All Instant Pot beginners have to overcome two hurdles: cooking the first few successful meals and cleaning the pot correctly.
Up until now, I talked your ear off about cooking using various recipes, ingredients, and so on. So, today I decided to change things up a bit and let you in on my cleaning routine.
I know it can be scary at first, but I recommend following the steps I described below. Also, pay attention to the instructions provided by the producer and everything should be fine.
Keep in mind: Unplug the Instant Pot every time you clean it!
This is the type of cleaning I like to do after each use, to prevent the sealing ring from getting smelly too quickly. Sadly, this cannot be avoided, as the silicone absorbs and retains strong smells. However, if you make sure to clean it after every use, this won’t happen too soon.
To clean up the pot, you will have to remove the food from the inner pot. Next, remove the inner pot and the sealing ring, and have the lid nearby.
The cleaning process is quite simple, especially if you have a dishwasher. As soon as I finish using the IP, I put the inner pot, the lid and the sealing ring in the dishwasher (they are dishwasher safe). If you don’t have one, wash them with dish soap and a gentle sponge (to avoid scratches on the inner pot).
How to clean the instant pot lid?
Just put it in the dishwasher or wash it using a gentle sponge.
Is Instant Pot inner pot dishwasher safe?
Yes, the inner pot of the Instant Pot is dishwasher safe.
Is Instant Pot Lid Dishwasher Safe?
Yes, the Instant Pot lid is dishwasher safe.
Is instant Pot sealing ring dishwasher safe?
Yes, the instant Pot sealing ring is dishwasher safe.
Is Instant Pot metal trivet dishwasher safe?
Yes, the Instant Pot trivet is dishwasher safe.
Is Instant Pot Cooker Base dishwasher safe?
No, the Instant Pot cooker base isn't dishwasher safe.
Next, I wipe the exterior pot using a wet dishcloth. I wipe both the inner and outer walls. When this is done, I use the same dishcloth to wipe the inside of the lid.
What to do If the lid is dirty or greasy?
Just use warm soapy water to clean it. It’s best to clean it by hand, under a gentle stream of water.
Once all the elements are washed and dried, you can put your IP back together and store it for later use.
Since I'm cooking a lot, I like to do a more thorough cleaning every four weeks.
This involves the steps mentioned above, and a few extra steps as listed here:
How to clean the housing unit and the rim?
I use a small soft brush (to avoid scratches) to remove dried pieces of food from the base of the pot (underneath the inner pot). Also, make sure nothing got stuck in or around the heating element (if you're not sure where these elements are, check out how does Instant Pot work).
For the rim, make sure to get the brush in all the tight places and crevices (like the handles or where the lid locks in place).
How to clean the steam valve?
This part is a bit tricky, but it must be done.
Sometimes, when you cook foods that produce some type of foam while they cook (rice, for instance), some food particles get into the steam valve. So, if you don’t clean it from time-to-time, it can get blocked.
In order to clean it, just follow these simple instructions:
- Remove the Quick Release handle. Do so by pulling it straight up (it comes out easily).
- Remove the shield that’s over the valve (a small metallic piece with tiny holes in it) by either screwing it off or pulling it (depends on the IP model).
- Wash both elements with warm, soapy water and let them dry off.
- When this is done, put them back in the order you removed them.
Have a closer look at the sealing ring
The sealing ring is of crucial importance to any Instant Pot, so make sure it is clean and in perfect shape. This means inspecting it for cracks, deformations, or checking if it fits just right back in its place.
If you find any problems, it’s best to replace it as soon as possible. Replacement rings are not expensive and they are easily available.
In time, you’ll see some discolorations on the walls of the inner and the outer pot. These may be water stains or discolorations from usage, but they can be removed (to a certain extent).
I like to use a clean washcloth sprayed with white vinegar. I give the pot a good rub on all its stainless steel parts, and it usually goes back to being shiny and nice. However, if you have more stubborn stains, you can apply some vinegar directly on the pot and let it act for a few minutes. After this, wipe the place clean with a cloth or a paper towel.
Vinegar also removes any grease and odors, while sanitizing the pot. In addition, you don’t have to rinse the pot after the vinegar treatment (the odor will dissipate in a few hours).
How to clean the edge \ cracks of the Instant Pot?
In order to clean the Instant Pot hidden spots:
- Spray\pour some water in the edge.
2. Use a paper towel and an upside down fork to clean.
Here is an image to demonstrate this method:
Bonus Cleaning Tip
As I already mentioned, the sealing ring can get smelly fast. Still, there is a way to keep it in use a bit longer by doing a vinegar steam clean.
This involves using the Instant Pot to create the steam, so you’ll need all the elements in place.
In the inner pot, put 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vinegar, and the peel from 1 lemon (I recommend adding slices and not shavings). Once this concoction is in the pot, secure the lid, position the valve in “Sealing“ and run the pot on steam for 2 minutes.
Once complete, let the pressure release naturally and remove the ring (once the lid can be opened).
Let the ring, lid, and inner pot to air dry, and then put the pot back together.
This cleanse won’t work every time, but it should help you remove some of the odors from the sealing ring.
As long as you clean the pot after every use and run a deep clean here and then, your Instant Pot will be safe and ready for use. Of course, some accessories may need replacing, but a well-maintained pressure cooker can be with you for years to come.