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Get Your YETI Cooler Ready For Its Next Adventure with These Cleaning Tips

And a few things you should definitely NOT do.

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How To Clean Your YETI Cooler

So you finally bit the bullet, bought your YETI cooler and quite possibly had to take out a second mortgage just to do it.  I get it.  The same thing happened to me.

A fun fact for me is that even though I extensively write about YETI here at Trendsicle, they’ve never actually sent me a cooler – or anything else for that matter – so even though I got my YETI on sale, it was still super expensive so I try my best to take care of it the best I can so that it can last my entire lifetime and then I can pass it down to my kids, their kids, and their kids.

Related:  Your official 15% Yeti coupon is here!

I put together 6 pretty easy ways to keep your own personal YETI last for years to come and, spoiler alert, you actually don’t have to do anything too crazy.  Trust me though, it’s well worth it.



Before you begin cleaning your YETI cooler, make sure it’s completely empty.  This might be common sense to most, but some people may try to clean around everything and, yes, I tried that once too.

Remove all your food and drinks (and crushed beer cans), and get rid of any remaining ice or water. This will make it easier to clean and ensure that you don’t accidentally damage any of the contents inside.

What to Avoid: Be sure not to use any sharp objects or abrasive materials to remove any remaining ice or water from the cooler, since this can scratch or damage the interior surface.


Using a clean, warm damp cloth or sponge, wipe down the interior of the cooler to remove any dirt or debris. If you run into any stubborn stains or nasty smells because you forgot to clean it out after your last beach trip, you can use a mild dish soap or YETI’s own cleaning tabs to help remove them.

Here’s the thing, if you’re using a cleaning solution, make sure to dilute it according to the instructions on the label. Apply the solution to your cloth or sponge, rather than directly to the cooler, to prevent over-saturating the surface.  Believe it or not, that’s really important to follow.

What to Avoid: Whatever you do, please do not use bleach or any harsh chemicals to clean the inside (or outside) of your cooler, as these can damage the surface and affect the cooler’s insulation properties.


Now it’s finally time to clean up the outside of your cooler like it’s your car. Use a clean, damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the exterior.  If there are any stubborn stains or dirt (there most likely will be), you can use a mild dish soap or all-purpose cleaner to help remove them.

Again, make sure to dilute any cleaning solutions according to the instructions on the label, and apply them to the cloth or sponge rather than directly to the cooler.

What to Avoid: Do not use any abrasive materials, like steel wool or rough scouring pads, to clean the exterior of the cooler, as these can scratch or damage the surface and then you’re going to be totally bummed, especially when you finally snagged that sick color you’ve been waiting for.


FUN FACT: When I first wrote that I typed “Clean the Casket.”  That would have certainly taken an awkward turn.

The gasket is the rubber seal that goes around the lid of your cooler and helps to create a, air-tight seal. To clean the gasket if it just needs some minor cleaning, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe it down, making sure to remove any dirt or debris.

If it’s all nasty, sticky, messy, and gross you’re going to need to clean it more thoroughly.  If this is the case you can use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to gently scrub the gasket. Be careful not to damage or tear it while cleaning, however. 

What to Avoid:  Do not use any abrasive materials or harsh chemicals on the gasket, as this can cause damage and affect the seal of the cooler.


After you’ve completed the overall cleaning process and have finished patting yourself on the back for being an adult, it’s time to properly dry it.

When drying it, use a clean, soft towel or cloth to dry both the interior and exterior thoroughly. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, including the drain plug and any other crevices.

If you’re in a rush, you can do what I do and use a hairdryer on cool and low to help speed up the drying process and help avoid any water spots.  Obsess much?  You know it!

What to Avoid: I can’t stress this one enough.  Do not store your cooler while it’s still damp or wet, as this can lead to mold and mildew growth.  And once you smell that smell, you know you never want to experience that again!


So now you’re basically done.  Once the cooler is completely dry, I recommend to store it in a cool, dry place with the lid open. This will allow for decent air circulation and prevent any musty odors from developing.

You can also use a protective cover or sleeve to help prevent scratches and damage but, yeah, that may be a little obsessive too.  I mean, I’ve done it.

In Conclusion

Time to land this plane, right?  In conclusion, owning a YETI really is an investment in quality and durability. With proper cleaning and maintenance, your cooler can last for years to come and be part of the party during all your outdoor adventures.

By following the steps outlined above, you can keep your cooler in top condition and ensure that it stays clean, hygienic, and odor-free. Remember to clean your cooler regularly and avoid using harsh chemicals, hot water, or abrasive materials that can damage the surface or affect the insulation properties.

Have a fun cleaning hack you want to share?  Drop me a line at