As this is Lifehacks and you are looking for "alternatives", I suggest that while pipecleaners and other similarly suggested tools are great ideas, the cost of said tools, soap, warm water, and your time would surely outweigh bar far just buying a pack of new straws.
Cost of soap and cleaners etc is not a massive amount at all, but your time is precious.
I see you are in San Francisco, and as an example, I notice there (seems to be) 3 Walmarts there.
50 straws for $0.99 at Walmart
I estimate you should be able to use the same straw for about a week (depending on what you drink, how much you drink, and if you rinse it out daily etc).
Per Year: $0.99, 30 mins(?) to go to the store.
(prices are very approx for demonstration purposes only)
- Soap - $1 per year
- Warm water (gas/electricity cost to heat water) $2 per year
- Pipe cleaners (or similar alternative) $2 per year
- Your time - $priceless really, but say 15 mins a week (by the time
you get the cleaners, soap, warm water etc)
Per Year: $5 per year and 13 hours of your time - that's nearly 2 full days work!