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How to Clean Sippy Cups

How to Clean Sippy Cups

Words Kasey Hickey

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.

The first time I found mold inside my toddler’s sippy cup, I felt like I had won the award for World’s Worst Mom. Only later did I realize I’d have many moments like this as a mom, like that time I dressed my baby for a blizzard (full on snow suit!) for a 70 degree trip to Target. Once we transitioned from bottle to sippy cup, I thought I was being particularly diligent when I was cleaning everything, but inevitably gunk was getting trapped in those hard-to-reach places in the cup.

baby drinking from sippy cup

Good news: I don’t experience sippy cup cleaning-anxiety anymore! I figured out exactly how to properly clean our cups to avoid mold build-up, gunk, funk and anything else that doesn’t belong living in our sippy cup lids and straws! What’s great about OXO cups is the parts easily disassemble so you can give them a deep-clean without missing any spots. There aren’t any small crevices or nooks and crannies, so you won’t have to worry about any residual gunk. When cleaning the cups, I recommend using this handy brush set to make sure every cup gets spick and span. Simply separate the lid from the cup and scrub to your heart’s content.

Basic Steps to Clean a Sippy Cup

  1. Rinse the sippy cup as soon as possible after use.
  2. Separate every part of the sippy cup.
  3. Make sure straws and detachable mouth pieces are separated from the main cup.
  4. Soak everything in warm soapy water (and your choice of disinfectant if mold is already present).
  5. Scrub every part using specially-shaped brushes, paying close attention to the mouthpiece and straw.

If you’re curious, here are detailed instructions for each cup in the OXO Transitions line.

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 their 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. I recommend getting inside the mouth hole and running the area with plenty of water as you scrub—use the spout cleaner to get right inside the mouth hole, and then use the lid brush to clean every nook, cranny and thread of your sippy cup lid.

The Straw Cup has a hinged cap that closes tightly when your little one isn’t drinking from it, creating a leakproof seal to minimize mess. To clean it, just remove the straw and separate the two straw parts. Clean the lid just as you would the Soft Spout Cup above, but then you’ll want to give special attention to the straw. Use the long, thin straw-cleaning brush to easily deep clean your straw with warm soapy water, running it under the tap to ensure there are no remnants hanging onto the straw.

Finally, there’s the Open Cup Trainer, which has two flow settings for children who are ready to learn to drink like big people. The Open Cup Trainer has an easy-to-remove lid so when your kid is ready, he or she can drink like a grown-up without a lid (kind of a big deal!). For deep cleaning, simply remove the lid from the cup and separate the disk. Pay special attention to the cup’s lid threads when cleaning, as those are the only crevices on this particular cup.

Now that you’re a pro at cleaning sippy cups, you’re ready for your next big adventure: eating out with the kids!

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By Kasey Hickey

Kasey Fleisher Hickey is a freelance writer for OXO, and a mom to three cute kiddos (a toddler and boy/girl twins). She is the co-founder of Turntable Kitchen, the first and only food and music site and subscription service. She lives in Seattle, by way of San Francisco, where she keeps busy as a writer, content strategist, and brand marketing consultant.

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