Yeti cups are usually great at holding ice for hours at a time, but sometimes people find they stop working and no longer hold ice as long as they used to.
If you're thinking “my Yeti cup won't hold ice anymore” you're not alone. While this issue isn't extremely common it doesn't happen fairly regularly and generally it's due to no fault of your own.
If you're finding your Yeti cup won't hold ice anymore chances are it's lost it's vacuum insulation. There is no way to fix this issue by yourself. You'll need to either contact Yeti for a replacement under warranty or buy a new cup.
Yeti cups hold ice for a long period of time because they have a vacuum between the inner and outer wall. It only takes a tiny crack for air to get in and completely fill up this vacuum.
Why Doesn't My Yeti Cup Hold Ice Anymore?
The #1 reason a Yeti cup stops holding ice effectively is that it's lost it's vacuum insulation.
See Yeti cups work so well because they have an inner and outer metal wall and between the walls is a vacuum.
The vacuum has little to no particles in there and this makes it very hard for heat to move through.
Sometimes due to being dropped, getting dents, cracking or a manufacturing defect can cause the seal on the vacuum to break, letting air in.
Once air gets in between the inner and outer wall of your Yeti cup heat now has an easy way to move from outside your cup into your cup, thus melting your ice.
It's generally unclear why this happens and people can rarely pinpoint a moment when they think the vacuum seal gave way and the cup stopped working properly. So it's a bit of a mystery why this happens.
Unless of course you dropped your cup from a height or it got bashed around or dented in some obvious way as this can potentially compromise the vacuum seal.
How Long Should A Yeti Cup Hold Ice For?
Depending on the size of your Yeti cup it should hold ice for anywhere from 12-48 hours.
If you are filling up your cup with ice and cold water and it's melting significantly faster than the times mentioned above then chances are you have a problem with your Yeti cup and it needs to be replaced.
Does It Take Time For Yeti Rambler Cups To Work?
While doing research for this article I saw that some people were asking if there is a break in period or if it takes time for your Yeti Rambler cup or bottle to start working.
No, Yeti Rambler cups should work properly straight out of the box. There is no break in time for them to start working and you don't need to pre-chill them like a Yeti cooler. If your cup isn't working properly it is likely defective.
Yeti cups work because of the vacuum in between the inner and outer wall. Heat struggles to move through the vacuum and that's why the cups work so well.
This is different from Yeti coolers which have insulation that contains billions of tiny air bubbles. These air bubbles can heat up when left in a warm area and this means you need to pre-chill the cooler before you use it.
There is no need to pre-chill Yeti tumbler cups before use and they should just work straight away.
How To Test If Your Yeti Cup Is Broken
There are a few different ways you can test whether or not your Yeti cup is broken and has lost its vacuum seal.
You can't tell just by looking at it so you'll need to do one of the following tests to see if it's still good.
The Boiling Water Test
One of the easiest tests to do is to boil some water in your jug and then fill up your Yeti cup with the boiling water.
Fill it to the brim, making sure not to burn yourself.
Then give it a minute or two and feel the outside of the cup.
If the outside of the cup is warm to touch then the vacuum seal has been compromised.
If the outside of the cup feels close to room temperature then you're vacuum seal is likely still in tact.
Comparing It To Another Insulated Cup/Bottle
If you have another Yeti cup, or another brand of insulated cup/bottle close by then you could do a side-by-side comparison test.
Fill them both us with the same amount of ice and see how quickly the ice melts.
If it melts significantly faster in one than the other then you likely have a problem.
The Float/Sink Test
I did a Yeti tumbler float/sink test and proved that when Yeti cups were completely filled with water they sunk to the bottom of my sink/bath.
This is because the vacuum doesn't contain air and so doesn't float.
However, if your vacuum seal is broken then when your Yeti cup is full of water it will float.
So fill up your bath or sink to see if your Yeti cup floats or sinks to see if it's broken or not.
What To Do If Your Yeti Cup Won't Hold Ice Anymore
If you've done the tests mentioned above and you believe that your cup has lost its vacuum seal and that your Yeti cup won't hold ice properly anymore then there are a few things you can do.
Contact the manufacturer
Yeti offers a 5-year warranty on all of their Rambler products. This include the Yeti cups and bottles.
If your cup has broken within this 5-year period then you can contact the manufacturer for a replacement.
In order to get a replacement you'll need your proof of purchase from a YETI authorized dealer.
If you have this then get in contact with them and you'll be able to send the product back and get a new one, if it meets their warranty guidelines.
Get a new one
If your cup is out of warranty or you've lost the original receipt then now may be the perfect excuse to get a new one.
Take this opportunity to get the size or the color cup you've always wanted and to get the latest and greatest model.
Use the old one for something else
Just because it doesn't hold ice for a long period of time anymore doesn't mean that it isn't still useful as a cup.
You can continue to use it as an extremely durable cup, just know it doesn't insulate very well.
Or you could use it as a vase, use it for dry food storage, plant a plant in it or use it for shooting practice.
Get creative and reuse your cup rather than throw it out.
Alternatively if you want to recycle it click here to learn how to recycle stainless steel cups and bottles.
Does The Yeti Warranty Cover Loss Of Insulation?
Yeti's warranty page doesn't have details of exactly what sort of defects they cover on their products.
Yeti Rambler cups come with a 5-year warranty.
Their warranty page says:
If a defect occurs as the result of the Product’s intended use according to the care instructions during the Warranty Period, we will repair or replace, at our discretion, the defective product or part.
Punctures, scratches, normal wear and tear, and the natural breakdown of colors and materials over extended time and use are not warranted.
I read this and I would assume that if your cup has stopped insulating and stopped working through no fault of your own then it should be covered under warranty.
However, if you damaged your product somehow and that caused the insulation to break then you probably aren't covered.
It's important to note that Yeti cups are dishwasher proof so putting them in the dishwasher counts as “use according to the care instructions”.
Ultimately it comes down to Yeti as to whether or not your cup is covered under their warranty. Click here to do a warranty claim with Yeti.