Here’s What the Lines on a Solo Cup Are Actually For

You can use Solo cup measurements for more than beer, wine and liquor.

Take a second to look at the plastic cups stashed in your cabinets for a future backyard party. You’ll notice several lines on each 16 oz. cup. The lines on Solo cups (and other plastic cups) have a purpose, but it might not be for the first thing that comes to mind.

What Everyone Thinks Solo Cup Measurements Are For

Inspired by viral posts on Facebook, people use the lines on plastic cups for pouring drinks. The bottom-most line, measuring 1 ounce, is thought to be for pouring liquor. Moving up, the next line, measuring 5 ounces, is commonly used as a measurement for wine, while the line closest to the rim of the cup measures 12 ounces for beer.

All of these measurements correlate with standard pours for each of these adult beverages, so it makes sense to assume that’s what they were designed for. However, Solo has debunked this common myth!

You can use red plastic cups to play prosecco pong or other adult party games.

What Solo Cup Lines REALLY Mean

Solo shares that alcohol measurements were not an intentional design element when it comes to the widely used plastic cup. Instead, the company recommends other common uses for Solo cup measurements, like mouthwash, cereal and the recommended amount of water we need to drink each day.

Solo Cup Measurements GraphicClaire Krieger/Taste of Home

While the alcohol component is surprisingly accurate in terms of measurements, Solo also offers fun, kid-friendly ways to use the lines in the plastic drinkware—think juice, chocolate syrup and Shirley Temples.

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Hannah Twietmeyer
Hannah is a writer and content creator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a passion for all things food, health, community and lifestyle. She is a journalism graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a previous dining and drink contributor for Madison Magazine.