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How to Clean Sippy Cups – Parent Hack

sippy cup cleaning parent hack mom envy
I despise stinky Sippy cups. Carl started to use a Sippy cup for water at about 8 months. Cleaning the cup just took some soap and water. But then, we introduced milk. Dirty Sippy cups soon became my enemy. I couldn’t believe the smell milk created in a Sippy cup. I told my husband that we were going to have to buy new cups all of the time if I couldn’t get the smell out (which he of course lovingly nodded yes to even though he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about).

I knew the cups were clean and safe for Carl to drink out of, but I couldn’t get over the sour smell left behind. Like every 21st Century Mom, I headed over to Pinterest to search for how to clean sippy cups. I was surprised when I didn’t find a ton of information. Most of the suggestions involved baking soda, which just didn’t work for us.

So finally, after trying multiple ideas, I came upon a simple solution that works every. single. time. It even worked on the sippy cup we left in the car overnight earlier this summer. I thought for sure we were going to have to toss the cup (Elmo has become like a 5th family member to Carl, so this wouldn’t have gone over well). So today I am sharing with you, the ever-so-glamorous, simple and effective way to clean sippy cups (even the extra stinky ones).

Thanks to Buzzfeed for including us in a parent hack article, twice!

Parent Hack: How to Clean Sippy Cups


  • Distilled white vinegar (1/4 – 1/2 cup)
  • 1 Large bowl (ours is 2.5 qts)
  • Hot water
  • Dishwasher (or hand-wash if you don’t have one)


  1. Take apart the Sippy cup (and pull out straws if it’s a straw cup – like ours)
  2. Rinse the Sippy cup and pieces with hot water.
  3. Fill a large plastic bowl with 1/4 cup of vinegar for 1 semi-smelly stinky cup. Add up to 1/2 a cup for additional cups or super stinky cups.
  4. Place the Sippy cup and parts inside the bowl.
  5. Fill the rest of the bowl with very hot water.
  6. Let it sit for about 24 hours (I leave mine overnight. This is important, I have soaked cups for only a couple of hours and the smell remained).
  7. Remove the Sippy cup and place any pieces that are dishwasher safe in the dishwasher to be cleaned.
  8. Rinse off the smaller pieces and clean with soap and water to get rid of the vinegar smell/taste.
  9. If you have a straw cup – clean inside of the straw pieces with q-tips (our favorite tool) or a handy straw brush like this set or these
  10. Once the dishwasher is done, you’re done! Your Sippy cups will smell as good as new!

It’s that easy!







Friday 11th of July 2014

I have thought about replacing my sons cups recently too. Well, I keep buying new ones every other week. But, I will definitely try out this suggestion. #TurnUpTuesday

Laura Burton

Friday 11th of July 2014

Definitely give it a shot! I actually just used the same trick on my Camelback straw portion because it had gotten gross and it worked, too! Thanks for stopping by!

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