Welcome to Slow Cooker Week! We’re sharing all our favorite Crock Pot recipes, tips, tricks, and advice this week—and including the Instant Pot, of course, since it slow cooks too. Here, learn how to clean your Instant Pot and how often you should do it.
An Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen gadget that can do the job of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, saute pan, steamer, and more. Recipes that used to take hours are done in a fraction of the time thanks to the wonder appliance. However, to keep it running in tip-top shape, you have to keep it clean. Follow these cleaning tips from an Instant Pot pro.
How Often Should You Clean Your Instant Pot?
“Like any appliance, it’s important to wash your Instant Pot after each use,” says Katie Whiting, Director of Consumer Brands for Instant Pot. “Doing so will ensure that it’s 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.
How to Deep Clean an Instant Pot
1. Unplug the Instant Pot and remove the lid.
2. Clean the cooker base and rim. Use a damp kitchen towel or paper towel to wipe down any food residual or stains on the pot’s exterior. Never immerse the cooker base in water or place it in the dishwasher. This will damage the heating element inside the pot. If there is food on the inside of the pot, wipe it away with a slightly damp cloth.
3. Clean the inner pot. Pop the inner pot into the dishwasher with the rest of the dishes. If the inner pot has any cooked-on residue, use a non-abrasive cloth or scrubber with baking soda and vinegar to get those tough stains off. If the pot shows some discoloration, spray white vinegar onto the stain and let it sit for five minutes. Then, rinse and dry so the pot will not have any water stains.
4. Wash the lid. You can give the lid a quick rinse under warm water after every use or pop it in the dishwasher. If you chose to place it in the dishwasher, remove the steam release valve, anti-block shield, silicone ring and float valve before placing it on the top rack. Be sure to reinstall all parts of the Instant Pot after the cleaning or the pot won’t function properly. Hand washing the lid with a non-abrasive cloth or scrubber and warm, soapy water is another option. Lastly, make sure the lid is completely dry before placing the lid back onto the pot and locking it in place.
5. Clean the silicone ring. Remove the sealing ring from the lid and wash with warm water and dish soap after every three to four uses. If the ring is discolored or has an odor to it, soak the silicone sealing ring in white vinegar, then air dry. If it’s really stained, mix three cups of water, one cup of white vinegar and a lemon rind to freshen up the inner pot. Replace the ring every 12-18 months, depending on how much you use the Instant Pot.
6. Clean the rim. Clean the rim with a foam craft brush soaked in soapy water by sliding and scrubbing it around the rim. Or, wrap a chopstick or butter knife with a microfiber cleaning cloth and clean around the rim.
Artlicious Foam Paint Brushes, 25 for $6.99 on Amazon
Not just for arts and crafts, but good for cleaning too.
7. If any debris sticks to the cord, wipe it with clean damp cloth. Clean the condensation cup and make sure it’s completely dry before you store it away.
What Happens If You Get the Cooker Base Wet?
Katie says, “Since all but one of the Instant Pot parts are dishwasher safe, it’s not uncommon for people to assume the whole model can be placed in the dishwasher, but that is not the case.” The cooker base should never be submerged in water. However if the cooker base gets wet, just make sure to let it dry completely before using again.
How to Deal with Smelly Silicone Rings
Soaking them in vinegar as described in step five above should help, but it’s also best to keep your silicone sealing rings separate. “When setting up your Instant Pot, we’d recommend you keep one ring for savory recipes and the other for sweet to avoid those cross-odor flavors in your meals,” suggests Katie.
Most Instant Pots come with two silicone sealing rings, but if you only have one, it’s a good idea to buy another.
Instant Pot Sealing Ring 2-Pack, $11.81 at Walmart
Different colors will make it easy to remember which one is which.
Related Reading: The Best Instant Pot Accessories
Learn how to clean a Crock-Pot too.
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Header image courtesy of Instant Pot