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Red Cup Manufacturer Finally Confirms What Red Lines on Each Cup Mean

We finally know what the lines on the solo cups should be used for.

Picture of two plastic red solo Cups; one in a laying down postion and one in a straight-up postion.
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Pepijn van Bakel)

We have all seen these red solo cups, whether it’s for a movie or show, a school celebration, or a get-together with family and friends. They’re generally used for outdoor games, which are typically based on alcohol, such as beer pong. It’s likely that you’ve even heard of the cups being used to combine the ideal amounts of spirit and mixer.

That being said, you have undoubtedly noticed the several lines on each of the cups; these lines do serve a purpose, though it may not be the first thing that crosses your mind.

What people assume the measurements for the Solo cups are for

For a long time, people used these cups for pouring drinks, believing that the lines on the inside and outside of a solo cup were used for measuring alcohol. The 1-ounce mark at the bottom of the cup usually represents a measurement of how much liquor should be poured. Moving on to the next line on the cup, at the 5-ounce measurement, was a common approach for determining how much wine to serve. Finally, the line along the rim of the cup represented a 12-ounce serving of beer.

As you can see, there is a common pattern among these measurements, which is why most people believe these cups were intended for a mature audience. However, this is untrue, and even though these measurements are accurate, Solo has since revealed the true purpose of these lines.

In fact, the parent company of Solo, Dart Container Corporation, released a graphic demonstration that showed the purpose of these lines in comparison to what we have observed people using it for and what they actually recommend. It also provides us with more options for what we can use it for.

What the lines on the Solo cups actually mean

Diagram of the real understanding of lines on the Solo Cup.
Diagram of the real understanding of lines on the Solo Cup. Credit: Dart Corporation

The company shares that one ounce is the suggested amount of mouthwash to use, five ounces is the usual serving size of cereal, and twelve ounces is the recommended daily intake of water.

They even offered child-friendly uses for the lines on the cups: the 1-ounce line is for chocolate syrup, the next line is for children’s daily juice serving; and for the 12-ounce line, they included a recipe for the ideal Shirley Temple.

But even after expressing suggestions, the Solo website has reiterated that everyone’s interpretation of the lines is valid. The most important thing is that you’re going to have fun!

Written By

A third-year English student at York University who loves writing in every form and usually can be found escaping into the universe of 2000s rom-coms.

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