Your child has taken to their sippy cup after some trial and error. Most children love to carry their sippy cup around, taking a sip now and then until they run out of whatever yummy goodness you have filled. But, can you sterilize sippy cups? what is the right way to clean, sterilize and store sippy cups?
Use warm, soapy water to clean all the nooks and crevices of the cup. Then, sterilize the cup and lid using hot water or the microwave. After the cups are clean and sterile, wipe them dry using a clean cloth or a tissue and store them in a clean cabinet, away from water or oil.
Babies tend to carry their sippy cups wherever they go and, more often than not, keep dropping them—the dirt, bacteria, and germs on the ground stick to the sippy cup. Also, if they roll under some furniture and it takes you a couple of days to find it, mold might grow inside the cup. This is similar to mold growing inside any wet container that has not been used for many days.
All of these factors make it very important to wash out your child’s sippy cup thoroughly. While the crevices and grooves may be quite challenging to get to and, as a result, difficult to clean, there are some ways to make sure you can prevent the growth of microorganisms and mold inside your child’s sippy cup.
The right way of cleaning your child’s sippy cup
Various steps are involved in keeping a sippy cup safe from mold and other microorganisms. The simplest and most common way to clean the sippy cup is by following these steps-
- Remove the cap from the cup. Rinse it thoroughly in warm water.
- Using your finger or a brush, clean all the grooves.
- Check for any residue on the sipper and clean that.
Rinse the sippy cup after every use: You should develop good practice to rinse the cup after every use. Rinsing it immediately after use removes some milk, formula, or juice in the cup. This reduces the food residue left behind in the cup. Less food residue means less food for mold to eat and grow.
Disassemble the cup: When you decide to wash the cup, every part should be disassembled. As previously stated, the grooves are where the food and milk particles accumulate the most. These are the most common places where germs can multiply. Thorough cleaning means that we should have access to all parts.
The first thing that you will probably have to remove is the straw. Once that is done, remove the lid and look underneath it. A rubber ring or stopper will usually be used to make the lid leakproof. Remove this and keep it aside as well. Do not pull out any parts that are glued to the lid.
Cleaning the cup: There are a couple of methods you can use to clean the cup thoroughly. The easiest of these is to soak the parts of the cup in hot soapy water. Fill a basin or vessel with ample water to soak the cup and the parts completely. Leave the parts to soak completely; the longer, the better. This will soften some of the gunk and make it easier to cleanout. Avoid using a sponge when scrubbing the sippy cup as they are known to harbor bacteria.
Do not use the sponge you use for the other utensils in the house. Instead, we recommend using a bottle brush or a clean cloth to get the job done. Smaller, hard-to-reach places like the spout can be cleaned with a nipple or teat brush. Use a straw brush for the straw, if it has one. Be extremely thorough, as residual fluid can lead to germs. These germs can cause diseases when your baby uses the sippy cup again.
The second method is an alternative if you do not have a bottle brush handy. The sippy cup can also be thoroughly cleaned by making an agitator pour into the cup. This is a method that our grandmothers used to follow quite often. Throw in a handful of uncooked rice into the cup, along with some vinegar and water. Shake this vigorously, and the rice will act as an abrasive, removing all the gunk from inside the cup.
Vinegar helps to remove any smell in the sippy cup. Take care to use a small amount of vinegar because it can erode the plastic. If you are using a sippy cup that is not certified BPA- or EA-free (why would you, when you have Niniobaby’s quality product), try to avoid using vinegar. Use rice and water alone.
Sterilizing sippy cups
Sterilizing baby bottles and sippy cups are essential. This step can remove much of the bacteria and other microorganisms in them. You do not need to sterilize the cup after every use. However, you must often sterilize your baby’s sippy cups to ensure they are safe for your baby. This could keep your baby safe from many disease-causing germs.
The three effective methods for sterilizing sippy cups are:
- Use a sterilizer
Boil: Place all the sippy cup parts into a vessel full of boiling water. Allow the parts to sit in the boiling water for about 10 minutes. Boiling is an effective way of removing germs as they will not survive in high-heat environments. However, you must take care to remove the bottle and its parts after ten minutes. Do not remove them with bare hands.
Use a sterilizer: Many sterilizers are available for baby bottles that can be used for sippy cups. These sterilizers are usually steam-based and will emit high-temperature steam to kill mold spores and bacteria.
Bleach: Bleach is an effective way to kill mold spores, and so are vinegar and tea tree oil. Sanitize the sippy cup by mixing two teaspoons of bleach with about four liters of water. Drip-dry the cups after they have been let soak for about two minutes. Ensure to rinse the cup with soapy water after this, as the bleach should be washed away thoroughly.
Storing your child’s sippy cups
Whichever method you are using for cleaning or sterilizing, make sure that they are never stored while still having moisture. For example, if you reassemble your cups before they are completely dry, the moisture gets trapped within, thus increasing the probability of mold growth.
Sippy cups should be dried on a rack. Do not use a towel for drying them off as they can also harbor bacteria. However, you can use fresh tissues and newly washed towels to dry them before storing them in a cold and dry place.
Change your child’s sippy cup every three months to prevent mold growth. After all, the safety of the child is most important. If a cup has a stain that is particularly difficult to remove or remains stained after washing, it is advisable to throw it in the trash. While it is difficult to tell if there will be live spores, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Niniobaby’s sippy cups feature no-drip caps and BPA-free plastic bodies that promise to keep your child safe. The material and design minimize the mess around the house because of spills. The problem you face with most sippy cups is the same- residue in the straws, valves, and other parts.
The no-drip cap needs thorough cleaning after every use. The beading or rubber stopper results in small crevices just under the lid. These hard-to-reach places can be a breeding ground for many mildew and germs.
The caps also tend to have a small plastic or silicone disc inserted underneath. While this design helps further make the cap drip-proof, it also traps the liquid within. This trapped liquid becomes a zone for microorganisms.