I am not the type to cause microwave hazards. Not the type to share a cup with strangers, either.
But there I was, standing beside the microwave with a Dixie cup in my hand. A squad of questions patrolling my mind, firing doubts like gunshots. Questions like:
- Can dixie cups be microwaved?
- Are there any risks and dangers?
- How do I microwave Dixie cups?
- For how long?
- Are there any safety tips I should follow?
If you’re struggling with questions like this, you’re in the right place. Whether you want to stop the battle in your head or just want a HOT cup of beverage, I got you.
In this article, I’ll share the nuts and bolts of microwaving Dixie cups, so you can have all the answers at the tip of your fingers. Literally.
Can you microwave dixie to go cups?
Yes, Dixie cups are microwave-safe. Besides, what other proof do you need, apart from the microwave-safe label that comes with a Dixie cup? This only means that when you put a Dixie cup into the microwave, it won’t cause you harm, have negative effects on your beverage, or hurt your microwave.
The manufacturers of Dixie cups have said it. Scientists and researchers have agreed. Even the USDA recommends it. According to them, paper products are safer for use in the microwave than plastic or polystyrene products.
What?! How can they say paper is better suited for the microwave than plastic? Paper that bursts into flames at the slightest touch of fire?!
Can you microwave paper?
Yes, if there is water in it. And paper cups are made for the same reason – to carry liquids. Still, there is a widespread belief that microwaves and Dixie cups are not friends because Dixie cups are paper cups.
Microwaves generate heat by interacting with water molecules. For you to successfully heat anything in a paper cup, there should be very little interaction with the cellulose in the paper. The only way that microwaving paper cups will become dangerous is if you microwave it too long and the water evaporates until the cup becomes dry.
Maybe you’ve seen pictures, on the internet, of a microwave (that looks just fine) with burning paper in it. In my opinion, there is only one explanation for this – photoshop. I think it is merely a trend. Clickbait.
I’ve had to microwave my paper cup multiple times before I began seeing tiny traces of burning here and there.
A microwave is not fire. You can’t just have any object in a full-blown fire burning to ashes, while the microwave remains intact. As though it is fireproof.
Are paper products best suited for the microwave?
I’m not saying that paper products are best suited for the internet. No. Not when you have glass and ceramic containers. But believe it or not, microwave-safe paper products are less combustible and more appropriate for gas systems than plastic products.
Here’s why. The material used to make plastics can leak into the food when heated. This can potentially cause cancer. Metal is the worst. They can send sparks flying about and that is dangerous.
That being said, all paper cups are not equal. Some are microwave safe and some are not. Some are coated with wax. When heated, they can melt into your drink. We all know it won’t cause any harm to the body, but who wants to swallow wax for the fun of it?
Are Dixie to go cups microwave safe?
Yes, they are safe as Dixie cups were made to be microwaved. The polyethylene coating safeguards them from melting, igniting, or bursting into flames. They are eco-friendly, as they are made of 80% compostable cellulose fiber.
What makes Dixie cups so special is that they are made from high-quality paper and layered with polyethylene. This ensures the cup doesn’t fall apart when heated. They also have a soak-proof shield proprietary coating that complies with FDA food contact regulations. They neither contain Bisphenol A (BPA) nor gluten.
Why are there concerns?
There are concerns because being so fragile, Dixie cups can’t stay in the microwave for as long as – for example – a ceramic mug will stay.
Remember what I said about microwaves interacting with water molecules to generate heat? Now, when all of the water is evaporated (because you left the Dixie cup in the microwave for too long) the waves begin interacting with the paper container itself. And that’s not good.
On the official website of Dixie Plastic Products, customers are warned to carefully consider things like; microwave wattage, reheating practices, types of drink, and so on. Because these factors greatly affect the safety of the process.
And so, many people are still wary about microwaving Dixie cups. Especially because of its plastic lining and wax coating. These may seep into the drink, resulting in a weird taste, when the reheating is not done right.
But I’ll let you in on the secret soon, so you can microwave your Dixie cups safely.
Why are Dixie cups so popular despite the risks?
Dixie cups are the uber of microwavable things. They are super comfortable and efficient – made to aid laziness (in a good way). They can keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. On the go.
During the 20th Century, the sole purpose of Dixie cups was to prevent the spread of communicable diseases by reducing sharing of cups in public places? To say the least, most homes, offices, and events prefer to use Dixie cups because that’s one less thing to clean up, plus it prevents the spread of bacteria and germs.
How so, you may ask. At an event, for example, there are so many people in attendance. People you don’t know or trust. So, to not have to share a mug with them, you’d have to use Dixie cups that are so cheap, that you can throw them away after use.
Do you know that some Dixie cups are made from recycled paper? Eco-friendly and cheap! I mean, who can hate a product like that?
The truth is, despite the concerns, many people still use Dixie cups in the microwave. Some of these naysayers use them, they just don’t put them in the microwave.
By the foregoing, it can be said, despite the doubts, that Dixie cups have very strong uses. I’d say that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
While many people still doubt that you can safely microwave Dixie cups, some do it, without any negative effects. Like me.
Give me a minute to show you how in 5 easy steps.
How do you microwave dixie cups?
Although your Dixie cup is microwavable, there are a few things you must do to be safe.
- Remove the lid of the cup.
- Make sure your Dixie cup is NOT full to the brim.
- Set your microwave to the medium power level (50%), or leave it on ‘reheat’.
- Nuke for not more than 2 minutes. I repeat. Not. More. Than. 2. minutes.
- Every 30 seconds, stop and stir to prevent uneven heating.
How long can you microwave Dixie Cups?
Don’t microwave a Dixie cup for more than 2 minutes, even at that, you have to stop every 30 seconds to stir your drink. Although your microwave power and liquid may differ, it is not advised to leave a Dixie cup in the microwave the same way you would leave a glass or ceramic cup.
Leaving a Dixie cup in the microwave for more than 2 minutes will risk damaging the cup. It may melt and the wax with all the other chemicals used to manufacture the cup will leak into your hot beverage. This could prove savage to your health.
SAFETY TIPS FOR MICROWAVING DIXIE CUPS
So far, we have discussed why and how you can microwave a Dixie cup. I have given you some pointers on how to be safe during this process. Now, I’d like to give you a few more safety tips. Do well to follow them:
- Make sure the Dixie cup you are using is labeled “microwave-safe”. This is non-negotiable. If you can’t find one, please use a glass or ceramic cup.
- I can’t say it enough times, do not microwave any form of liquid with a lid on. It may explode.
- Clean the body of your cup, the paper holder, and the rim. You do not want these parts saturated with your drink or they will attract unwanted heating.
- Don’t leave your Dixie cup in the microwave for too long or on high power. Make sure that after heating, you can still hold the Dixie cup comfortably in your hand.
This means, your liquid will not overheat, the cup won’t melt and no chemical will seep into your drink.
- Stop and stir your drink after every 30 seconds. This way, you’ll know whether the temperature is suitable or not.
- Remember what I said about reheating my Dixie cup over and over again before it started to burn? I did that intentionally because I knew I wasn’t going to drink that coffee.
You shouldn’t reheat if you intend to drink what you are reheating.
- Cover your Dixie cup with a lid once you are certain that your drink is at a preferred temperature. Again, no overheating.
Keep these tips at the back of your mind whenever you microwave your Dixie cups.
Rest your beautiful mind and microwave your Dixie cup using my tested and simple step-by-step guide. Also, treat the safety tips like the 10 commandments. Follow them and stay safe.
However, if you still have doubts about if you can you microwave dixie coffee cups, then don’t do it. You can either choose other safe and microwavable options, enjoy your drink cold or use safer options like glass and ceramic mugs.
That’s all. Adios!