Solo Cups – the simplest product has become an indispensable part of our lives. Can you imagine a water dispenser without Solo cups? It would be as gloomy and mournful as painting a picture, leaving intrinsic details.
Once in a while, we find ourselves in a tight spot when in the rush of things, we neglect our lifeline- our coffee which becomes a cold mush, hard to gulp down and ruined by the soft breeze and cold temperature.
Raise your hands! How many of you thought about warming that cold coffee in the microwave? Yes, I know! The thought did come across your mind, but you PAUSED! And want to know:
- Are Solo Cups Microwave Safe or Microwaveable?
- Microwave’s Reaction with Solo Cup
- Can We Pour Hot Coffee or Beverages in a Solo Cup?
- Which Cups are Microwave Safe?
- Alternative Solutions of Solo Cups
- At What Temperature Solo Cups Start to Melt?
- Are all plastic containers labeled as “microwave-safe” really safe for microwaves?
- Wrapping Up!
Are Solo Cups Microwave Safe or Microwaveable?
The answer is: NO, you absolutely can’t put a Solo cup in a microwave.
Solo cups are made to last – last the party night only. It’s not made to last through the trials and tribulations of heat in the microwave.
The one-time usable disposable cup is made of lightweight polystyrene, a type of plastic and similar in composition to styrofoam.
Now, back to the basics!
We all know those plastics are a hazard in the microwave which are not labeled as “microwave-safe.”
And how in the world can we put something in the microwave that is as fragile as styrofoam?
Now, for the discussion’s sake, what would happen if we put a solo cup in the microwave?
Let’s understand it.
Microwave’s Reaction with Solo Cup
When you put a solo cup in the microwave, the cup’s body will get too hot.
The bonding of the cup will weaken. At that point, BPA (bisphenol A) and polypropylene that is present in the plastic will start releasing and get added to the liquid.
These are toxic chemicals and can affect your health even if it is consumed in small amounts.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hormone disruption
- Prostate or breast cancer
- Reproductive disorders
These are some of the risks associated with the consumption of BPA.
But the chances are likely that before you even get the chance of taking the cup out of the microwave, it will melt.
Yes, it’s plastic; and will melt in the microwave. Now, you can understand the pain of cleaning off the burnt plastic and getting rid of the burnt smell.
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Can We Pour Hot Coffee or Beverages in a Solo Cup?
No, you can’t even have your hot beverage in a solo cup. The beverage’s heat will cause the plastic to release those deadly toxic chemicals, which will then be infused with the liquid and cause health hazards.
Not just this, the heat will make the solo cup so hot that it can burn your hands and fingers.
Which Cups are Microwave Safe?
Before we discuss which cups are safe for microwaves, do you know that plastics are numbered for the purpose of identifying the plastic type, whether they are recyclable, reusable, or microwave-safe or not.
These numbers range from 1-7.
Solo cups, whether they are red solo cups or blue, come under the number 6 category.
These category products are made from Polystyrene or Styrofoam, and they are NOT considered microwave safe.
Note: If you see 3, 6, or 7 numbers in a triangle of arrows, you shouldn’t put them in the microwave.
Number 5 category products or Polypropylene plastics have the heat-resistant capability and are safe to be used in the microwave.
Alternative Solutions of Solo Cups
Yes, we get it. The numbering thing may be confusing to you. So, let’s tell you in layman’s terms which utensils can be used in microwaves.
To reheat your beverages, you can use:
- Microwaving glass cups
- Silicones cups (Don’t use in grill mode)
And even paper plates are safe for microwaves. (Of course, you won’t be using it to reheat beverages, but that was obvious).
Read which type of paper plates are safe to use in microwaves.
At What Temperature Solo Cups Start to Melt?
Although plastics melt at 170 degrees Celsius, the plastic used in Solo cups (Polystyrene, labeled as number 6) starts melting at 100-120 degrees Celsius. Its shape starts molding at an even lower temperature than this.
That’s why you see the squishiness and shape deformation of Solo cups when a hot beverage is poured into them. The microwave cavity does get hot more than 100 degrees Celsius that’s why the Solo cups can melt in the microwave.
Are all plastic containers labeled as “microwave-safe” really safe for microwaves?
This is an interesting question in itself. FDA has set some standards to be met by manufacturers for the plastic to be safe to use in the microwave. Learn more about it HERE.
However, the FDA is not going into the market to check each plastic container for its safety. It’s up to the maker of the plastics to follow the standard protocols. Hence you see many complaints of the consumers that even the Pyrex got shattered or broke in the microwave.
Using plastic cups in the microwave is never safe if they don’t bear a “microwave-safe” label on them. Solo cups are already made of fragile one-time usable plastics, so just use them in keg parties, weddings, or simply drink cold water.