Stainless steel straw

Stainless steel straws

A video showing a straw being removed from a turtle nose has been shared by more than a million people and retransmitted, making the impact of plastic straws on the environment been gradually taken seriously by people. This has prompted the emergence of various kinds of environmental straws, in particularly wooden and bamboo straws that can be decomposed easily but they have the disadvantage of low reusability. There are also the existences of non-disposable straws that can be reused to avoid the generation of excessive waste. Now there are many kinds of non-disposable straws in different materials on the market to promote not only repetitive uses and durability, but also the intention of recycling. Therein, two of them most commonly used by everyone are glass straws and stainless steel straws.


The commercially available glass straws are dominated by heat-resistant glass that has no problem to use in cold and hot drinks. Other advantages include resistant to acid, alkali and corrosion, transparency nature to allow clear visibility of interior cleanliness while cleaning, environmentally friendly and hygienic. However, glass is fragile and may rupture due to hand slip or severe temperature changes, and may even cut the lip to cause bleeding in the event of a small crack. So they are not suitable for children.


Stainless steel straws, however, can relatively rule out the doubt on hot and cold issues, but they may generate the problems of metallic taste when used, not easy to see the internal cleanliness, etc. There are also doubts if the stainless steel material is resistant to acid and alkali, causing people to hesitate while choosing the stainless steel straws. Listed as follows are some methods to lift off these doubts.


First of all, the most common practices to remove the metallic taste of stainless steel and cleaning method are to clean the straws with neutral detergent for several times, or immerse the straws in hot water along with used tea leaves, and clean them with a small brush 30 minutes later. Such method will get rid of the undesirable metallic taste. While the problems if the straws are resistant to acid and alkali, and the emission of toxic substances are related to the stainless steel material. The commonly seen stainless steel materials are #200, #430, #304, #316, etc., and the commercially available stainless steel straws are mostly in #304 and #316.


However, stainless steel material can hardly be identified with the naked eye. The most unsuitable material to use in making stainless steel kitchen utensils is #200, which contains 16~19% chromium, 3.5~6% nickel and 5.5~10% manganese. As it has a high content of manganese which would seep out in the presence of acid or heat, it would affect the nervous system and development of human body upon long-term absorption of it. A test solution is available on the market to test “manganese” by dropping two drops of it on the stainless steel surface and set it aside. Upon contacting with manganese, the solution will change color. The faster the rate of color changing, the higher the content of manganese is.


The constitution of #430 includes 15~16% chromium, 6~28% nickel and 2% manganese. This stainless steel material can also be used to make stainless steel kitchen utensils, but it has the properties of poorer resistant to corrosion and rust, and not resistant to acid and alkali. It is suggested that you use a magnet to help your check in that stainless steel #430 can be attracted to a magnet.


The constitution of #304 includes 18% chromium, 8% nickel and 2% manganese. This stainless steel material has the properties of resistant to corrosion and rust, but not resistant to acid and alkali. It is suitable for the production of stainless steel kitchen utensils, tableware, as well as some medical equipment.


The constitution of #316 includes 18% chromium, 10% nickel, 2% molybdenum and 2% manganese. As compared with #304, this stainless steel material is resistant to acid and alkali, and suitable for the production of stainless steel kitchen utensils, high-end tableware, medical equipment, water sinks in chemical plants, and even beach trash cans with the merit of longer service life.


We often use straws in our daily life. While drinking with a straw next time, you may choose to use the above-mentioned environment-friendly straw to reduce the generation of trash, and meanwhile, create a friendly environment and avoid harming the innocent animals.