Tervis drinkware is a brand of tumblers and portable water containers made of a new generation of BPA-free polymers and plastics. They’re known for their durability as air-insulated cups. They allow consumers or “drinkers” the most temperate of beverages, from hot cocoa to coffee and so forth.
So is Tervis microwave safe? Keep on reading to find out the truth. Signs point to “Yes!” because the plastic used in a Tervis cup is BPA-free. This means when it’s microwaved, it doesn’t contaminate the water with BPA or other plasticizers like other, cheaper plastics.
Is Tervis Microwave-Safe?
There are two types of Tervis drinkware—classic insulated with BPA-free plastic and stainless steel. Obviously, the stainless steel Tervis tumblers are not microwave-safe. However, the BPA-free plastic is, in turn, obviously developed for safe microwaving due to its lack of BPA in its manufacturing.
The plastic used in Tervis drinkware tumblers is composed of a new generation of polymer that’s air-insulated, durable, and nontoxic. Whether your drinks are cold or hot, the BPA-free drinkware is good at insulating beverages so that they remain the same temperature you left them as in your tumbler.
Tervis tumblers and cups are not as microwaveable as a food container though. Food containers like those made by Tupperware or Rubbermaid can handle being microwaved for more than 30 seconds.
Further reading: Can You Microwave Glass?
The Limits to Tervis Microwaveability
Indeed, there’s a limit to how microwave-safe Tervis is. Most Tervis tumblers and cups can only be microwaved for 30 seconds unless they’re specifically marked as microwave-safe. This is because some decorative logos on these products contain metal that is not microwave-safe at all.
Tervis is also dishwasher-safe as well. To err on the side of caution, you should space out the tumbler from the rest of the dishware you’re washing to prevent cracking or scratching.
The Rule of Thumb Regarding Microwaving Tervis Cups and Tumblers
To reiterate, if there’s no microwave warning on the bottom of the Tervis product, mugs (lidless drinkware) and tumblers are microwave-safe for up to 30 seconds. Don’t microwave the product for more than 30 seconds because it could cause heat-related damage in light of superheating risks.
Superheating occurs when something is microwave-heated past the traditional boiling point temperature and beyond, resulting in temperatures the Tervis cup isn’t designed to handle. It’s okay to microwave the tumbler or cup for 30 seconds at a time or 30-second increments. Don’t do it in one go.
The plastic cups and tumblers of Tervis are microwave-safe for up to 30 seconds at a time. Anything made of plastic, glass, or ceramics is microwave-safe due to them not containing water. Their electrons don’t freely move around like in the case of metals either.
Observe Presence of Mind and the Utmost Care
You should observe the utmost care and presence of mind when it comes to microwaving tumblers and cups from Tervis. If you don’t want to bother with the hassle of being careful, you can always transfer that beverage into an actual microwave-safe cup you can microwave beyond 30 seconds.
Check if the Tervis cup or tumbler you’re attempting to heat up is too thin. Mostly nuke with your microwave (for 30 seconds or less) only the thicker plastic containers. The thinner ones can melt from the superheated liquid.
Superheated plastic that got hot from superheated liquid can release plastic all over the beverage or even food (in case you put soup or something inside the tumbler). The thinner tumblers could also crack under pressure and extreme heat.
Can You Put Hot Coffee in a Tervis Tumbler?
Yes, you can put hot coffee inside your Tervis tumbler. It can insulate and keep the original temperature of both hot and cold beverages. It’s fine to put in hot coffee or ice-cold drinks like cola and juice inside it while maintaining their hotness or coldness.
Actually, Tervis tumblers are made for this. The stainless steel tumblers can obviously contain hot or cold drinks with no issues. The plastic ones can do so too, but they’re the ones that are microwavable, unlike the steel ones.
Certain tumblers have thinner plastic material on them, which means that they stay cold or hot for much shorter time periods compared to the thicker tumblers that have thermos-like insulation properties.
These tumblers are also microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe. Not only does the company state they are safe for either device. We’ve also confirmed they could take microwaving and dishwashing. Just make sure they’re thick enough and you don’t microwave for more than 30 seconds.
How to Take Care of Your Tervis Tumbler
If your Tervis has become cloudy, you should clean it up with the dishwasher to make them clear again. The thicker tumblers can take the rigorous nature of dishwashers. However, the thinner ones should be more spaced out.
You can also easily hand-wash the drinkware with soap and the soft side of your dishwashing sponge. Don’t scratch it up with the scouring pad. Use only mild detergent or liquid soap while you’re at it. If the haze won’t’ go away, use a small amount of baking soda and a soft, wet cloth.
Precautions When Microwaving Tervis Drinkware
Before microwaving anything in your Tervis tumbler, check for the microwave safety label at the bottom of the product. Sometimes it confirms microwave safeness and sometimes it disclaims that it should not be used with a microwave because its markings contain metal in it.
Don’t microwave the liquid to boiling inside your Tervis tumbler. These products can handle both cold and hot beverages like a thermos but boiling water in your tumbler typically necessitates microwaving the water for more than 30 seconds.
Aside from potentially damaging your Tervis tumbler (especially the thinner ones), you shouldn’t microwave liquids to boiling because they’re tough to drink. You or your child (when having him or her drink milk) could accidentally burn your lips, tongue, or inner mouth.
Tervis products are microwave-safe for up to 30 seconds at a time unless marked otherwise. Those marked as unsafe for microwaving usually have labeling that contains metal in them, thus resulting in arcing or spark risk.
Obviously, Tervis stainless steel cups and tumblers shouldn’t be microwaved either. It’s mostly the BPA-free plastic Tervis products that you can microwave. Even then, you shouldn’t microwave them for more than 30 seconds to reduce superheating the liquid and damaging the plastic with thermal shock.
- “Can you microwave Tervis?“, CanYouMicrowave.com, January 4, 2016
- “Can You Microwave a Tervis?“, KitchenSanity.com, Retrieved May 24, 2021
- “Use & Care,” Tervis.com, Retrieved May 25, 2021