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Can You Microwave a Solo Cup?

Solo cups are simple yet essential products in our lives. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine having a water dispenser without these cups. They’re everyone’s go-to option for enjoying soft drinks at any party.

solo cups
solo cups

As a coffee drinker, your intentionally prepared coffee or any other drink can get cold. And because it’s hard to gulp down, what comes first to your mind is microwaving it.

If you’re using a solo cup, you’re curiously wondering, can you microwave a solo cup?”

No. You can’t even try to do so. A solo cup is not microwave-safe. So it can be risky to microwave it.

Keep on reading this article to know whether or not you can microwave a solo cup. It also seeks to inform you on what will happen if you try to do so and provide the best alternatives to try.

Related Post: Low Wattage Microwaves

What is a Red Solo Cup?

A red solo cup is a disposable plastic cup used primarily during a party. They are lightweight, hence easy to serve guests with soft drinks or water. Since they are disposable, there’s less cleanup to do after-party.

I remember most of us were fond of solo cups back in high school. They have grown in popularity. And today, everyone everywhere has it.

Unlike bottles, red Solo cups don’t break. Therefore, they are suitable for those who like drinking games. Even if they were to break, you wouldn’t run at a loss as you’ll still get rid of them.

Solo cups came into existence in the 20th Century, thanks to Robert Hulseman. People used the lines or rings on these cups to measure cocktail liquid during those times.

Read also: Is Stainless Steel Microwave Safe?

Is It Safe To Microwave Solo Cups? (What Happens If You Do So?)

No, it is not safe to microwave your red Solo cups. That’s because the design of red Solo cups is not microwave friendly.

Their make consists of plastic materials and is ideal for only one-time use. Plus, their design isn’t strong enough to withstand the high microwave temperatures.

If you choose to microwave a solo cup, it may melt. Well, that’s if you microwave it for a longer time. And this can be dangerous as the plastic may release toxic chemicals into the drink.

This poses a great risk to your health, even when you consume in tiny amounts. The cup may also burn your hand while pulling it out of the microwave. So, use only microwave-safe containers to warm your drinks.

Can You Put A Red Solo Cup In The Microwave? (What Can Happen If You Do So?)

Yes, you can put a red Solo cup in the microwave, but you can’t heat it. If you do so, you won’t like the results.

Serving coffee and soft drinks is the key purpose of red solo cups. You can’t use them for reheating or microwaving your cold beverages.

Putting a red Solo cup in the microwave will probably melt it. As such, your microwave will get dirty and messy.

Cleaning it will be troubling. You’ll have to struggle to get the burnt plastic that is stuck in your microwave. Besides, removing the burnt smell can be tiring. If you don’t do it properly, your food may go bad.

The liquid in the solo cup may spill inside the microwave, damaging the interior parts. As a result, it may stop working. You may also get your hand burnt as you take out the solo cup.

Some people try to place a paper inside the microwave and heat their coffee for a few seconds. That’s not advisable. It can be risky, especially if you don’t do it with caution.

Still, the chances are that the Solo cup will melt even before you get it out of the microwave.

Moreover, the plastic used to make most Solo cups has BPA chemicals which are bad for health. The heat will cause the plastic to weaken upon microwaving, releasing the chemicals into your drink.

These chemicals are toxic. Consuming them even in small amounts can cause health risks such as:

  • Heart disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer (breast or prostate)
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Hormone disruption

Will A Solo Cup Melt In The Microwave?

A solo cup is totally plastic. So, yes, it will melt if you try to heat it in the microwave. Although solo cups are strong, they are not friendly to heat.

These plastic cups are not microwavable, and they can be dangerous to put in the microwave. They are fragile, just like Styrofoam.

If you try to put a red Solo cup in the microwave, its body will get very hot in seconds. Its bonding will become weak as they become very soft to grip. The plastic material gets powerless, elastic, and eventually melts.

In fact, you won’t even get the chance to pull your solo cup out of the microwave.

Can You Microwave Water In A Solo Cup?

No, you can’t. While you might think that the water will prevent the Solo cup from melting, that’s not true. As we’ve seen right from the start, a solo cup is not microwave-friendly.

If you try to microwave water in them, they will become hot, weaken, and melt. And the water will spill inside your microwave, causing more damage. So don’t ever try to do so!

How Can You Tell If A Cup Is Microwave Safe?

It’s easy as the following steps:

  • Fill the cup with water or any beverage
  • Put the cup in the microwave
  • Heat it for around 30 to 45 seconds
  • Get the cup and its contents out of the microwave

It is not microwave-safe if the cup is hotter than its contents. That means it is dangerous to heat it in the microwave as it may cause serious health problems.

But if the cup is cooler than the beverage, it is microwave safe. You may consider using the cup to heat your drinks for a few minutes.

What Kind Of Cups Are Microwave Safe? (Alternatives To Solo Cups)

Plastics bear a specific number ranging between 1 and 7. These numbers make it easier to identify the type of plastic used. That’s whether it is:

  • Reusable or non-reusable
  • Recyclable or non-recyclable
  • Microwave-safe or not

Regardless of the solo cup type, they all fall in number 6. In this category, the product comprises Styrofoam or Polystyrene. As such, they are NOT microwave safe.

Numbers 3, 6, or 7 are also not microwave friendly. While products categorized as number 5 or generally polypropylene plastics have excellent resilience to heat. So you can safely use them in the microwave.

Unfortunately, these numbers can be a bit confusing. You need to know what utensils serve best as alternatives to solo cups to be safe. Whenever you want to reheat your beverages, consider the following:

  • Silicone cups
  • Microwave-safe glass cups
  • Ceramic containers

Can We Put Hot Coffee Or Beverages in A Solo Cup?

No. Don’t even try to put any hot beverage in a solo cup. The heat from your drink will make the plastic hot through conduction. As a result, the plastic will release toxic BPA chemicals into your drink, causing health risks.

In addition, the Solo cup will get hot and may burn your hand and fingers. So, try not to use a red Solo cup for hot coffee or beverages.

At What Temperature Solo Cups Start To Melt?

Most plastics start to melt when temperatures reach 1700C. But Solo cups have polystyrene, a different type of plastic labeled as 6. So solo cups begin to melt at 1000C to 1200C.

Their shape begins to mold at temperatures lower than this. That’s why most solo cups get a squishy and deformed shape when you pour a hot beverage into them.

The microwave’s interior often gets hotter than 1000C. It means that the Solo cups will melt in the microwave.


In short, you can’t put a solo cup in the microwave. It is never safe to do so. That’s because these cups are very fragile and cannot withstand the high temperatures in the microwave.

The plastic will weaken and melt down, spilling the contents inside the microwave. And you know how much damage the spills can cause to your microwave.

If you try, the plastic will get hot, releasing toxic BPA particulates into your drink. As a result, they may affect your health. The hot solo cup may also burn your fingers and hands.

The best way to reheat your drinks is to use microwave-safe cups and containers.

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