How to Clean a Yeti Cooler (Remove Dirt & Stains)

One of the best brands that I’ve come across in my years of camping and hiking has to be Yeti. I wanted to make sure my cooler lasted as long as possible so I’ve researched what needs to be done to keep it clean and durable.

Coolers are used in manners that make them prone to getting dirty. You should clean a Yeti cooler after each use. Depending on how dirty it is, you can use soap and water, water and bleach, or a high-pressure sprayer. 

We’re looking at methods for how to clean a Yeti Cooler. You should clean your cooler often but with care so you can maintain the quality of your Yeti for as long as possible. 

Keep reading for all our tips on how to do that!

Yeti Cooler

Cleaning It For The First Time

You’ll likely be raring to take your Yeti cooler out somewhere to use it immediately after you buy one. Yetis are awesome, so why wouldn’t you? 

Before you do that, though, take a few minutes and wash the inside of your cooler to make sure there are no pieces of packaging debris or manufacturing dust hanging around. 

All you need is soap and water. Add some mild dish soap to warm water and use a rag or towel to gently wash out the inside of the cooler. 

Make sure you rinse the soap out thoroughly. Then, either allow the cooler to dry completely or dry it out with a towel.

How to Easily Clean The Yeti Cooler

Sometimes we use our coolers at home for a gathering or somewhere that’s not dusty and dirty. If that’s the case, you’ll likely only need to give your cooler a rinse once you empty it. Let it dry entirely before closing the lid and putting it away.

If you notice your Yeti cooler is only mildly dirty, but a rinse just isn’t cutting it, you can give it a gentle cleaning with warm soapy water like you did when you first got it. 

How To Wash A Yeti Cooler Infographic

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Here’s How To Deep Clean The Cooler

Let’s say you went camping for a week with your high-quality Yeti and it sat outside in the dirt the entire trip. You’re going to need something a little stronger to clean this one. 

Sometimes food or drinks leak or spill inside the cooler. That stuff gets stuck to the sides and the bottom. One way to get stuck on stains off the inside of your Yeti is to use a high-pressure sprayer.

The power of the water breaks up the dried-on food and drinks that are hard to scrub away. This method also gets the job done faster, most of the time.

Once you’ve sprayed away the dirt and grime, you can still wash it out with soap and water for a little extra cleaning.

How To Clean Smell Out of Yeti Cooler

So, what do you do if you can’t get a bad smell out of your cooler? You use something that has its own strong smell, of course. Use a little vinegar.

This might seem a little weird. But it works. Here’s how.

You can mix vinegar with bicarb soda, a component of baking powder, to create a chemical-free cleaning agent. Take a cleaning cloth and rub the combined formula all around the inside of the cooler, and outside if needed. Then, allow it to dry or rinse it first and then let it dry.

How To Clean Mold Out of a Yeti Cooler

Now let’s say you got home from your camping trip and you were exhausted. You didn’t feel like cleaning out your cooler or anything else you brought back home. You put the Yeti cooler to the side of your garage and forget about it. 

Weeks later, while cleaning up your garage, you open the Yeti and find some growing mold inside. Though it’s unpleasant, it isn’t ruined. This job needs something stronger to kill the mold. That’s where bleach comes in.

All you need to do is mix one part bleach with about six parts water. It’s best to combine it in a spray bottle so you can apply the mixture easily to the mold inside the cooler. Then, use a sponge to scrub the mold away. 

If you have mold that’s tough to scrub off, leave the bleach spray on it for a bit before you try scrubbing it away. That will help to soften it, so it’s easier to wipe it off. 

Avoid These While Washing

There are a few things that shouldn’t be done to your Yeti cooler, so be sure to make note of each one.

  • Don’t use abrasive materials or sponges to clean out your cooler -They may leave scratches and ruin part of the plastic material.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean out your cooler – These could cause damage to the inside of the cooler or cause health problems by contaminating food stored inside. 
  • Don’t close the lid of your Yeti until you’ve allowed it to dry properly – Trapping moisture inside the cooler could result in mold or bacteria growth.


Can You Bleach a Yeti Cooler?

It’s safe to use bleach in a Yeti cooler and is even recommended for removing stains and cleaning the cooler. Be sure to use the correct mix of water and bleach (6:1 ratio) when putting any bleach in the Yeti.

Can You Put Boiling Water in a Yeti Cooler?

Boiling water should never be used in a Yeti cooler because it will warp and damage the plastic materials of the cooler. The high temperature will also change the structure of the cooler and make it less effective. Hot water is fine to use just be sure it doesn’t reach boiling levels.

Final Thoughts – Cleaning Yeti Coolers

Over time the dirt and grime will start to build up in your cooler to the point where it becomes much more difficult to clean. To stay on top of this issue, clean the Yeti cooler after each use, with a more deep cleaning after every 3-5 uses.

Choose the method for cleaning based on how dirty your cooler is. Yetis are tough and built to last. You’ll extend the life of your cooler by keeping it clean and well-maintained.