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Cleaning Sippy Cups

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Cleaning Sippy CupsHow do you clean sippy cup lids? No-spill sippy cups, while wonderful for keeping the inside of your diaper bag and your carpeting clean, are diabolical to get all the scummy milk out of. Especially when found under the couch a few days after they were used.

All the nooks and crannies inside a sippy cup’s valve attract milk, and that milk residue is a perfect breeding ground for germs. And most sippy cups seem like they are designed to be as difficult to clean as possible.

Some types of sippy cups are harder to clean than others. How good the sippy cup is at resisting spills is usually inversely proportional to how easy it is to clean.

The kind that has a lid with a spout, and a separate valve that fits inside it, the ones that don’t dribble, are the some of hardest to clean. The ones with a straw and a neat little flip-top lid are nigh on impossible.  The ones with a spout that pops up and down are reservoirs of gunk.  Disposable sippy cups are a bit easier, but don’t resist leaks as well.

Various mom solutions have been proposed, and the most popular seems to be “put them in the dishwasher and pray”.  Washing on a high temperature will kill any germs in the sippy cups, but won’t necessarily remove all of the milk. Here’s a couple more tips for cleaning those pesky sippy cup lids. Microwave sterilizers and stovetop sterilizers, the same ones you might have had for baby bottles, can also be used to the same end.

If you can’t wash a sippy cup right after it was used, rinse out the lid and valve to remove most of the milk residue to make cleaning easier.

Soaking sippy cup lids before washing loosens most of the milky grime. Then to get it out, dental cleaning brushes are good for getting inside a sippy cup spout and valve. Q tips and pipecleaners work too, or a dishwashing sponge cut into a blunt point that you can wiggle in and wipe the milk out.

Denture cleaning tablets are often proposed as a good way to clean sippy cup lids. This works best if you have a couple of kids at the sippy cup stage, to use the tablets most efficiently you’ll want to clean a big batch of lids at once. Add a couple of tablets to a sinkful of water and sippy cup lids, and let the fizz do the work. Rinse well afterwards.

My favorite brand of sippy cup to wash was Nuby. The flexible spouts flip inside out for easy cleaning and genuinely don’t leak. They are not perfect – they are just a bit too similar to bottles for my liking though, and toddlers with teeth can chew through the spouts, so not the best for babies making the transition from bottle to sippy.

So right now I’m using and washing the disposable types of sippy cup, and being extra vigilant to keep them the right way up in the car and checking under the couch for any stray cups.

What is your favorite type of sippy cup, and have you got any cleaning tips to share?


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