Save Your Solo Cup ~ Put Them In The Dishwasher

Cleaning Solo Cups

Red Solo cups are among the most popular products that Solo produces. They have been associated with partying, so much so that someone made an entire country song devoted to them.

These cups are widely used, especially in the U.S., so you won’t be surprised to see them littered across football stadiums and college campuses.

It has been a huge problem in recent years, but can you wash and reuse them to help lessen the issue?

Can you put Solo cups in the dishwasher? Yes, but only those made with plastic, as paper cups are not recommended to be washed. Also, plastic Solo cups should go in the top rack of the dishwasher.

In this article, you will read about the dangers of dishwashing plastic and paper cups and how Solo cups are different.

The BPA Question Regarding Plastic Cups

Plastic cup manufacturers like Solo utilize different types of plastic to make their products.

Those that contain a chemical called bisphenol A, or BPA, receive the most criticism, as BPA poses a health hazard that is most dangerous for children.

BPA is the main ingredient in polycarbonate, which is a sturdy plastic that many drinking cups contain.

The good news is that Solo plastic cups are BPA-free, making them safe to use for all ages.

According to Don Huber, director of product safety for Consumer Reports, the dishwasher’s heat can cause BPA and phthalates to discharge from plastic cups that carry them.

If the plastic cup claims to be dishwasher-safe, it is best to put it on the top rack to avoid the dishwasher’s heating element.

Solo Paper Cups vs. Dishwasher

Most paper cups can tolerate hot beverages. However, they are not ideal for washing and reusing.

The majority of the beverages held by paper cups also tend to stain the cup, so you have to discard it after use.

Lastly, paper cups are usually covered by plastic, so it is not ideal to go in dishwashers.

Identifying Types of Plastic That Can Go in Dishwashers

Check the bottom of the cup to see if it has a recycling code. This information will give you a clue as to whether it is safe to wash the cup in the high heat of a dishwasher.

Plastic cups with the code PET, PETE, or No. 1 can give out after repeated washings in strong detergent and hot water.

To put it simply, cups with these codes should go in dishwashers only once.

On the other hand, plastic cups with recycling codes No. 5, 7, or 3 mostly contain BPA, which is a chemical that might leak from the cup.

Cups with the No. 6 recycling code are normally made of plastic foam that can’t withstand strong detergent and heat.

How Do You Determine a Dishwasher-Safe Cup?

Below are the instructions for determining whether a Solo cup is dishwasher safe:

  1. Check for the “dishwasher-safe” label or symbol.
  2. Determine the materials that can go in dishwashers.
  3. Consider the type of cup that needs to be washed.

What Is the “Dishwasher-Safe” Symbol?

If any cup is safe to go in the dishwasher, it should have a distinct printed symbol.

Usually, this label or symbol is found at the bottom, inside the cup, or in the cup’s handle.

Aside from that, note that the “dishwasher-safe” symbol does not look the same. Sometimes it is a plate on a rack, drenched with drops of water.


Solo cups are popular because they are made with high-quality plastic and paper materials.

You can reuse Solo plastic cups once and wash them in the top rack dishwasher, but not Solo paper cups.

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