How to Clean an Instant Pot: Daily and Deep Cleaning Methods
Wash the Pot, Lid, Seals, and More to Make It Like New
Instant Pot, Crockpot, and other brands of similar multi-functional countertop cookers can be found in many households. The appliance combines the actions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, and warmer into one programmable, versatile unit. Ranging in size from 3 to 8 quarts, some models even have inserts for baking cupcakes, coddling an egg, or steaming fish and vegetables.
Once you've mastered all the settings and recipes on your Instant Pot, you'll need to wrap your head around cleaning it. A quick cleaning after each use requires a hand washing or a simple trip through the dishwasher (lid, seals, and the inner chamber), and then a wipe-down of the base. Deep cleaning the unit with baking soda and vinegar, however, will keep it properly functioning for years to come.
How Often to Clean an Instant Pot
Your Instant Pot should be cleaned after every use. Since most inner cooking chambers are made of stainless steel, the vessel can be hand-washed with hot water and dishwashing liquid, or placed in the dishwasher. The silicone seal can also be placed on the top rack of the dishwasher after each use. If the appliance is used regularly, it should be deep cleaned at least once a month.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Plastic or rubber spatula
- Dishcloth or sponge
- Soft toothbrush
- Sink or dishpan
- Microfiber drying cloths
- Hot water
- Liquid dishwashing detergent
- Dishwasher detergent
- Baking soda
- Distilled white vinegar
- Lemon peels
How to Clean an Instant Pot After Every Use
Cleaning your Instant Pot after each use freshens it up for the next recipe. This task can easily be done in the sink, or with the help of your trusty dishwasher.
Unplug the Instant Pot
When cleaning any small electrical appliance, always unplug the unit from the electrical outlet first, before cleaning.
Wash the Interior Cooking Vessel
After use, allow the stainless steel inner chamber to cool to room temperature. Use a plastic or rubber spatula to remove any excess food. Next, either hand wash the chamber with hot water and dishwashing liquid or place it in an automatic dishwasher. Also, wash the steaming rack if you used it during food preparation.
Clean the Inside Seal and Lid
Remove the silicone seal from the unit's lid and wipe down the interior of the lid with a damp sponge. The seal can be hand-washed with hot water and dish soap, or placed on the upper rack of the dishwasher. Set the cycle on the highest heat, or use the sanitizing cycle on your dishwasher.
Wipe Down the Cooker Base
Use a slightly damp sponge or dishcloth to wipe down the inside and outside of the cooker base, removing food splatters and spills. Use a little vinegar placed on a soft cloth for a streak-free shine on the outside.
Dry and Reassemble
Dry all of the components with a microfiber towel, or allow the unit to air-dry. Reassemble the lid with its silicone seal. The Instant Pot should be completely dry before storing it.
How to Deep Clean an Instant Pot
Once a month, give your Instant Pot a deep cleaning with baking soda and vinegar to make sure the vents are free of clogs, and to prevent excessive staining from cooked-on food. Removing residue will assure the longevity of your unit and help to preserve the heating element.
Unplug the Pot and Clean the Cord
Remember—safety first! Unplug the cord from the wall and the unit. Check the cord for any cracks or exposed wires. With the cord disconnected from the unit and the outlet, wipe it down with a slightly damp cloth.
Clean the Cooker Base
Remove the inner cooking chamber. Use a damp dishcloth to wipe down the inside and outside of the base. Pay extra attention to the lip of the unit and clean off food or crumbs that may inhibit a proper seal.
For tough stains from spilled food, make a paste with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and a few drops of water. Dip the dishcloth or a soft toothbrush into the paste, and then scrub it on the stained area. Wipe away the paste and food particles with a clean, damp cloth. Repeat, as needed, until the base is clean.
Thoroughly Clean All Lid Components
There are a number of lid components that require deep cleaning. Be thorough by following the steps below:
- Remove the silicone seal and wash it in hot, soapy water. Inspect it carefully for cracks, and order a new one, if necessary.
- Remove the anti-block shield on the inside of the lid by pushing one side toward the outer edge of the lid firmly with your thumb. It should pop right out. Wash the shield with hot, soapy water, and then rinse and dry it thoroughly.
- Remove the steam release valve and check for food particles clogging the vents. Wash the valve with hot, soapy water, and use a toothbrush to remove stubborn food. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth.
- If your model has a condensation cup, pop it off, and then wash it in hot, soapy water.
Once everything is clean and dry, reassemble the lid.
Deep Clean the Inner Chamber and Steaming Rack
The inner stainless steel pot and rack may discolor after multiple uses. Remove the stain by scrubbing with a baking soda paste, or by pouring 1 cup of distilled white vinegar into the inner chamber and letting it sit for at least 10 minutes. Use a sponge to coat the sides of the pot with vinegar. Finish by rinsing the pot with fresh water, and then drying it well with a soft cloth.
Tackle Strong Odors
The silicone seal on your Instant Pot lid can develop a smell after frequent use. To remove the odor, mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar, add a few lemon peels, and then pour the mixture into the inner pot. Place the lid on top and lock it. Next, turn the steam release valve to the sealed position. Set the steam setting for 3 minutes. When the cycle is complete, allow the steam to release on its own. Open the lid, remove the seal, and allow the unit to air dry. Empty the solution into your garbage disposal for a quick bonus cleaning.
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