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Are Yetis Microwave Safe: Read This First

If you enjoy a piping hot beverage but can never seem to drink your coffee or tea fast enough, you may ask, “Are Yetis microwave safe?” While a Yeti cup is designed to keep your drink hot for longer, inevitably, the beverage will cool down. Of course, it would be nice to warm it up directly in the Yeti, but you may be concerned about the safety of doing so.

This article will answer the question so you can safely enjoy a warm, delicious beverage.


Yetis in the microwave

Are Yetis Microwave Safe

The short answer is that it is not safe to microwave a Yeti cup. The Yeti drinkware line includes a variety of mugs, tumblers, bottles, and jugs made from high-quality 18/8 stainless steel. The stainless steel construction is why you should not put the cup in the microwave.

Steel is a conductive metal like aluminum. As a result, it does not mix well with the microwave’s radiation. Not only is it dangerous, but it is also ineffective to try to warm up a beverage in the microwave while it is in a Yeti cup.


Yeti background

YETI Rambler 20 oz Travel Mug, Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated with Stronghold Lid, Navy

Yeti is well known for creating durable, high-quality insulated drinkware. It is aesthetically pleasing and designed to keep the contents warm or cold, as appropriate, for a longer time. The Yeti brand is more expensive than some competitors, but the company has a well-earned reputation for superior products.

A Yeti can keep a beverage cool for hours, even in a hot environment. Alternatively, if the external temperature is cold, a Yeti can keep drinks hot for many hours without reheating the beverage. This is because the drinkware offers a double layer of insulation, which means it can keep liquids hot without the cup getting too hot.

Another factor that helps the Yeti keep a liquid hot or cold, as appropriate, is the double wall vacuum insulation. Yeti touts that their cups can keep beverages at the optimal temperature for twice as long as plastic cups can.

Buying a Yeti cup or mug may be worthwhile if you enjoy hot drinks like hot coffee or tea. It is nice to keep a beverage hot without worrying about microwaving it to reheat it.


Why Yetis and microwaves do not mix

YETI Rambler 20 oz Travel Mug, Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated with Stronghold Lid, Navy

Here are the specific reasons why Yetis should not be microwaved.


Scientific reason

it is vital to consider the science behind how a microwave works to understand why you should not microwave a Yeti. Microwaves produce small jolts of energy to warm up food or liquids. The energy passes through an object and speeds up the molecule’s natural vibrations.

The molecules vibrate faster when more radiant energy microwaves are sent through the food. Ultimately, the rapid vibration of the molecules produces friction, and the kinetic energy gets converted into heat. This is the basic explanation of how microwave energy works.

The stainless steel construction of Yetis prohibits the waves from moving through the molecules. Instead, the stainless steel absorbs the energy, which causes the energy to build up and produce intense heat.

The excess energy will eventually produce sparks and loud popping noises. This poses a serious fire hazard (1). You also risk damaging your microwave, Yeti drinkware, and safety.

Essentially, the Yeti cup is conductive and blocks the microwave’s pass-through process. This is true of all different types of metal, so metal should not be placed in the microwave. The thinner the metal, the faster the item heats up.

This is why a severe fire hazard is associated with putting a fork in the microwave or a dish covered with aluminum foil. The metal can spark electricity which can damage the microwave, cause sparks to fly, and even start a fire.

yeti in microwave

Functional reason

In addition to the fire risk associated with putting Yeti mugs in the microwave, there is also a functional reason not to microwave a Yeti. Doing so will likely not heat the liquid inside very much. Because the stainless steel structure absorbs the microwave’s energy, it also shields the contents inside from the waves.

That means the microwave will not sufficiently warm the range of the cup. This is a practical reason to avoid putting Yeti cups in the microwave.

You may see a slight increase in the beverage’s temperature, but it will not make a substantial difference. The increase in temperature will be because of the opening in the lid that will allow the waves to penetrate the cup and speed up the molecular structure of the liquid.

The waves will not penetrate the sides of the cup, which makes up the largest surface area. That is why the temperature increase will be only a few degrees.

Suppose this were to happen, and you put the mug in the microwave for an even longer period so that the beverage reaches the desired temperature. In that case, you expose yourself to a greater risk of sparks or fire.

Related: Can You Microwave Glass? Read this first!

Microwave safety risks

YETI Rambler 30 oz Travel Mug, Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated with Stronghold Lid, Black

Three main safety risks associated with the construction of a Yeti explain why putting it in the microwave is dangerous.


Stainless Steel Construction

The first main risk and reason you should not place your Yeti in the microwave are due to the stainless steel construction. Not only does this make it difficult for your beverage to warm up, but it also poses the risk of interacting with the microwave.

Arcing can occur if the cup comes in contact with the microwave walls. The metal walls of the microwave can arc over to the cup. This can cause sparking, a crackling sound, and even a fire.

Arcs occur when electricity flows from one conductive point to another. Metals tend to reflect microwave energy, which can cause a disruption to the appliance’s electricity paths and cause arcing to occur.

Additionally, heating stainless steel can also reduce the lifespan of the microwave’s magnetron tube. This means that popping your Yeti cup in the microwave can harm your microwave over the long term and pose a fire hazard.


Double Wall Design

A second potential hazard is related to the double wall insulation design. The insulation material can expand when it gets too hot. As the pressure increases, this can eventually cause the mug to explode in the microwave. This is another reason you should not place your Yeti in the microwave.


Magnet in the Lid

Yeti lids also have a magnet in them. The energy from the microwave can overheat the metal magnet and cause it to stop working.


What about the oven?

YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler, Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated with MagSlider Lid, Copper

It may seem like an odd solution, but you might wonder if a Yeti mug or Yeti Rambler can go in the oven to warm up a beverage. The answer to that is also no. The maximum temperature that most Yetis can withstand is 185 degrees Fahrenheit.

If it is exposed to temperatures above that threshold, the cup can warp or even start melting. Not only will this ruin your cup and the liquid inside, but it will also cause quite a mess in your oven and produce a foul odor that lingers. Even at lower oven temperatures, putting your Yeti in the oven is no reason.


Is the dishwasher too hot for a Yeti cup?

YETI Rambler 14 oz Mug, Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated with Standard Lid, Northwoods Green

Since 2015, Yeti cups have been deemed dishwasher safe. Before 2015, the company recommended that the cups be hand washed only. They thought that the dishwasher’s heat would ruin the vacuum-sealed components.

However, after extensive testing was done, Yeti determined that the structure of their drinkware was not diminished by the conditions in the dishwasher. That is why they changed their stance on dishwasher safety cups in 2015.

If you opt to place your cup in the dishwasher, you should not put the lid in there too. You do not want to risk damaging the lid, compromising the cup’s ability to keep the liquid at the desired temperature. The heat from the dishwasher can damage the rubber gasket underneath the lid (2).

Washing Yeti cups or Yeti mugs by hand is not difficult. All you have to do is use warm soapy water and a dishrag or sponge to clean the inside and outside of the drinkware.


Alternative options

YETI Rambler 30 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler w/MagSlider Lid, Navy

Typically, you will not have to worry about how to reheat a beverage kept in a Yeti cup safely. Yeti drinkware is designed to keep beverages hot or cold for hours. In addition, the cups are heavily insulated to maintain the temperature.

Beverages can stay warm for up to six or seven hours in a Yeti cup or tumbler. So long as the initial temperature of the beverage is desirable when it is poured into the Yeti cup or tumbler, the thick insulation should keep it at a desirable temperature just fine. Microwaving the contents should not need to happen.

If you find that your beverage needs to be reheated, the best option is to pour it into a microwave-safe container or mug to heat it. Then, pour the hot liquid back into the Yeti and put the lid on it. The Yeti should keep it hot for several more hours. When in doubt, be sure to read the warning label or guidelines outlined on the bottom of the cup for proper usage.

If you prefer extremely hot beverages and you find that the Yeti is not keeping your drink hot enough, you may be better off buying a BPA-free plastic or ceramic mug to just pop in the microwave and reheat your drink. There are many affordable options available that are deemed microwave safe.


Are Yetis microwave safe FAQ

YETI Rambler 24 oz Mug, Vacuum Insulated, Stainless Steel with MagSlider Lid, Nordic Purple

Can you put a Yeti into the microwave?

No, it would be best not to put a Yeti cup in the microwave. In addition to the fire hazard posed, the double wall vacuum insulation and stainless steel construction mean the beverage will not get very hot when microwaved.


Can you put a stainless steel cup in the microwave?

No, it would be best not to put a stainless steel cup in the microwave. Doing so may cause sparks which can start a fire. It is also ineffective to warm up a beverage in a stainless steel cup.


Can a Yeti go in the dishwasher?

It depends on how old the Yeti is. If it was made prior to 2015, placing it in the dishwasher is not recommended. However, cups made since 2015 are deemed dishwasher safe.


What metal is OK in a microwave?

Check the owner’s manual to determine what products can safely go in the microwave.


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