Can Solo Cups Go In The Microwave?

Solo cups are made of thermoplastic polystyrene, which is a cheap material to manufacture. These awesome cups are soft, lightweight, and disposable. They are safe to use at any time. 

People often use solo cups at office parties or family gatherings where it is challenging for them to wash the dishes afterwards. 

Solo cups can be found almost everywhere globally because of their high demand. These cups are an extremely affordable option, especially for parties. 

Due to the cheap plastic material, these cups do not microwave safe. They are not designed to withstand the high temperature of the microwave. 

When you place a solo cup in the microwave, the plastic starts melting and releases harmful chemicals which are not suitable for health. 

Instead of using solo cups in the microwave, you should use ceramic or glass mugs for heating the drinks. 

What are solo cups?

Solo cups are polystyrene plastic cups used worldwide to pour drinks at parties and family gatherings. These cups are very lightweight, disposable, and easy to find at every store. 

When you pour alcohol or hot coffee into solo cups and grab them in your hand, their shape changes because of the malleable and cheap manufacturing material of cups. 

These plastic cups are not microwave-safe because they are not designed to endure high microwave temperatures. They begin to deform and melt when you put them in the microwave. 

Therefore, keeping the solo cups away from heat sources like microwaves, stoves, or ovens is better. 

Types of solo cups

All types of solo cups have the same shape, yet, they differ significantly in colours. Six different colours of solo cups, such as blue, red, green, clear orange, solid pink, and clear blue, are available in the market. 

You can choose your favourite colour cups for the party or match the colour of the cups with the theme you have decided.

Can solo cups go in the microwave?

No, the solo cups are not microwave friendly, so you should avoid microwaving them. Solo cups are made of ordinary plastic material that deforms faster when you put them in the microwave or pour hot drinks. 

Moreover, when you heat drinks in the solo cups, the plastic releases harmful chemicals that can make you fall sick badly. 

It is better to keep the solo cups away from heating sources and use microwave-friendly containers for heating beverages and coffee. 

An important thing to keep in mind before purchasing plastic cups is to check the microwave-friendly label. You can buy ceramics and glass cups for microwaving too. 

What will happen if you microwave a solo cup?

The solo cups are not designed to be put in the microwave, and if you do so, it will create a mess for you. 

When you put the solo cup in the microwave, the soft and malleable plastic melts and makes the interior of the microwave extremely messy. 

If the cup doesn’t melt, it becomes so hot that it will definitely burn your hand if you try to grab it. 

Moreover, the plastic will release harmful chemicals in the drink when you put the cup in the microwave for heating. 

The experts recommend using BPA-free and microwave-safe plastic cups for heating beverages and coffee in the microwave.  

Do the solo cups release harmful chemicals while microwaving? 

Yes, solo cups release harmful chemicals while microwaving. The low-quality plastic material used in these cups contains BPA and phthalates. 

When you heat these tiny cups in the microwave, the plastic releases toxic chemicals that cause diseases like cancer, hormonal disturbance, reproductive disorders, diabetes, etc. 

To avoid such severe conditions, you should use microwave-friendly mugs readily available in the market at affordable prices. 

How to tell if a cup is microwave safe?

There are two methods to check whether a cup is microwave friendly or not. 

Method 1 

  • Take a cup and put it in the microwave. 
  • Heat the cup for 20-30 seconds. 
  • Remove the cap from the microwave and check. 

If the cup is hot, then it is not microwave-safe, and if not, you can use it for heating beverages and coffee. 

Method 2

  • Take a cup and pour water or any drink into it. 
  • Put the cup in the microwave. 
  • Set a 20-40 seconds timer. 
  • When it is done, remove the cup from the microwave and check. 

If the drink has a higher temperature than the cup, it is entirely safe to use for heating. You can pour your favorite drink into the cup and microwave it for a few minutes without hesitation. 

What alternatives can you use to microwave your drinks?

Instead of using these tiny soft plastic cups for heating drinks in the microwave, you should use containers labelled as microwave safe. 

You can use ceramic, glass, and polypropylene mugs for warming the drinks. Insulated coffee mugs are also an excellent option for microwaving. 

At which temperature do the solo cups start melting?

The excellent quality plastic usually melts at 170 degrees celsius or 338 Fahrenheit. However, the plastic used in manufacturing solo cups is economical, so it starts melting at 100-120 degrees celsius. 

When you grab a solo cup filled with hot coffee or any other drink, it becomes more soft and flexible because this plastic cup cannot tolerate the temperature of hot beverages. It begins to deform. 

That is why the solo cups begin to melt in the microwave when you try to heat coffee or beverages. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you microwave a non-microwavable mug?

When you put a non-microwavable mug in the microwave, it melts or breaks because it cannot withstand high heat radiations. 

If the mug doesn’t break, it starts releasing harmful chemicals in the drinks that can cause severe health problems that may lead to death. 

Can you pour coffee or beverages in a solo cup?

No, you cannot pour hot coffee or beverages in a solo cup because these plastic cups contain BPA (Bisphenol-A) material that is very unhealthy. 

When you pour hot drinks in solo cups, the plastic releases toxic chemicals that can cause health hazards and may prove fatal. Moreover, pouring hot drinks into plastic cups can burn your hands. 

Which cups are microwave safe?

Glass and ceramic cups without gold and silver rims are safe for microwaving. Besides that, polypropylene plastic and silicone cups also microwave safe because they can tolerate high temperatures of microwave radiation. 

Are the plastic containers labelled as “microwave safe” really microwaveable? 

No, not all plastic containers are microwave safe because many manufacturing companies use cheap materials for producing massive numbers of plastic containers at low cost. 

Therefore, before buying the plastic containers, check the label to see whether it is microwave-safe or not. 

To sum up 

Solo cups are tiny polystyrene cups used to serve drinks at parties. These cups are affordable and easy to use. 

Due to the cheap manufacturing material, these cups are not microwave-safe. They will begin to melt or release harmful chemicals if you put them in the microwave for heating drinks. 

Instead, you should use safe alternatives like insulated mugs, polypropylene plastic, silicone, glass, and ceramic cups. 

About Carissa Taylor

Carissa is the founder and creator of the Gliving. With an emphasis on healthy eating and living, Carissa's recipes and food photography have been featured in various publications including the Food Network Blog, Huffington Post, TODAY Food, and more.