One of the most popular accessories for reusable water bottles is a STRAW LID. We're talking about that screw-on cap to your water bottle that (as the name implies) adds a spout to the top of your bottle so that your drinking is made super easy and convenient.
You've seen them. There is a shortlist of well-known brands on the market (Hydro Flask, YETI, CamelBak) as well as numerous "third-party" straw lids.
Why We Love Straw Lids
But what is it about these seemingly simple attachments that make them so popular?
The most obvious benefit is simple: you can simply use the drinking spout (mouthpiece) to get water out of your bottle without having to tilt it upwards or crane your neck and head backwards.
This is particularly helpful if you're jogging or working out and want to take a quick drink without having to stop.
Lids without straws definitely do not offer this degree of convenience.
Most (if not all) straw lids are BPA-free. BPA (Bisphenol A) is a potentially harmful chemical that is mainly used to coat the inside of metal and plastic products. Lids will normally show a "BPA Free" indication on the inner side.
Straw lids are sold in different colors, the most common being black (no surprise).
Problems with Straw Lids
No matter the brand, even when the lid fits perfectly, the 3 most common issues with straw lids are:
1) AIR INTAKE: You get mostly air when you sip
2) NOISE: Makes noise when you sip
3) LEAKING: The lid leaks
These problems usually have to do with the mechanics of the mouthpiece (spout) and the small o-ring sitting underneath it. Fortunately, it is easily solved, providing your lid is compatible with your water bottle (it screws on completely, providing a 100% seal).
Problem #1: You Get Mostly AIR When You Sip
If you are sipping from the straw, and are getting too much air, despite the bottle being full of water, the problem is most likely with the small o-ring seal.
Solution: Do the following:
Remove the lid from your bottle and check that the straw is firmly attached to the lid. If it is loose (not tightly attached), tighten it. Then try again, sipping from the straw. If that doesn't resolve it, proceed to the next step below.
Remove the mouthpiece from your lid by pulling hard until it "pops" off. You will now see a hole with a small round gasket (o-ring) surrounding it. It is made of silicon rubber—and acts as a seal—which makes this area of the lid watertight.
O-rings are usually made of silicon, most come in black or white. Most every straw lid has one. Below are two examples, our lid and one from Hydro Flask.
If this small round gasket shifts in position or gets dislodged, it can cause air to pass through the hole. And it can make suction difficult.
To fix this, simply remove the o-ring and re-insert it so it sits properly in its place, not twisted or bent. The photo below shows the correct position of the o-ring.
Then reinstall the mouthpiece by pushing down hard until it "pops" back into place.
Next, open the mouthpiece and look through the drinking hole. Check to confirm there is a clear passageway for water.
Now you're ready to try again:
1) Make sure your straw is firmly attached to the lid.
2) Fill up your bottle with water.
3) Start sipping again from the mouthpiece. You should see a big difference now.
Problem #2: Lid Makes NOISE When You Sip
If sipping from the straw makes loud noises, like a high pitched wheezing sound, it is usually caused by the same problem described above. Air is getting into that hole meant for water, and coming up through the mouthpiece.
Solution: Do the same steps mentioned above.
When you correct the air intake problem (explained above) you will handle the noise.
If you try the above remedies, write to us and let us know your results!
Problem #3: The Lid LEAKS
No one wants a lid that leaks. If yours does, read further:
Solution: Do the following:
Check that the lid does fit. If it doesn't screw on correctly, or doesn't fit the screw threading on your bottle, water will usually leak out. In this case, you simply can't use it. The only solution to that problem is to get a cap that screws on all the way for a tight fit.
If the lid fits, but still leaks, check the inner seal. Unscrew the lid from your bottle. There is a big, round, rubber gasket placed inside the lid (see photo below). These are usually white or black. (Not the small round seal mentioned above). This acts as a seal where the lid screws on and contacts the water bottle. It makes it watertight.
If this seal is missing or loose, it could cause water to leak. The simple fix is to insert a replacement rubber seal that fits properly. It should be snug inside. Our Gearproz straw lids come with a lifetime warranty, and we will always replace it if yours ever wears out, just as we do with any of the parts.
No matter which company produced your lid, check their website for warranty info.
A Note of Caution
Your straw lid should work great from now on! But just know that with regular use, the small rubber gasket (the o-ring) may get dislodged from time to time. Repeat the above to fix it.
And while you have your lid disassembled, it is always a good idea to clean it thoroughly with hot, soapy water, especially if you see dirt or gunk piling up in the area.
We DO NOT recommend you remove the mouthpiece repeatedly. Only do so when called for, for troubleshooting, as each time you pop it off, it wears away the locking mechanism that keeps it in place.
More Ways to Keep Your Straw Lid Working Perfectly
Here are some other tips that will help you get the maximum flow of water through your straw lid (and better suction).
1) Cut the straw at a diagonal (at the bottom).
2) Straws often have to be trimmed to fit the length of the water bottle. Cut it to the right length. The bottom of straw should sit about 1/2" above the floor of your bottle.
3) Use the right size straw. Circumference must attach snugly to the lid and not be loose.
4) Do not use a straw that has a crack or a hole in it.
5) Make sure the straw is attached tightly to your lid. With regular use and cleaning, the straw can get jarred loose from the lid. Check it from time to time.
6) When drinking water, tilt the mouthpiece back fully—this is the widest "open" position for water to flow.
7) Keep ALL the holes in your lid clean and unobstructed. In the lid itself, there is a main "drinking hole" and an "air intake hole". The mouthpiece also has a hole, actually a long channel, where water flows. Keep these clear.
Use a straw cleaning brush regularly to remove gunk or any buildup. If the "air intake hole" gets clogged, use a paper clip to unclog it, then rinse with hot, soapy water.
Cleaning a Straw Lid
Keeping your lid, straw, and water bottle clean and free from germs is important.
While certain types of straw lids are dishwasher-friendly, we recommend you clean by hand with hot soapy water and a scrub brush. That's so you can get into the tiny, dark, hard-to-reach spaces where bacteria and organisms lurk.
See our article "How Often Should You Clean a Reusable Water Bottle". Just think about it for a moment. You are touching the lid (mouthpiece) to your mouth several times a day. Don't you want it to be free of dirt and germs?
If you don't have one, get a straw cleaning brush and use it to thoroughly scrub the straw and the small areas of the lid and mouthpiece. They are easy to get and very inexpensive. These can be purchased from Amazon.com.
Do You Really Drink More Water with a Straw Lid?
Most people say definitely yes. The water seems to go down faster and they swallow more ounces through the mouthpiece than they would if just sipping out of a glass or tumbler. Try it and see for yourself.
A Straw Lid from Gearproz
In 2020, we developed a straw lid that comes with a paracord handle, shoulder strap, a straw and cleaning brush. The goal was to have the convenience of a drinking straw AND the convenience of a carrying handle all in one. :)
With our product, you can attach your bottle to virtually anything. Hang it from your arm, your shoulder, a backpack, stroller, bicycle, you name it.
They are available for both wide mouth and standard mouth Hydro Flask bottles. See them on our website. Fits both old and new Hydro Flask 2.0 bottles.
P.S. If you still have trouble drinking from a straw lid, feel free to reach out and let us know what is happening. We love to help! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org