Thursday, September 10

Keeping the sippies clean

I'm going with the mommy theme again today. Sometimes I don't know whether to apologize for that or embrace it. It is our life here, after all, and winter is probably better for being crafty, anyway, right?

Once the kids graduate from nursing or bottles, I know most of us move them on to sippy cups of some sort. We have gone through several varieties in the last 5 years, but I have finally decided that I prefer Playtex.
Let it be known, first of all, that, to date, I have only purchased our sippies at Target. I choose from varieties that I feel like won't break the bank, but won't be replaced often. I have never researched all options found online or in specialty retail shops. I have found, however, some great comparison articles at Z Recommends which may introduce you to other sippy styles and brands (see links below).
For me, the Playtex cups stand out for 2 major reasons. They are easy to clean and don't tend to leak. Minor reasons for choosing Playtex would be that the lids and spouts are interchangeable and they are affordable.
It took me awhile to come up with a successful cleaning method for any sippy cup. It may be that I've struggled with it because I simply don't get around to washing our dishes as promptly as I should, but I don't think that's all of it. Some cups have clearly been more prone to grow moldy or have had very awkwardly designed parts making effective cleaning difficult.
I finally settled on pipe cleaners (chenille stems), toothpicks and the bottle brush for sippy cup maintenance. Pipe cleaners work wonders when washing dishes with crevices, spouts, and straws, and I was bowled over at my ignorance when my dad introduced that simple idea to me. Pipe cleaners are now a standard item found in the little vase that holds our dish washing brushes. Why had that never occurred to me?
I found these articles at Z Recommends interesting, but am also interested in other stories of success, or lack-of, in keeping sippy cups clean. Do you have one?

2009 BPA-Free Sippy Cup Showdown: Baby and Toddler Division, Top Picks

2009 BPA-Free Sippy and Straw Cup Showdown, Toddler to Pre-K Division, Top Picks

30 comments:

Carmel said...

I've been known to forget they were in the car (the sippy cups, not the children!) and had to pour out some pretty chunky (and stinky... like gag-me stinky) milk. : ( So you are not alone when it comes to washing some pretty crusty dishes at times!

moomer said...

Dad's a genius and we need his mind. (Wish I could write with a "Frahnk" accent!)

ezeldabeth said...

i really struggled with sippy cups... playtex used to be my favorite...but some of the nooks and crannies were awful (i used toothpicks with a tiny piece of paper towel wrapped around the tip to get down in there) - dishwashers make all the difference (i finally have one)... my new favorite cups are the munchkin ones from target...a little less nook and cran-age, they only cost 99 cents and i never have any trouble with leaks (as long as you put the valve in all the way - found that out the hard way)

Melissa at perryjayne.etsy.com said...

I've tried lots of different sippy cups and Platex are by far my favorite. They have far outlasted many other cups and they don't leak.

kaye said...

I have a love/hate relationsip with sippy cups.

I hate cleaning sippys, but I love sippys for preventing spills

those are some good cleaning tips

btw--your blog is wonderful. I'm actually a stay at home grandmother that tends my grandkids daily, I wish I'd had some of your ideas when I was young and had my little kids. I'm always showing your posts to my daughters. Keep up the good work :)

Michelle at Her Cup Overfloweth said...

aaahhhhh! What a great post! I was just struggling with cleaning my playtex sippies this evening!

I will be linking to this in my sunday links post!

pinry said...

pipecleaners! what a great idea! thanks for the tip. i like the avent cups as the valve is less fiddly than others.

Mermaids of the Lake said...

Great ideas for cleaning sippies! Have a great weekend!

Sara said...

I LOVE this photo and the idea of pipecleaners. I struggle to keep mine clean as well - and I don't own a dishwasher so I sometimes worry about that. What I do is boil them every now and then, and sometimes I clean them by packing baking soda into the little crevices and pouring vinegar over them. The bubbles of the chemical reaction pull the little stubborn dirt out.

Emily said...

We have been a Playtex house for the last 9 years, but just recently while looking to purchase more sippy cups a lady in the aisle suggested a different one.. it's Learning Curve brand (disney theme) and it doesn't use an insert and doesen't leak!! Oh Hallelujah! We purchased it from Babies R Us, but I'll be looking elsewhere. They weren't a bad price either!

Allison said...

brilliant. The toothpicks I've done; but I do believe the pipe cleaners just saved a wee bit of my sanity!

The Trendy Tot/babycheeks said...

I used to design sippy cups for a living and the Take & Toss cup is one of my creations (born after listening to parents lament over lost and expensive sippies). Finding an effective way of cleaning the cup's valves without detroying the leakproof feature is almost impossible. You can use a brush, pipecleaner, whatever, but keep in mind the spill proof feature will deteriorate once you do that :(

Infant Bibliophile said...

I admit that I switched to giving most drinks in ordinary glasses or mugs with a standard plastic supermarket straw (it's easy enough to guard against spills with one child, but I know this might not work for multiples). We have one born free sippy that I run through the dishwasher, and we had some take and toss ones, but I never felt like they got clean enough for my liking. I have a whole batch now that I've soaked and need to handwash or toss. I'm leaning toward tossing. I find sippy cups to me more trouble than they're worth. The idea of the pipe cleaner is brilliant, though. I'm going to store that one away for future use.

It's Sew Stinkin Cute said...

I was very fortunate. We tried sippy cups for a couple weeks and my daughter hated them. I was terrible at cleaning them, and they were expensive. Lately I have had a couple friends whos kids are in speech therapy that are linking problems with speech to sippy cups.

My daughter went straight to a straw. My mom happened to have a strawberry slushy from Sonic and my daughter wanted it so bad she figured out how to work a straw. The muscles that your mouth uses for a straw are the muscles that your toddler will use to talk. My daughter is 2 1/2 and talks better than all of the kids in her class.
I know that a lot of this has to do with talking to your child, but it is food for thought.

We use the "Take and Toss" cups. We can run them through the top rack of the dishwasher, and when they get funky, or Laci bites the straw too much it's ok, we just toss it. Anyways, not that this helps, but thought I would put in my thoughts.

pdisandro said...

Great post! I have a 4 1/2 month old that I have been debating on what to use and worrying about how to clean it when we do start. BTW, love your blog!

Sherry said...

Great tips the day I was able to get rid of the sippys was a wonderful day.

A Little Diddy said...

my simple cleaning method for sippys- I let them soak in scalding hot soapy water for five mins. then give a quick scrub with a brush and done. loosens up and disinfects.

South African Passport said...

great ideia

gracie said...

i seem to remember the inserts for sippy cups used to have metal springs in them -- they were at times impossible to clean! (um i think i'm getting old and maybe my children too spread out - lol)

It's so easy to clean the one piece inserts!

NeedANap2 said...

Came over from Mom Advice, the pipe cleaner is brilliant! Whenever our sippy cups are funky, I soak in soapy water and bleach. The bleach really seems to get in there and disinfect. We use Gerber cups (mostly) and I was cleaning the valve with a bottle brush (small end) but it seemed to push it to be open all the time so I tried the bleach and it really works for me. We had one Playtex cup and I really liked it but my daughter lost it. Then we got a Playtex Little Einstein one and it leaked. I seem to get the most mileage out of the Gerber ones. :)

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