Easy Cleaning Hacks – How To Clean Your Instant Pot

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Learn all the hacks to clean and care for your Instant Pot to ensure that it works smoothly and gives you consistent results every time. 

Cleaning Instant Pot with a blue cloth

Are you obsessed with your Instant Pot like I am? Almost every meal that I cook comes out of the Instant Pot. I like this one-pot wonder for a variety of reasons but mainly because my stovetop remains grease-free and also because I don’t have a ton of utensils to clean. 

To be honest, when I first started cooking with Instant Pot, I thought I only had to clean the inner pot. That thought process quickly changed when I realized that the yogurt I made was smelling like chicken curry. Ugh!

That’s why cleaning the Instant Pot after every use is necessary. It doesn’t have to be deep cleaned (you can do that weekly) but rinsing and wiping down after every use is recommended.

This Instant Pot cleaning guide will include the following topics – 

  1. What to wash after each use
  2. How to deep clean the Instant Pot.

We will also cover – how to get rid of funky smells from the sealing ring and how to clean after burning the inner pot.

Note: If you are not familiar with all the parts in an Instant Pot, read this post first – How to use your Instant Pot

How to clean an Instant Pot Pressure cooker after each use 

Let’s split this into 4 easy steps 

  1. Cleaning the inner pot
  2. Cleaning the lid
  3. Wiping down the exterior pot
  4. Cleaning the accessories

A few things to keep in mind while cleaning the Instant Pot

  1. Unplug the Instant Pot before you begin cleaning. 
  2. Avoid using steel wool or abrasive materials to clean the parts of the Instant Pot as they may scratch the surfaces.

Cleaning the inner pot

I recommend cleaning the inner pot after every use. This stainless steel, food-grade, pot cleans up many ways. If you plan to use the Instant Pot the next day, I suggest washing it with soap and water. This simple method works most of the time, with the exception of burning the inner pot, more on that later.

Cleaning Inner Pot with soap and water

If you run your dishwasher daily, or enough time between uses exists, the inner pot can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher. Simply place the inner pot in the bottom rack of the dishwasher and run the load. 

Cleaning the lid

While you may consider the lid of the Instant Pot to be relatively clean after each use, since it condenses and covers in steam and splatters sometimes, you should still rinse it with soap and water after each use. To clean the lid:

  1. Rinse the lid, steam valve, and anti-block shield with soap and water.
  2. Remove the sealing ring and wash using soap and water. If your sealing ring has taken on the flavors of your food see tips below for deeper cleaning of the ring.
  3. Next, clean the float valve. Begin by removing the silicone cap located on the inner side of the lid. The float valve will fall off when you remove this so be sure to have your hand under the lid when you remove the cap. Wash it with soap and water. Use the inner pot as a rinsing bowl so that you don’t lose the steam valve in the drain. 
  4. Once the valve and silicone are cleaned, place them back in the hole, valve first and then the ring to hold it in place.
  5. Next, remove the anti-block shield, wipe it down and clean under the valve cap space. Pop the anti-block shield back on and return the sealing ring onto the lid. 

The lid is also dishwasher safe. To wash the lid in the dishwasher simply remove the anti-block seal and the sealing ring. Place the lid on the top rack of the dishwasher and run the load. 

When your lid is clean, store the lid upside down on top of your Instant Pot to prevent smells from forming or trapping inside of the pot. 

Wiping down the exterior pot

The exterior pot should never be immersed in water. Instead, wipe the housing unit with a damp washcloth. You will want to avoid sprays and liquids so they do not impact the housing unit’s ability to operate. 

Cleaning Instant Pot exterior

Cleaning the accessories

The accessories are as important as the unit to clean and maintain. The condensation collector should be cleaned after each use. Because it is located in the back of your Instant Pot, you might neglect this accessory, don’t.

Cleaning Instant Pot Condensation Collector

You can clean it with soap and water and allow it to dry completely before putting it back in place. 

The steam rack, or trivet, used to hold steamer baskets, bowls, and more can be cleaned with soap and water. This is also dishwasher safe and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. 

How to deep clean the Instant Pot 

When you have the time a deep clean of the Instant Pot makes all the difference! To deep clean, the Instant Pot, begin by taking the inner pot out of the base.

  1. Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the outside of the pressure cooker. Remember to keep the control panel away from liquids such as sprays that could damage their functions.
  2. Use the same cloth to wipe the inside and the base of the Instant Pot.
  3. The next part you will want to clean is the area where the pot attaches to the base. Shove the cloth into the groove around the ring of the pot. Gently turn the pot, pushing the cloth around the edge to collect any food or wipe down any spills that may have collected there. Use a Q tip/earbud to clean hard to reach areas.

Deep cleaning the inner pot

Next, clean the inner pot by buffing off smudges on the inside and outside using a microfiber cloth. If you notice discoloration or a rainbow appearance, follow the steps below. 

How to remove blueish/rainbow Stains on the inner pot

Stainless steel tends to discolor over time. This takes the appearance of a blueish/rainbow discoloration. If your inner pot appears blueish it cleans off two simple ways, with vinegar or Bar Keepers Friend.

Clean the inner pot with vinegar

  1. Pour about 1/4th cup vinegar to cover the base of the pot.
  2. Allow the vinegar to sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Discard the vinegar and washing the pot out with soap and water.

This restores the inner pot to brand new. Additionally, this method works on other stainless steel cookware. 

Cleaning Inner Pot with vinegar

Clean the inner pot with Bar Keepers Friend

Now, if you prefer Bar Keepers Friend for stainless steel cleaning follow these simple steps.

  1. Rinse the inner pot to wet it. 
  2. Add a small amount of Bar Keepers on the sponge and scrub it in the inner pot. Leave it on for a minute.
  3. Wash the bowl using hot water and soap. 
Clean Instant Pot with barkeepers

Your Instant Pot is now good as new and ready for the next recipe!

Deep cleaning the lid/sealing ring 

You have to clean the parts of the lid after each use as mentioned above. If food catches in your float valve, your pressure cooker will not work properly. So if you notice your Instant Pot not working, check the float valve. 

How do you get the smell out of a pressure cooker sealing ring?

While most parts of the Instant Pot clean simply with soap and water, the sealing ring tends to need additional care to keep clean. The porous material of the ring often traps the smells of the previous meal cooked in the pressure cooker. The ring should last anywhere from 18 months to 24 months but the makers recommend replacing it every 6-12 months.

Tips

  1. It makes sense to have two-pack of sealing rings, one for savory and one for sweet. Here’s the pack I have. 
  2. Also, you can store the lid upside down so that the sealing ring can air out. 

In the meantime, you can keep the ring fresh and odor-free in a few different ways. 

Dishwasher

Place the sealing ring in the top rack of your dishwasher to regularly clean the ring. Allow the ring to dry entirely before replacing it on the lid.

Deodorizing the ring

While the dishwasher should prevent food odors from staying trapped in the ring, you can also use this method to deodorize the ring.

  1. Add 2 cups of water and along with half of a lime in the inner pot. I normally throw in leftover squeezed lemon rinds in there. 
  2. Close the lid and run the steam program for 2 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. 
  3. Then, remove the lid, take the sealing ring out, and allow to air dry.
Deep-cleaning-sealing-ring

How to clean burnt off Instant Pot

The final cleaning hack helps when your inner pot scorches. Because your pressure cooker cooks food with the lid tightly shut, you are not easily able to stir the food cooking inside. This results in food burning at the bottom of the inner pot more often than you’d expect. To clean the inner pot after food burns to the bottom, 

  1. Stir 4 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of baking soda in the base of the inner pot.
  2. Secure the lid and pressure cook for 5 minutes. 
  3. Let the pressure release naturally. 
  4. Remove the inner pot and wash it with soap and water. 

These cleaning hacks can keep every part of your Instant Pot fresh and clean! 

Found this post helpful? Please leave me a comment below to let me know. 

Here are some more articles related to Instant Pot that will help you master pressure cooking – 

  1. Instant Pot Quick Start Guide – This post will guide you through the Instant Pot setup and teach you how to make the most of your Instant Pot. 
  2. Things you should know before using your Instant Pot  – This post is filled with tips that’ll help you make the most of your Instant Pot.
  3. How to do a water test in the Instant Pot– A video tutorial that’ll guide you through the initial test run of your Instant Pot.
  4. Instant Pot cooking times – No more guessing! Get these helpful Instant Pot cheat sheets for cooking times for vegetables, pulses, rice, and grains, along with poultry and seafood. 
  5. Instant Pot Accessories – The 10 most recommended accessories for Instant Pot. A word of advice – don’t rush to get them all; buy as needed. 
  6. Instant Pot Cookbooks – Here’s a collection of my most recommended cookbooks for all kinds of diet and cooks of all levels. 

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for this, Anu! I had NO idea I was supposed to be doing all these things. This was so helpful and my IP looks gorgeous, haha!

  2. Hello, your recipes are so easy to follow and comes out perfect.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Thanks
    Falguni

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