Can You Microwave a Starbucks Plastic Cup? (Solved)

Categorized as Microwave Safety
Can You Microwave A Starbucks Plastic Cup

It is common to take your cup of Joe with you when in a rush to work or school. Many people drink their coffee and tea from a Starbucks cup, and the idea of microwaving it is not too far-fetched. Starting to wonder if this action is safe? This article will answer that question and more.

Can You Microwave a Starbucks Plastic Cup?

You can’t microwave a Starbucks plastic cup. Starbucks plastic cup is designed to hold cold beverages and is not meant to use in the microwave. The reason is that the plastic used to make a Starbucks cup is only intended for holding cold beverages and not hot beverages. Under the heat of a microwave, the cup may warp, melt or leach chemicals into the beverage.

While you might have seen some videos on YouTube showing people successfully microwaving their Starbucks cups, there is a large debate on whether or not it’s safe based on the contents of the plastic.

I would insist on not using your Starbucks cup as a vessel for heating up your coffee in the microwave. There’s no point in risking your health when you can just as easily heat up your drink in a different way.

If you can’t use a Starbucks plastic cup in the microwave, then what should you use?

The best container to reheat your Starbucks coffee will depend on what type of cup you have. If your coffee comes in a plastic cup, then transfer it first to another microwave-safe container before microwaving. If you’re using a reusable cup, you can simply reheat it using a microwave oven right away.

Why Is It Not Safe To Microwave Your Starbucks Plastic Cup?

Starbucks plastic cups are such popular items that they are available for practically any Starbucks drink you might have. They are cheap, lightweight, and most of all, convenient.

Due to the convenience of grabbing one when in a rush, many people are tempted to throw them into the microwave for quick heating up. But it is not safe to microwave Starbucks cups because of the materials they are made up of.

Starbucks plastic cup is made of polypropylene, but only 5.1% of it is recycled. This makes the cup too thin even to hold warm coffee, and microwaving it will only cause the cup to warp.

Not only that, although plastic cups from Starbucks are BPA-free, it doesn’t mean that there are no chemicals at all that leach into your drink when heated up in the microwave. Even without BPA, there are still other chemicals like wax or glue that could make their way into your coffee.

However, this doesn’t mean all Starbuck cups are unsafe to use in the microwave. Starbucks still provides you with other options for keeping your drink warm, including their own reusable plastic cup. If you’re looking to reuse your Starbucks cup over and over again, then this is the perfect option for you.

How Do You Know If a Starbucks Cup Is Microwave Safe or Not?

Now, you know there are Starbucks cups that can be microwaved and some that cannot be microwaved. But how will you know which one is safe for the microwave?

The surefire way to check if a Starbucks cup is unsafe for microwaving or not is to look at the recycling code located on the bottom of the cup. The recycling code on the bottom of the cup ranges from 1 to 7, and if your Starbucks cup’s code is a 5, then you can be sure it is safe.

However, even though your cup is marked with recycling code 5, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your Starbucks cup is completely safe to microwave. You should also check the instructions on the cup before putting it in the microwave.

If the instructions do not specify that the cup can be microwaved, you should not attempt to do so, even if it is marked with recycling code 5.

The reason is that even though the cup has recycling code 5, there are many other factors that will determine whether or not the cup can withstand microwaving, such as the thickness and the design of the cup.

Yet another way to check if your Starbucks cup is safe in the microwave is if you can see any microwave-safe labels on it. If you don’t see any, then don’t risk it.

For those who are curious whether or not the Starbucks cup you have is safe or not even if it does not have a recycling code five or microwave-safe label, you can do the following simple test.

  1. Pour water into your Starbucks cup and put it into the microwave.
  2. Microwave the cup for one minute.
  3. After one minute, carefully take out the cup and check it.
  4. If the Starbucks cup is warm or hot to the touch, then it is not safe to microwave.
  5. On the other hand, if the cup is cool or only slightly warm, but the water in the cup is hot when you check it, then your Starbucks cup can go in the microwave.

Which Starbucks Cups Can You Microwave?

Starbucks sells different types of cups, from their regular paper cups to the reusable plastic tumblers that you can take with you anywhere. For cups that can be microwaved, the company offers ceramic, glass, and reusable plastic cups.

All of these three cups are safe to put into the microwave. Be careful, though, with the ceramic and glass cups because they tend to become hot when microwaved, and you may end up burning your mouth if you drink from them right away.

The reusable cup is the more popular option. Aside from being reusable, it is also microwave and dishwasher safe, which means you can use the same cup over and over again in a variety of settings.

The Best Way To Microwave a Starbucks Coffee

How you reheat your Starbucks coffee depends on where you are and what you’re using to heat it up. If you are at the office, then your best option is to use a microwave oven since microwaves are also found in most commercial buildings. However, if you are at home and only have access to a stovetop, that would be better.

If your coffee comes in a plastic cup, then you need to transfer it first to another microwave-safe container before microwaving it.

If you’re using a reusable cup, then simply reheat your Starbucks coffee on high power for about thirty seconds increments and stir it up before repeating the process again until the drink is hot enough.

For those who are heating up their coffee in a ceramic or glass cup, try lowering the power level of the microwave. Be careful when heating up the drink for this specific type of cup may become too hot to handle when microwaved.

Let it sit a minute or two after reheating it before drinking it so you can cool down the cup.


So can you microwave a Starbucks plastic cup? The answer is straight no. But this doesn’t mean you can’t microwave Starbucks cups at all.

There are other types of Starbucks cups that you can use in the microwave, so long as they have a microwave-safe label.

Be careful, though, since even these types may become too hot to handle when microwaved so let it sit for a few minutes before drinking it.

Looking to safely microwave your other Starbucks goodies? Be sure to check out our other helpful articles on microwaving everything from Starbucks paper cups to panini and egg bites!

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!