You may have heard that pre-chilling your Stanley Cup and using a large chunk of ice instead of individual cubes are great ways to help keep your drinks cold longer.
And while both are true, is sticking your Stanley Cup in the freezer actually okay?
Stanley doesn’t recommend putting Stanley Cups or any of their other products in the freezer. As the liquid inside freezes and expands, it could misshape your tumbler, crack your lid, or damage your Stanley’s vacuum seal. If that happens, your warranty will be voided and you’ll need to cover the replacement.
Putting an empty Stanley Cup in the freezer to pre-chill it or sticking it in the freezer for a short time to cool off your drink are both relatively safe. At least as long as you don’t forget about it.
While Stanley Cups are probably okay to put in the freezer regardless because they’re not airtight, putting your Stanley Cup in the refrigerator is a much safer way to accomplish many of the same things.
Stanley Doesn’t Recommend Putting Stanley Cups In The Freezer
While the stainless steel and plastic that Stanley Cups are made of can handle the cold temperatures of a freezer with no issue, freezing your Stanley Cup could still damage it.
As liquid freezes it expands. When that happens in a small enclosed space (like the inside of your Stanley Cup), it can create enough pressure to crack your lid, warp your Stanley’s thin stainless steel interior walls, or break its vacuum seal.
As a result, Stanley officially recommends against putting your Stanley Cup in the freezer — and will void your warranty if you decide to do it anyway. Meaning you’ll be on the hook for the replacement if you damage it.
It’s Okay To Put Your Stanley Cup In The Freezer In Certain Situations
While freezing a block of ice in your Stanley is a no-go, there are a couple of times where it’s actually relatively safe to freeze your Stanley Cup.
If you just want to stick your Stanley Cup in the freezer for a half hour or so to cool down your drink, that’s perfectly fine. It won’t give the liquid inside time to freeze and potentially cause damage.
Just make sure you don’t forget it’s in the freezer.
If your goal is just to pre-chill your Stanley Cup (faster than sticking it in the fridge), freezing it while empty is very unlikely to cause any damage, since the cold temperatures alone aren’t an issue.
You Might Be Able To Get Away With It Anyway
If you’re dead set on freezing a block of ice in your Stanley Cup anyway, chances are that you’ll actually be okay regardless.
Freezing insulated stainless steel bottles is an awful idea because they’re often watertight when sealed — meaning that the ice expanding inside will have nowhere to go.
So unless you’ve swapped to a watertight third party lid, the ice expanding inside your Stanley can just expand upward and, as a result, probably won’t create enough pressure to cause any damage.
Still, I’d rather not take the risk.