We can’t offer up the bottle cleaning equivalent to the five-second rule, you just gotta do it. It won’t take long, and your kids will be eternally grateful.
We recommend first removing your one-piece bite valve and straw for cleaning. It’s easy to do. (Yes, it looks like a lot of steps here, but it really is easy):
Flip the stem to the open position by pulling on stem tab.
Turn cap over and pull out the straw.
Grab the flat finger tab on the base of the Big Bite Valve under the cap.
In one firm motion, pull the Big Bite Valve component out of the cap.
Clean the bite valve and cap by hand or in the top rack of a dishwasher.
If you use a dishwasher, a top-rack basket for small parts is ideal, and it’s good to avoid high-heat settings like 'sanitary clean' or 'heat boost' which may distort plastic components. If you clean by hand, use warm, soapy water. If you like to use a bottle brush, make sure it doesn't have exposed metal edges that could cut the silicone, then insert the brush into the open end at the base of the valve. We don't recommend forcing a brush of any kind through the Big Bite Valve slit (where you drink from) as this could damage the sealing surfaces of the Big Bite Valve.
To re-insert the bite valve back into the cap:
Flip the stem collar (the component the bite valve passed through originally) to the open position. You should be able to look through both the opening in the cap and the opening in the collar.
Turn the cap over and orient the bite valve so the finger tab points towards the back of the cap (where the handle loop is).
Insert the tip of the bite valve through the cap and the collar until the end of the Big Bite Valve peeks through the outer end of the collar.
Turn the cap over and grab the end of the Big Bite Valve and pull through until it sits in the grooves incorporated into the collar. If you pull the Big Bite Valve too far out these grooves will be visible. Just press the valve back down until these grooves are seated. Turn the cap over and press on the base of the valve to make sure it is seated.
Insert the straw (either end it doesn't matter) into the hole in the valve base. Don't over-insert the straw just until you feel resistance.