Reusable Silicone Straw FAQ’s
Many consumers have moved away from disposable plastic straws in favor of eco-friendly, BPA free reusable silicone straws. Below we cover a lot of the common questions consumers have regarding silicone reusable straws. Are they safe, how do you clean them, how do they compare to plastic, glass, and metal reusable drinking straws.
What materials are Softy Straws made from?
Softy Straws are made from non harmful food grade silicone. Silicone is a non-plastic BPA free material that has unique properties which make it an ideal material for drinking straws and other kitchenware. Each batch of silicone used to make Softy Straws is inspected for quality and purity by the FDA and rohS.
Are Silicone Straws Safe?
Silicone straws are free from BPA, BPS, Phthalate, Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, PBBs, and other harmful carcinogens commonly associated with plastic straws. Further, silicone is a very stable material – this means it doesn’t leach chemicals when exposed to temperature variations and liquids the way coated metal and plastic does.
Silicone is also flexible, soft, and bendy. This means they don’t pose a risk of chipped teeth, eye pokes and throat gouges when drinking. In recent years there have been lawsuits filed which revolve around kids getting gouged by hard straws made from plastic, glass, and metal. Silicone is soft enough to bite down on, yet rigid enough to resist tears. For straw biters and people with sensory issues or special needs, silicone is the go to straw, as mentioned by many of our customers, including a recent mom of special needs child:
“I have a 3 yo autistic girl that chews on everything all her sippy cups’ straws are chewed and that was driving me crazy, because she only wants to drink from a straw, I even got the stainless steel ones and she didn’t like them because she couldn’t chew them (lol that was the point), anyway when I found this silicone straws I gave them a try and OMG they where a hit.
These are very flexible, they can be chewed and are very easy to clean.
I recommend them 100%, especially for special needs kids.”
What is silicone exactly?
Many people believe that silicone straws are made from a type of plastic or plastic rubber. This is false. Silicone straws are made from Silicon – a unique material that has no relation to harmful plastic. Silicone material is made primarily from the element Silicon. Plastic is made from petroleum, food grade silicone uses no plastic or petroleum base. For more information on the silicone we use, such as the FDA and roHS report, please reach out to us.
How to clean reusable straws?
Cleaning reusable straws is very important for preventing the build up of mold and germs. How to clean reusable straws depends on what type of material the straws are made from. For instance, plastic straws can melt in the dishwasher, so people generally only run them under the faucet and clean them out with a bristle cleaner. Since silicone straws can handle extreme temperatures, cleaning them more thoroughly can be achieved to prevent the build of up mold and germs in the following ways:
- Cleaning the inside of the straws with a bristle cleaner
- Completely cleaning the inside of the straws by squeegeeing with a Straw Squeegee cleaner
- Cleaning and sterilization by running the straws through the dishwasher
- Boiling the straws in water for a short period of time
How do you get mold out of a reusable straw?
It only takes a small amount of gunk build-up inside of your straws to grow germs and mold. The best way to prevent mold is to clean them after each use. If they do build mold, the best way to get mold out of a reusable straw is to use a Straw Squeegee cleaner or bristle brush, then run them through the dishwasher. It’s very important to get the gunk out with a cleaner, such as the mentioned Straw Squeegee, then sterilize the straws in the dishwasher to prevent any further bacteria growth.
Are silicone straws dishwasher safe?
Yes. Silicone straws are dishwasher safe and can safely withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees. This is very handy for cleaning, sterilization, and germ / mold prevention.
Further, silicone is frequently praised for its non heat conduction property — it doesn’t quickly become hot when exposed to heat or cold when exposed to cold — like that of metal, glass and plastic. This is great for drinking hot and cold beverages in addition to being safe to be cooked with, microwaved, frozen, and sent through the dishwasher.
Do silicone straws have BPA or are they BPA free?
Food grade silicone is BPA free and BPS free. In fact, food grade silicone like that used in Softy Straws are completely free from Phthalate, Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, PBBs, and other harmful chemicals commonly associated with plastic straws — as verified by 3rd party testing.
Silicone vs Plastic
Plastic is a petroleum based material that frequently contains BPA or BPS. Plastic is a hard material that does not have stable properties when exposed to temperature variations – cracking when cold and melting when hot and also leaching chemicals in the process. Plastic is not reliable for putting in the freezer or dishwasher. Lastly, plastic is much cheaper to produce.
Silicone is a Silicon based material that is free from BPA, BPS and other carcinogens associated with plastic. Food grade silicone is a dense material, heavier in weight than plastic, but more flexible and bendy. Silicone doesn’t conduct heat the way plastic does, thereby not quickly becoming overly hot or cold when exposed to temperature variations. Silicone is extremely heat tolerant, safe for freezing, microwaving and dishwasher without cracking or melting. Because silicone is such a stable material, it doesn’t leach chemicals the way plastic does. Silicone is a much more expensive material than plastic – which is why silicone products cost more than plastic products.
What kind of bottles do silicone straws work with?
There are a variety of silicone straw sizes and styles to fit different tumblers, bottles, mason jars, and kids cups. Since silicone can also be cut down with a scissors, it’s easy to fit them to smaller drinking bottles.
Silicone straws for 30oz tumblers: Many of the popular brands of 30 oz tumblers, such as Yeti, and rTic, come with a lid and straw. However, those straws are often made with low quality plastic. A great upgrade is a long length silicone straw. Make sure to get a long long straw that is at least 9”. The ideal 30 oz tumbler straws are 10.5” tumbler straws and have stoppers to keep them in the lid. For most 20oz tumblers, either cut down the long straws are look for a shorter silicone straw that is at least 8”.
Here is a breakdown of tumblers and recommended silicone straw size:
- The best straws for 30oz Tumbler from brands Yeti, rTic, Ozark 24oz Tall, Klean Kanteen, Contigo, Bubba tumbler, 24oz Starbucks Tumbler, Tall Weck — Use: 10.5” Silicone Tumbler Straw
- The best reusable straws for smaller tumblers, such as 20oz Tumbler from brands Yeti, rTic, use: 8.25” Silicone Tumbler Straw
- 9” Smoothie straws work great for most large tumblers such as the most popular 30oz Yeti tumblers
- For kids cups and smaller drinking bottles, any of the silicone straws can be cut down to size
- Since Nalgene bottles are not very tall, we recommend 8.25 or 9″ reusable straws
Can Silicone Softy Straws be recycled?
Silicone Softy Straws can be recycled – but not simply like plastic or aluminum by throwing it in the recycling bin. Most recycling processes can recycle silicone, but make sure to get it to them separate from your typical recyclables.