How to Clean a YETI Cooler in Under 10 Minutes

Get your YETI squeaky clean and looking like new

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by  Cooler Bill Barton | Last Updated: 
How to Clean a YETI Cooler

Isn’t it nice getting out for the weekend?

Packing up for a trip is way more fun than unloading all your gear when the adventure is over. 

Especially now that your YETI is a mess and needs a deep clean. 

If your YETI cooler is just a bit dirty and needs a little spiffing up, I’m going to show you how to do that here. And if it’s a big ol’ Tundra 75 and a total mess with deep stains, I’m also going to show you how to get rid of those now. 

By the end, you’ll know how to clean a YETI cooler in ten minutes or less so you can kick back and relax.

What You’ll Need to Clean Your YETI Cooler

It depends on how dirty your YETI is, or if there are any stains. You likely won’t need all of the following, and there’s a good chance you already have much of this laying around.

  • Dish soap
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Bleach
  • Magic Eraser
  • Power washer

How to Clean a YETI Cooler and Remove Tough Stains and Smells

yeti roadie 24 nylon handle length
YETI Roadie 24 in Desert Tan

Cleaning a YETI cooler is an easy and quick task if you have the right tools.

Obviously, there are varying levels of dirty when it comes to coolers: if you’ve gone camping and there’s some dirt on your cooler and the inside has a bit of smell to it, you won’t need to go as extreme as if you’ve quartered a deer and have been holding it in the cooler overnight.

So this guide is broken up into the levels of grime you might be facing with your YETI cooler. 

Step 1: Use dish soap, warm water, and a non-abrasive sponge

If your YETI cooler is just moderately dirty, oftentimes this is all you need. Especially if your YETI doesn’t have any scratches that get discolored.

When you’re facing just some dirt and a sticky inside, treat your YETI like a big pot that needs cleaning after dinner. Add a few squirts of dish soap, fill the bottom with warm water (I clean mine in the bathtub, but an outdoor hose works, too), and wash the entire cooler, inside and outside, with a non-abrasive sponge.

The reason you want to avoid using steel wool or any other abrasive substance is that you don’t want to scratch your cooler. While it might look cleaner in the short term, it’ll pick up much more dirt and grime next time you go out.

Step 2: Soak with bleach, at a 6:1 ratio

Only do this step if your YETI has a funky smell that can’t be fixed with soap and water. I’d wash the inside twice with soap and water, and if there’s still some smell to it, it’s time to bust out the bleach.

Dilute one part bleach with six parts water. You don’t need to be super precise with this measurement, but the key is to not use too much bleach because it’s unnecessary and you may end up with too much of a bleachy smell

Let the bleach and water solution soak in the inside of your YETI for an hour or more, and then dump it out and rinse. That should get rid of any strange smells your cooler has. 

Step 3: Use a Magic Eraser

This works on all YETI coolers, but it especially works well on white YETI coolers

Grab a standard Magic Eraser and rub into the areas that have stains and marks. You should easily be able to lift stains that soap, water, and bleach couldn’t get to. I don’t know what’s in those Magic Erasers, but it’s pretty incredible. 

Magic Erasers won’t help you with smell, but they’re the easiest way to get rid of tough stains on your Yeti. 

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

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Step 4: Use a pressure washer

If you have a pressure washer around, or know anyone that does, this is by far the easiest way to clean your YETI. 

It’s also the first step I’d take if I’d just brought my YETI back from a hunting or fishing trip. 

Set your pressure washer to about 75% of its capacity and get blasting. The water isn’t powerful enough to damage the plastic on a YETI, but it’s certainly enough to remove stains and dirt. 

Still, a pressure washer won’t remove smells, so you may want to follow up with a soak in bleach as mentioned in step two. 

The Best Way to Clean a YETI

For most trips I take, I just clean my YETI with a little soap and water—it’s easy, and takes three minutes. Plus I don’t need any special extra gear. 

But I have gone fishing with my YETI and have gotten some funky smells trapped on the inside. For that, a little bleach and a few hours of soaking time was all that was needed. 

If you’ve got a seriously dirty, stained, beat up looking YETI, use a pressure washer on it. You’ll be surprised at how good it looks after a few passes. I’ve seen people take a white YETI that was practically red from dirt and clay and make it look as good as new within five minutes. 

And if you don’t have a pressure washer, just use some soap and water and follow up with a Magic Eraser on the stains. It works like magic, and can get even the dirtiest YETI looking like it just came out of the shop. 


What can I use to clean the inside of my YETI?

Soap, water, and a sponge is the best way of cleaning the inside of your YETI. If a smell persists, you can also use a 6:1 dilution ratio of water to bleach and let your YETI soak for a few hours. That’ll remove unpleasant odors and make your Yeti safe to use again.

How do you get scuff marks off of a YETI cooler?

There’s nothing you can do to repair the scuff marks, but you can fix the discoloration by using a Magic Eraser. That will make the scuff marks look good as new. However, that problem area will be one of the first spots to discolor again when you take your YETI out for another adventure.

How do you get the smell out of a YETI cooler?

Soak the inside of your YETI cooler with a 6:1 ratio of water to bleach. Let it soak for an hour or more before rinsing and washing with soap and water.

Do White YETI coolers get dirty easily?

Yes, White YETI coolers can show dirt and grime more easily. But YETI coolers are fairly easy to clean—especially if you have a power washer. If you don’t have a power washer, you can also use a Magic Eraser to get your White YETI looking as good as new.