Skip to Content

Can You Microwave McDonald’s Coffee Cups?

Sharing is caring!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Want to reheat coffee leftover from this morning’s drive-thru? From espresso to cappuccino, McDonald’s serves a quality coffee beverage to pair with your delicious breakfast. But, can you microwave McDonald’s coffee cups?

Learn how to microwave McDonald’s coffee cups to reheat your coffee so that it tastes hot and delicious!

McDonald’s has upgraded the hot beverage to-go cup to a reusable and compostable design that is similar to the Starbucks paper cups specifications. 

McDonald’s coffee cups look like paper, however they are actually coated with a thin layer of plastic on the inside. The plastic coating keeps the cups from leaking, but it is not microwave safe. 

The paper cups are ideal for hot drinks to-go, but are not ideal to reheat coffee in microwave. If you are looking for the best results, then it’s recommended to transfer the coffee to a glass, ceramic or pyrex cup for microwaving.

Are McDonald’s coffee cups Microwave Safe?

McDonald’s coffee cups are glued together to seal the side seams. Furthermore, the inside is coated with plastic or wax to seal the paper and avoid leaks.

The paper coffee cups from McDonald’s are designed to hold hot drinks but not to withstand the extreme heat of a microwave. Extreme heat could melt the plastic coating, leach chemicals into the hot coffee, and also cause a leak from the cup.

Since the cups are made of a cardboard material, plastic lining inside, and a plastic lid, they are unfortunately not safe to use in the microwave. 

How long does McDonald’s coffee last?

Are you concerned over how long your leftover McDonald’s coffee will last and wonder if it is suitable to drink?

In general, McDonald’s coffee stored in the fridge can last for up to 2 weeks.

However, if you saved a latte or cup of coffee with milk inside, then you must be aware of the the USDA temperature danger zone guidelines that recommend perishable dairy items be refrigerated within 2 hours.

Milk can develop harmful bacteria after being left at room temperature for as little as half an hour. The USDA safe handling procedures consider dairy to be perishable food that must be stored in the fridge following the 2-hour rule. 

Make your coffee last longer by storing it in the refrigerator as soon as you realize that you re finished drinking fro the time being.

Reheat the coffee in the afternoon so that you can continuously enjoy the hot drink. 


Not on the lid, but on the cup, you will clearly see a label that says, “do not microwave.” 

However, you can experiment to see the results for yourself. To test the microwave safety of a McDonald’s paper cup, simply fill the cup half full of water and nuke it for 30 seconds. 

If the cup is cool and water turns warm, that means it is microwave safe. However, if the cup is warm and the water is cool, it is not safe.

Again, depending on how cool the water was and how long you reheat will change the whole spectrum of results. So, if you need to reheat your McDonald’s coffee, transfer the beverage to a microwave-safe cup. This is better than using the disposable paper cup provided with your fast food meal.

Things to Know

McDonald’s coffee cups are designed to transport hot coffee, and are not made for cooking or reheating. Unfortunately, it only keeps a beverage hot for less than an hour depending on the surrounding temperature.

There are a couple of things you need to know before microwaving a McDonald’s coffee cup to reheat hot java:

  • Depend on whether the coffee is black, or has dairy mixed in like a cappuccino or latte, use different microwave power levels. 
  • If the leftover coffee contains dairy, heat the coffee to 165°F or 74°C to halt the growth of bacteria.
  • Start with low setting, and increase the time to fully heat the beverage without scalding the cream or milk. 
  • Transfer the beverage to a microwave-safe mug to reheat your coffee.
  • Do not cover with a lid. 
  • Use 30 second increments to when reheating coffee in the microwave.
  • Stop and stir after each time frame. Microwaves heat unevenly, so it’s best to stir often to distribute the warmth.
  • When taking out the heated coffee, use a glove or towel to touch the cup. The cup and handle may be burning hot, so be careful.

Unless the McDonald’s cup is labeled as microwave safe, it’s best to assume that it is not! 

Wax and plastic coated the inside of McDonald’s coffee cups, therefore the disposable takeout cups are not safe to use in the microwave. Under extreme heat, the lining can melt, leach chemicals into your beverage and also cause a leak from the side of the container.

If you have been microwaving your leftover McDonald’s coffee in the paper cup provided, then proceed cautiously. However, it’s best to be safe and transfer the beverage to a microwave-safe cup any time you want to reheat in the kitchen appliance.

Is it safe to microwave a McDonald's coffee cup?

You May Also Like

Enjoy this post about microwaving McDonald’s coffee cups!

Glenna Mae Miller

Saturday 15th of May 2021

I did not even read that on the McDonald's cups for coffee about not reheating it in the microwave. I have been doing it all these years. I guess now I know better. I can't believe that I didn't even read that.


Saturday 15th of May 2021

Glad we were able to help connect the reasoning behind the label on the McDonald's coffee cups, they are not microwave safe.