without missing any spots. Right this way for a sippy cup cleaning extravaganza…

Tools Needed

  • A long bottle brush, like OXO’s Tot Bottle Brush, is a life-saver because it’s specially shaped to get inside and all around those wee small spaces.
  • A second detail brush engineered to tackle the crevices (like on mouthpieces and lids) is also helpful.
  • A straw brush is a must-have to get all the little bits of food and residue that hang out inside straws. This water bottle cleaning set combines all three kinds of brushes.
  • Drying rack. This one promotes air flow for faster drying cups and bottles and it also frees up valuable counter space.

Basic Steps to Clean a Sippy Cup

sippy cup cleaning brush
Sippy Cup Cleaning Brush
  1. Gather your tools, including bottle and straw brushes. For a complete list, check out the cheat sheet below.
  2. Fill sink with a few inches of warm water and soap. Separate every part of the sippy cup and rinse in water, including straws and detachable mouth pieces. Let soak for a minute or two.
  3. With your long bottle brush, scrub all the pieces inside and out, including around the bottom and sides of the inside, outside on the mouthpiece, and the cup’s outer sides, handles and base.
  4. With your detail and straw brushes, do a second round of scrubbing on lids and mouthpieces to tackle any gunk hiding out in those areas. Afterwards, you can run dishwasher-safe cups through a dishwasher cycle for a disinfecting clean (use a dishwasher basket so small pieces don’t fall).
  5. Place cup and pieces upside down on a rack to air dry overnight. (This one is great if you’re short on countertop space.) Maintain fresh sippy cups by rinsing them as soon as possible after use and cleaning once a day.

Tools Needed

  • A long bottle brush, like OXO’s Tot Bottle Brush, is a life-saver because it’s specially shaped to get inside and all around those wee small spaces.
  • A second detail brush engineered to tackle the crevices (like on mouthpieces and lids) is also helpful.
  • A straw brush is a must-have to get all the little bits of food and residue that hang out inside straws. This water bottle cleaning set combines all three kinds of brushes.
  • Drying rack

How to Remove Mold From Sippy Cups

  1. When disaster strikes, here’s how to do a deep clean: First, clean cup using above steps 1 through 4.
  2. Next, in a large pot or bowl, mix a solution of one part distilled white vinegar to one part warm water. Let cup and pieces soak for at least 10 minutes and preferably overnight.
  3. Remove from mixture, go over inside and outside once more with the bottle brush and warm, soapy water, then rinse thoroughly and let dry.
baby using sippy cup
Baby Using Sippy Cup

How to Clean a Soft Spout Cup

soft spout sippy cup top
Soft Spout Sippy Cup Top

The Soft Spout Cup is for little ones graduating from bottles or breastfeeding. The cup features an almond-shaped valve that opens as soon as it touches kids’ lips. The sturdy cap covers the silicone spout to keep it clean and prevents leaking in diaper bags (big win). To disassemble your Soft Spout Cup for deep cleaning, simply separate the lid from the cup and remove the hinged cap and silicone spout from the lid. Make sure to get inside the mouth hole and run plenty of water over the area as you scrub; the spout cleaner is helpful for getting inside the opening. Use the lid brush to clean every nook, cranny and thread of your sippy cup lid. You can also send this cup through the dishwasher.

How to Clean Straw Cup

straw sippy cup
Straw Sippy Cup Navy

The Straw Cup has a hinged cap that closes tightly when your little one isn’t drinking from it, creating a leak proof seal to minimize mess. To clean, remove the straw and separate the two straw parts. The Straw Cup With Handles also comes with an easy-to-separate handle part. Clean lid in the same way as the Soft Spout Cup above, but give special attention to the straw. Use a long, thin straw-cleaning brush to deep clean straw with warm soapy water, running it under the tap to ensure there are no remnants. Both cups are also dishwasher safe.

How to Clean Adventure Water Bottle

adventure water bottle
adventure water bottle

Similar to the Soft Spout Cup, the spill-proof straw belonging to the Adventure Water Bottle is also uniquely designed to open when your child’s mouth touches it. To clean bottle, remove and separate the two-part hinged lid from the cup. Rinse all parts and scrub thoroughly with bottle and detail brushes. Clean straw with straw brush and warm, soapy water. Rinse under running water and let air dry

Mastering a clean sippy cup is just one of the many adventures of your tot starting down the road to eating solid foods. Here’s how to help kids expand their palate. Plus, don't forget to clean your own water bottle and straw.

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