Do Yeti Coolers Stain or Get Dirty Easily? 

If you own a Yeti cooler, you’ll know what a great product they are and how durable their coolers are, especially for those long camping trips. But how well do they hold up against stains and dirt?

Do Yeti coolers stain easily or do they look fresh for years? I've owned my Yeti cooler for over 6 years now, and I've owned a bunch of other brands of coolers so I can provide some insight into this.

Yeti coolers do no stain easily due to the UV and scratch resistant plastic they are made from. However, white Yeti coolers tend to show stains more easily and the more often you use your Yeti cooler to more small scratches, marks and stains it will accumulate.

Many of the marks on Yeti coolers can be removed with some proper cleaning but over time you will notice that you Yeti cooler begins to stain, but not nearly as quickly as a traditional cooler might.

Yeti coolers are the ultimate high-end coolers, but that doesn’t mean they are immune from getting stained and dirty. That being said, the Yeti cooler is more resistant to staining than other cheaper cooler models.  

In this article, I will discuss the factors that influence how easily a Yeti cooler will stain and get dirty. 

Do Yeti Coolers Stain and Get Dirty Easily?

One of the reasons I am a big fan of Yeti coolers is because they look great and do NOT stain easily. 

Yeti coolers are made from food-grade UV-resistant Polyethylene, which is exceptionally durable. It does not prevent stains but is pretty resistant to them.  

Above you can see my 6 year old white Yeti cooler. While it has some marks and scratches on it you'll notice that there are little to no major staines on my cooler and the front of the cooler actually looks really good still.

There are a number of things that can influence how easily a Yeti cooler gets stained and dirty. 

The Color of the Cooler 

The color of your cooler plays a significant role in how easily the cooler can get stained and dirty.

White coolers, for example, highlight the dirt and grime that builds up on the outside of the cooler and from the food inside the cooler. Other darker colors like tan won't show these marks as easily and will look newer for longer.

If you own a white cooler, you will probably be cleaning it more often than any other color. Here's a guide on how to clean your Yeti cooler.

Buying a cooler in a color other than white won’t stop your cooler from staining, but it will hide the staining. 

Stains from Food and other items 

The items that you store inside your cooler can also affect how easily your cooler stains. Food and product labels are one of the biggest causes of stains in your Yeti cooler. 

I've been fortunate that the inside of my Yeti cooler only shows some minor marks and stains and nothing serious has stained the cooler. With a high pressured hose I'm sure I could remove these stains from my Yeti cooler.

Because of all the ice and liquids found inside the cooler, the labels on your stored products can become wet. This causes the ink and dye found in the labels to run and stain the inside of the cooler. 

Foods like tomatoes, berries, and even wines, specifically red, can easily stain the inside of the cooler. 

So the next time you feel like taking that bottle of red wine on your camping trip, be sure to seal it properly! 


One of the biggest factors that will make your cooler looked stained are dings and scratches. While Yeti coolers don't scratch easily you will develop scratches and dings over time.

These indentations and blemishes in the cooler attract and collect dirt and can be difficult to clean out.

The more your cooler gets damaged and has scratches and chunks taken out of it the more dirty and stained it will look.

External Factors    

If you are an avid outdoors person like I am, you will know that keeping your cooler clean on the outside is a fruitless task if you’re out camping in the bushes. 

Sand and dust can quickly dirty the outside and inside of your cooler if you leave the lid open long enough. Dirt that is not cleaned can lead to staining in the cooler.  

While Yeti coolers do not stain easily when they do, cleaning them is very simple, and there are so many different methods that you can use. 

Different Areas On The Cooler Stain Differently

One thing I've noticed with my (now 6 year old) Yeti cooler is that some areas tend to stain more than other areas on the cooler.

The area that tends to attract the most dirt and stains is the lid of the cooler. Maybe it's because I sit and stand on the lid or maybe it's because the lid is slightly textured whereas the rest of the cooler is smooth but I do notice that my lid does look quite stained.

This dirt and grime can be cleaned away, but it then accumulates quickly again once I begin using my Yeti.

The corners of the cooler attract the most scratches and so they tend to get the most bumps and marks and stains.

Whereas, the front panel of the cooler, the back and side panels and even the base of the cooler still look really fresh.

Inside the cooler the inside of the lid still looks amazing and so does most of the inside walls of the coolers (except some minor scratches).

Overall it's held up really well but I've definitely noticed some area stain more than other and these just likely require more attention during the cleaning process.

How To Prevent Stains in Your Yeti Cooler 

While the Yeti cooler does not stain easily, this doesn't mean that you shouldn’t take precautions. 

Here are some ways to prevent staining in your Yeti cooler:

  • Clean any spills or messes right away, do not leave them to sit in the cooler 
  • Store your food in properly sealed containers 
  • Check that bottles are sealed tightly with no leaks 
  • Freeze your food before storing it in a cooler
  • Clean your cooler after each use 
  • Store your cooler in a dry place off the ground

Check out my guide on how to pack a cooler better. This will help you pack better to prevent any staining. 

How To Remove Stains From Yeti Cooler 

Stains are an inevitable result of using a cooler, but there are many ways of removing stains, even the most stubborn ones, from your Yeti cooler. 

Before you can begin to clean the stains, you will first need to wash the entire cooler with warm soapy water to remove the surface layer of dirt. 

Click here to learn how to clean your Yeti cooler properly

Vinegar and Bicarb Soda 

This cleaning duo is one of the most commonly used methods to clean lighter because it is easy to make and is a cheap but effective cleaning solution. 

Clean your cooler by mixing the white vinegar and bicarb soda into equal parts. Using a cloth or sponge, scrub your cooler with the mixture and rinse when finished.

However, vinegar and bicarb soda are not as effective at cleaning harder, stubborn stains.

Purple Power Cleaner 

One of the well-reviewed cleaners for plastic, the Purple Power Cleaner is great at removing light stains and is very easy to use. 

Simply spray the mixture onto the stain and scrub away with a cloth or sponge. 

You can get a bottle of this cleaner from Walmart.  

Magic Eraser 

This magic eraser is made of melamine foam and is great at cleaning tough stains if you’re not afraid of some elbow grease. 

What’s great about using one of these erasers is that you can use it with other cleaning solutions like bleach or vinegar, and bicarb soda. 

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (10 Pack)
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03/07/2024 09:42 pm GMT

Pressure Cleaner 

Using a pressure cleaner is one of the best ways to get rid of stubborn stains and one of the easiest. Simply aim and spray.

To really clean those stubborn stains, hold the nozzle closer to the stain and spray as many times as it takes to remove the stain.

Keep Your Cooler Clean with These Helpful Hacks 

Yeti coolers are fantastic products that are built to last and do not stain easily, and when they do, it is very easy to clean. If you want to learn more about cleaning stains from your Yeti cooler, check out my handy guide