September 15, 2010

Q: How Do You De-Scum A Crazy Straw?

I've tried soaking, sucking and blowing, but so far, nothing.

10 Comments

pipe cleaners!

sound like it's time for a new straw

Try putting it in a cup with denture cleaner (polident, efferdent, etc).

Same question re: rubber duckies or other bath squirt toys.

I think the answer depends on the scum. Usually, a quick soak in acetic acid dissolves most mineral deposits from hard water. Try an overnight bath in distilled white vinegar. It should also work on molds, BTW. Vinegar/acetic acid is non-toxic and safe to ingest so any residue will be fine on a drinking straw.

Because they're not eating them, my kids' bath toys usually get an overnight soak in a bleach solution. Try a 10% concentration with copious rinsing afterward to remove the dark mold/fungus from the insides.

The pipe cleaner (mechanical scrubbing) will work as well to remove "scum" but it will not kill and/or remove all mold spores. You need a solvent for that.

i second the bleach. it's my go to goo killer.

Star San. It's what I use for brewing beer and will sanitize all the nooks and crannies

Mike, Star-San will kill whatever is growing in there but I don't think it cleans it, does it?

I second the "get a new one" sentiment, but one approach you might consider is to create a siphon. I did this to clean my wife's breast pump tubes (one of which might be helpful in this case) and it worked great.

Heat up some water on the stove, start the siphon (carefully!), attach the straw to the end of the tube & place it below the level of the stove (e.g. in the sink). The water (or cleaning solution) will flow through it continuously on its own.

Hah, I ended up sort of doing this. I was heating some packets of Indian food, and so I thought I'd draw some of the not-yet-boiling water into the straw. It totally melted and uncurled. With it straightened out, I could get a pipe cleaner in there, and then I reheated it and remolded it myself.

A bit of overkill; the "get a new one" option still wins out.

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