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Make Your Own Stainless Steel Straws

stainless steel strawsI rarely use a drinking straw. In the entirety of my nearly 11 year marriage to Alex, we have only purchased one box of 100 plastic straws, many of which were used for crafting, not drinking, purposes. Along came Lil and our family's straw consumption sky rocketed. Straws are fun for kids and easier to use than a drinking glass. Lil is more likely to finish a drink, especially a smoothie, if she uses a straw.

As the straw waste and news reports about the dangers of BPA began to pile up, we found ourselves looking for a safe and reusable alternative.

Glass Dharma and other companies make beautiful glass straws. At $7 each, even with a lifetime guarantee against breakage, we just couldn't see investing in this option.

Alex, a materials scientist by education, thought he might be able to make straws at home from a safe, easily attainable material. Stainless steel is free of potentially dangerous chemicals like BPA, unbreakable, and easy to clean. With just a few simple tools, most of which we have around the house for plumbing, Alex created a set of stainless steel straws.

tools to make stainless steel strawsusing pipe cutter for strawsstanding stainless steel drinking strawstainless steel straw bending

Here's how:

1) Buy tube stock from McMaster-Carr hardware supply. A shipped 6-foot length of 5/16-inch diameter round tube 304 stainless steel costs around $40. Other diameters are available.

2) Use a pipe cutter (available for around $10 at hardware stores) for to cut the steel into usable lengths. We like 8- and 6-inch lengths. The 6-foot length of tube makes 5 long and 5 short straws.

3) Optionally, bend one end at a 45 degree angle with a pipe bender (available for $20 at hardware stores).

4) Sand edges and outside with fine (220) grit sanding sponge and/or Dremel tool with a sanding point.

5) Wash well with soap and water or in the dishwasher.

Our home made straws have been in heavy use for over two years now. We rinse them immediately after use and wash in the dishwasher.

Unlike when we first made them, stainless straws are now offered on Etsy and at green living stores like Columbus' Generation Green. The most basic straws are cheaper to purchase than make from scratch.

homemade stainless steel straws

When you create the straws yourself, you can play with bends, diameters, and lengths. They are a fun project to make as a family. Create a bunch and package sets in beautiful fabric carrying cases for unique, eco-friendly gifts.

Have you ever used a stainless steel straw? Would you consider making them yourself?