How To Clean An Instant Pot: Best Care And Cleaning Tips For Your Pressure Cooker
Here’s how to make your Instant Pot smell new again.
If you own an Instant Pot, you probably use it a lot. The addictive all-in-one electric pressure cooker is so easy to use, you might find yourself turning to it for many weeknight meals. The result? An Instant Pot that needs to be cleaned — badly.
This guide lays out the tips and tricks every Instant Pot owner needs to know. We’ll cover everything from removing stuck-on food from its stainless-steel cooking pot to keeping its lid nice and clean. We’ll even tackle ways to remove stubborn smells likely coming from the silicone ring.
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Looking For Easy Starter Recipes
Check out these Easy Instant Pot Recipes to get you started.
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How To Clean An Instant Pot Including The Small Parts You Might Be Skipping
Keep your pressure cooker performing at its best with these easy cleaning tips.
The pressure cooker is the superhero of kitchen appliances. It’s our go-to gadget for whipping up quick-and-easy weeknight meals and delicious desserts in record time. It can make yogurt, cook eggs, and perform a list of other surprising tricks that make our lives easier. This multifunctional appliance can pretty much do it all, but it needs regular upkeep to continue cooking at its best. Lucky for you, cleaning an Instant Pot is a fairly simple process. Because most of the componentsincluding the inner cooking pot, sealing ring, and lidare easily removable and washable, cleanup is easy. See our step-by-step instructions on the best way to clean an Instant Pot.
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Wash Inner Pot And Steam Rack
The inner bowl and steam rack are made of stainless steel, so these can be washed by hand in warm, soapy water or placed in the dishwasher on either rack for tougher-to-tackle food stains or remains. Over time, you might notice water stains or discoloration on the bottom of the inner pot, which can be easily removed with vinegar. To renew the finish, pour 1 cup white vinegar into the stainless-steel bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes before pouring it out and rinsing with water. Avoid using steel wool or abrasive cleaners, which can damage the stainless-steel surface.
How To Clean Instant Pot Inner Pots
For households with a dishwasher, cleaning the inner pot is as easy as putting it in it with your other dishes another way the Instant Pot lives up to its name. For those without a dishwasher, who plan on manually washing their pot, make sure to use a soft pad to rinse clean the stainless steel inner surface. Never use an abrasive scourer for washing your inner pot, as it may mark the steel finish irreversibly.
To ensure its longevity, you should take steps to deep clean your inner pot once every month or so. Instant Pot recommends placing one cup of white vinegar in the bottom of the inner pot to rest for five minutes before giving it a further rinse. This will leave the surface looking nice and shiny and will eradicate any rainbow stains, a persistent discoloration issue for Instant Pot users. Tougher stains, those caused by hard water, can alternatively be eradicated by scrubbing with a damp sponge soaked in vinegar or lemon juice.
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Clean Exterior Housing With Damp Cloth
First, wet a clean damp cloth to wipe off any food residual or stains on Instant Pots exterior housing. We prefer to use Microfiber Cleaning Cloth for our magic pot.
If Microfiber Cleaning Cloths are good enough for cars paint, its good enough for the Instant Pot.
*Caution: Never immerse the exterior housing in water or any other liquid.
Clean Instant Pot Liner
Hand wash the instant stainless steel liner using soapy water or leave the job to the dishwasher as It is dishwasher-safe. The cloudy or rainbow stains on the bottom of the pot can be removed by spraying white vinegar followed by wiping it off after some time.
Use a Bar Keepers Friend cleanser to wipe off the stubborn stains that dogged the white vinegar. If some stains still manage to stay on the pot somehow, you can combine the Bar Keepers Freind with the Magic Eraser Cleaning Sponge.
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How Often Should You Clean Your Instant Pot
Like any appliance, its important to wash your Instant Pot after each use, says Katie Whiting, Director of Consumer Brands for Instant Pot. Doing so will ensure that its clean and ready for the next Instant Pot recipe.
For day to day use, keeping the appliance clean is a cinch. The stainless steel inner pot, lid, sealing ring, and steam rack are dishwasher safe. The cooker base can be cleaned with a simple swipe from a damp cloth when necessary. These are cleaning steps you can and should do every time you use the appliance.
However, every once in a while, you should deep clean the Instant Pot too.
Cleaning The Lid And Its Parts
Oils, aromatic seasonings, fats and liquids tend to settle into the Instant Pot’s seals and gaskets. Here’s a checklist for keeping it clean:
- Check the steam release valve and red float valve. You’ll want to make sure they’re both free and clear of any food deposits or debris.
- Remove the anti-block shield, a silicone nub that covers the float valve from the inside. With the shield off, you can get a better look at the float valve to confirm any blocks or clogs. It’s a small part, so take care not to misplace or lose it.
- Remove the silicone sealing ring. This part easily picks up strong odors. One method to rid it of any unwanted smells is to wash it separately in the dishwasher. Make sure to select a high-temperature cycle such as sanitize. The combination of high heat and detergent should remove most of the unpleasant odors present.
The silicone ring found in the Instant Pot’s lid tends to attract odors quickly.
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Clean Inside The Instant Pot
You dont want to forget to clean the inside of the Instant Pot machine itself. Liquids and food can slide right down the sides of the machine, if youre not paying attention when youre serving food out of it. Take damp warm washcloth and wipe down the inside. You dont want your washcloth to be saturated with water, just enough to make a little damp. Ring out any extra water. We just want to be able wipe things down inside of it, and remove any kind of debris build up.
Periodically Rinse The Instant Pot Parts
*Note: We rarely take out the parts on the lid for cleaning. But if your Instant Pot needs a deep cleaning, here are the steps.
a. Anti-Block Shield you can push it on the side to lift it up to check for food residual or liquid. After rinsing and drying, press it down in position to install it back in.
b. Instant Pot Steam Release Valve remove it for washing by pulling it straight out.
c. Condensation Collector simply slide it out, pour out the liquid , and give it a quick rinse.
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How To Clean Tough Stains With Baking Soda
For a quick and natural deep clean, use baking soda, a little bit of water and a scrubbing pad or cloth. Avoid steel wool pad as it will scarth the pot.
Final verdict: This is what pot looks like when cleaned with baking soda cleaner than with dish soap but you can still see the discoloration.
How To Clean Your Instant Pot
1. Clean the inner cooking pot
The inner cooking pot is usually dishwasher safe, whether its stainless steel or has a nonstick finish. Place it upside down in the dishwasher on the bottom rack to clean. If using a dishwasher is not an option, wash it in hot soapy water, using a good degreasing dish detergent and a soft-bristled bottle brush to protect the finish, then rinse well and dry.
To remove burned-on food residue in the stainless steel pot, soak it in hot soapy water, and give it an extra scrub with a delicate non-scratch scrub pad. Dont use abrasive cleaners, or steel wool, which can scratch and damage the finish.
If the inside of the pot has discolored from minerals or salt in the food, to remove the blueish tinge, cover the bottom of the pot with white vinegar and leave it for five minutes, then rinse thoroughly and dry.
2. Remove and wash the parts from your lid
Remove the parts from the exterior of the lid depending on the model of your Instant Pot, these can include the steam release cover and the steam release valve . Some models also have a Quick Cool cover, which easily unclips.
Next, remove the small parts from the interior of the lid these can include the anti-block shield and the silicone cap covering the float valve. Gently push the anti-block shield towards the outer edge of the lid and lift it straight up, pop off the little silicone cap, and slide out the float valve.
3. Wash the lid
4. Clean the sealing ring
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Deep Clean The Inner Pot And Steaming Rack
The inner stainless steel pot and racks can become discolored from excessive heat or have water spots. You can remove the problems by scrubbing with a baking soda paste or by pouring one cup of distilled white vinegar in the pot and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes. Use a sponge to distribute the vinegar to the sides of the pot. Finish by rinsing the pot with fresh water and drying it well with a soft cloth.
The Pot Is Showing A Burn Message
This is a sign that the food might burn or the pot might suffer damage. It may be because the water is scarce in the pot and is not reached the bottom and sidewalls of the pot. Let the pot cool down If you have been sauteeing on high heat.
Layer the starches and sauces for complex meals and elevate your meal with the help of a cooking rack. After sauteeing a vegetable or sauce, make sure the pot is clean of any bits and pieces before moving to the next cooking process.
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How Do I Stop My Instant Pot Smelling
Instant Pots are great for cooking chillies, curries, and stews, but these flavorful dishes often use potent herbs and spices, which can mean the cooking gadget retains odors. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure your Instant Pot doesnt smell.
After cleaning the lid, always place it upside down on top of the Instant Pot until it has dried completely. Dont re-attach the sealing ring to the lid after its been cleaned either. Instead, store this in a well-ventilated area, and only replace it just before cooking.
Finally, if your Instant Pot does retain an odor, use one cup / 250ml of water mixed with one cup / 250ml of white vinegar and add it to the Instant Pot. Then run the Pressure Cook setting for five to ten minutes, before releasing the pressure and emptying the content away. Rinse the inner pot and then dry and store as usual.
Carrie-Ann Skinner is Smart Home & Appliances Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, and blenders. When shes not discovering the next must-have gadget for the home, Carrie can be found cooking up a storm in her kitchen, and is particularly passionate about baking, often rustling up tasty cakes and bread.
Different Parts Of An Instant Pot:
The Instant Pot are comprised of about four main parts. The lid, the sealing ring, the inner pot , where you cook the food, and the base/outer pot. There is a way to clean all of these parts.
If you want to learn how to correctly clean an Instant Pot keep reading for more information on how to properly clean and sanitize all of the parts of your beloved pressure cooker!
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Get Rid Of The Smell From The Silicon Sealing Ring
The silicone ring at the bottom of the Instant Pot lid is a favorite spot for smells and food particles build-up.
Thus, it will need a thorough clean.
Although the part is dishwasher safe, the smell may still linger even after dishwashing.
To deep clean the sealing ring, put a cup of water, a cup of white vinegar, and a chopped lemon rind in the pot.
Seal the pot, run the steam setting for at least two minutes, and let the pressure release naturally.
When its safe, open the lid, remove the ring, and air-dry it before replacing it.
If the silicon ring is worn out, replace it before using the pot.
To remove any water stains, quickly wipe over the Instant Pot with a dry microfiber cleaning cloth.
Follow the guide above to deep clean your Instant Pot and keep it cooking your favorite recipes!
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Wash Instant Pot Sealing Ring
The Instant Pot Sealing Ring is a critical part of the pressure cooker that directly affects the pressure cooking process. So, remember to be gentle and take great care of the ring.
The Instant Pot Sealing Ring is dishwasher safe.
However, we try our best to minimize the number of times we pull the silicone sealing ring out of the lid to avoid stretching or deforming the sealing ring.
Unless its splattered with food or liquid that requires thorough cleaning, we usually gently rinse and dry the sealing ring while its seated in the lid .
*Caution: Dont use the Sealing Ring if it has cracks, cuts, or any other damages.
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Tips To Keep Your Instant Pot Clean Longer
- You can remove the rings and soak them overnight in white distilled vinegar to remove tough odors.
- To help prevent cross-contamination of flavors and odors, use one sealing ring for savory and spicy foods and another for sweet or baked foods.
- As an alternative, use a small foam painting brush or pastry brush to clean out all those nooks and crannies.
- Never use steel wool or an abrasive sponge to clean the inner surfaces of your Instant Pot. Those items can damage the finish or leave tiny bits of steel in the appliance.
Clean Instant Pot Lid And Components
Before cleaning your pressure cooker’s lid, the anti-block shield and silicone sealing ring should be removed and cleaned separately. The anti-block shield is a small round or oval element installed underneath the lid. To remove the anti-block shield, use your thumb to gently push the piece toward the lid rim and lift up to pop it off. Hand-wash the shield in warm, soapy water and wipe dry with a clean cloth. Remove the sealing ring and inspect it carefully for cracking, warping, or other damage, which are signs you need to replace it. The sealing ring can be hand-washed in soapy water or placed in the dishwasher. Because it is heat-resistant, you can place it on either rack of your dishwasher.
With the anti-block shield and sealing ring removed, wash the Instant Pot lid in warm, soapy water or place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Once clean, check the lid’s steam release valve and float valve to ensure they’re clear of food particles that could prevent the cooker from maintaining pressure. If needed, remove and hand-wash the cup that collects condensation.
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Instant Pot Cleaning Guide Summary
Dishwasher Safe Parts: Instant Pot Liner , Instant Pot Sealing Ring, Trivet
- Exterior: Never immerse the exterior housing in water or any other liquid
- Rim: Clean the rim with a foam brush
- Inner Pot: Remove the rainbow stains with White Vinegar or Bar Keepers Friend
- Lid: Wash lid with warm soapy water
- Instant Pot Parts: Periodically rinse the Anti-Block Shield, Steam Release Valve, Condensation Collector if necessary
- Silicone Sealing Ring: Remove odors with White Vinegar or get an extra pair of Silicone Sealing Ring
Instant Pot Cleaning was easy, wasnt it?
Remove The Silicone Ring
The silicone ring is the part that gets on everyones last nerve. Mostly because it can really stink to the high heavens after cooking certain foods like spaghetti, meatballs, and chili. The food tastes amazing, but that ring. Not so nice of a smell, especially for when you want to make a sweet dessert afterwards, like chocolate lava cake, monkey bread, or more. The biggest tip to combat that is to purchase a couple of extra Instant Pot sealing rings. This way you can have one for the sweet recipes and one for the savory recipes. I have lots of other great Instant Pot accessories suggestions for you! Problem solved, kinda. To clean the ring, you can throw it in the dishwasher, or wash it with warm soapy water and allow to air dry. The one trick that has helped me get rid of the funky ring smell is to cook potatoes in your Instant Pot. Yes! I know, it sounds ridiculous to have work, but it totally works for me.
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