Can Red Solo Cups Hold Boiling Water? (Answered)

There is a reason the red solo cup is an American icon. It has become so popular and widely used. This cup’s sturdy design, opacity, and resilient material make it appreciated by many. 

Being inexpensive makes the red solo cups useful for sharing drinks at events. It is lightweight and disposable. You can use red solo cups to consume any type of drink. The only confusion people have when it comes to using the cup is the temperature of the liquid.

Now, here’s the question, can red solo cups hold boiling water? Is the cup sturdy enough to withstand hot water, or would it melt?  

We did some research and came up at a conclusion every solo cup user needs to know. Keep reading to understand more about red solo cups.

Can Red Solo Cups Hold Hot Water?

Red solo cups can hold hot water if the temperature has dropped below 90 degrees Centigrade. In this case, you have to allow your boiling water to sit out for some minutes before pouring it into the cup. Let the temperature drop below 90 degrees Centigrade so the solo cup won’t become deformed.

Red solo cups are more suitable for holding cold drinks. It is not advisable to use them for hot beverages for simple reasons. The material used in making the cups aren’t sturdy enough to withstand high temperature. There’s also a possibility of harmful chemicals leaching into your drink.

What is a Red Solo Cup Made of?

The red solo cup is made of thick and moldable polystyrene. This material makes the cup stackable, able to withstand drops, and disposable. And what’s more, solo cups are budget-friendly and accessible.   

The red color of this cup makes it popular for holding drinks. It conceals drinks and makes it impossible for people to guess what the content in a cup is from afar. One has to come closer and look inside the cup to identify the content. 

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Polystyrene is the reason the red solo cups are lightweight. And being lightweight makes it a breeze to carry the cup and its content around. 

You can also fill the solo cup with drinks to the brim, and it won’t break. The only reason most people avoid doing such is the possibility of the drink spilling out from the cup.  

What Temperature Do Solo Cups Melt?

The temperature that solo cups melt is 100 to 120 degrees Centigrade (212 to 248 degrees Fahrenheit). Polystyrene, the material used in making these cups, melts at this same temperature. 

So, pouring boiling water into the solo cups is not advisable. The cup may not melt when you pour hot boiling water into it, but it could become deformed. 

Another reason not to pour hot water into a solo cup is the heat. You could get burnt when you pick up the cup to drink from it. 

Can You Put Hot Coffee in a Red Solo Cup?

Yes, you can put hot coffee inside a red solo cup, but it is not advisable. The reason is the polystyrene material used in making the red solo cup. Polystyrene may release benzene, an organic chemical found in crude oil, when subjected to heat.

Note that polystyrene is a polymer from the monomer called “styrene, a well-known liquid hydrocarbon made commercially from petroleum. 

So, pouring boiling water inside a solo cup is not advisable. Why? As earlier explained, the hot liquid may cause a specific chemical called benzene to leach into your beverage or food. 

Benzene is a dangerous chemical to have in one’s food or water. It can reduce one’s red blood cells, giving rise to anemia and even cause an issue in the bone marrow. 

This organic chemical can also cause one to suffer excessive bleeding and affect the immune system. An individual becomes more prone to infection when the immune system is affected. 

In addition to the above health challenges, it is essential to note that benzene can cause cancer and other health challenges. 

What Happens When You Use Red Solo Cups For Coffee?

Nothing will happen when you use red solo cups for cold coffee. The cup is designed for cold drinks and is safe to use even when the beverage is super cool.  Using solo cups for hot coffee is a risk too significant to ignore. The hot liquid will distort the shape of your cup, making your coffee taste like plastic.

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Usually, non-heat and non-biodegradable plastic are carcinogenic. But the chances of facing any health challenge with solo cups increase when you pour hot liquid into the cup. 

What makes these plastic cups dangerous is the additives added to the plastic polymer to produce them. When you pour hot liquid into the cup, the heat causes the additive to leach into the liquid.

So, you’re risking your health by using a plastic cup to hold boiling water. 

Can You Microwave Red Solo Cups?

The short answer is No; you cannot microwave red solo cups as these cups come under the number 6 category of plastic made from polystyrene or Styrofoam. 

Please, note that plastic made from polystyrene or Styrofoam is not microwaveable. So it is not advisable to put solo cups in the microwave. 

Besides, these solo cups are one-time-use cups. That means you have to dispose of them after use. By the way, the cups are inexpensive, so you can purchase as many as you want without breaking the bank. 

Finally, note that microwaving solo cups can cause potentially harmful chemicals in the cup to escape into your drink or food. The heat may also deform the cup. 

pack-of-red-solo-cups

Things You Should Be Careful of While Using Red Solo Cups

While using a red solo cup, here are the things you should be extremely careful about:

Microwaving red solo cups

Microwaving drinks to increase the temperature is a great idea during the cold winter periods. Most people enjoy their drinks more when hot too. But don’t make the mistake of microwaving solo cups, whether red or blue. 

The solo cups are not microwavable, as discussed earlier. When heated, their shapes get distorted. There are microwavable cups you can use instead of solo cups. They are thicker and don’t get deformed when heated in the microwave. 

Harmful chemicals from a microwave-safe cup won’t leach into your food like the solo cup. Why? Such chemicals aren’t in the cup’s makeup. 

Keeping hot drinks in solo cups for an extended period

The red solo cup isn’t a wise choice to store hot drinks. But if you have no other option than to keep your drink in a solo cup, ensure the liquid doesn’t stay there for an extended period. 

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Always remember that these cups aren’t designed to hold hot drinks. So, when you pour a hot beverage into the cup either by mistake or intentionally, pour it out as quickly as possible. You can even put some ice cubes in the liquid to lower the temperature. 

Ensure the solo cup doesn’t stay outdoor for an extended period

If you’re fond of letting things stay outside for an extended period, don’t try it with the red solo cup. The reasons you shouldn’t are simple; the high temperature can deform the cup

Since these cups are single-use, the best thing to do would be to discard them once they have stayed outside for a long time. 

Avoid freezing solo cups

Another thing you should be careful of is putting solo cups in the freezer. If done, your cups could develop some cracks. So, you have to be extremely careful.

Alternatives To Red Solo Cups

The company, Solo, manufactures different varieties of cups. These include the insulated, bio-degradable, and red solo cups. So, choose a cup that is appropriate for the temperature of your coffee. 

The double-insulated cup is most people’s preferred option for drinking hot beverages. You won’t experience leakage of harmful chemicals into your coffee when using this cup.

However, if you decide to visit a café to have a cup of coffee or do the drinking at home, consider using a mug or glass. With these solo alternatives, you can drink hot coffee without fear of harmful substances leaching into your drink. 

The traveler tumbler is another alternative to the red solo cup. You can use it to hold super hot coffee and not worry about harmful substances making their way into your drink. 

Another wonderful thing about the traveler’s tumbler is that it can keep your coffee hot for around six hours. So, it is among the best choice to hold hot coffee when embarking on short trips. 

Conclusion: Can red solo cup hold boiling water?

You can pour hot water into a red solo cup, but it is not advisable. The liquid’s high temperature could deform the cup. You can also get burned when you pick up the cup. 

Pouring hot water into a red solo cup can expose you to a considerable health-risk. The heat will increase the chances of additives in the plastic leaching into your beverage.

Additionally, avoid putting the red solo cup in the microwave. Note that the cup is not microwavable.

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)