From how to remove odors to learning how to deep clean it, this guide will tell you how to clean the Instant Pot so it lasts the longest.
Learning how to clean and care for your Instant Pot is one of the most important things you need to know when you set it up for the first time. Check out my beginner's guide to the Instant Pot for even more helpful how-to's. You'll learn how to do the water test and the best Instant Pot accessories, and even more!
In this cleaning guide, I'll share my best tips for how to care for your Instant Pot every day, how to get rid of stinky odors, and how to deep clean your cooker.
How To Clean The Instant Pot Daily
The very first thing you need to know when you cook in the Instant Pot is how to clean it. It's very important that you take care of your cooker properly. This will help it last longer and work efficiently every single time.
Remember, before you even begin cleaning it, always unplug it and let it cool down completely.
Use Your Dishwasher
The main stainless steel pot is dishwasher-safe. Depending on the power of your dishwasher, you might have to scrub some of the stuck-on bits off the pot first. It's safe to put it on the bottom rack. You can also clean the stainless steel pot by hand using a non-abrasive cleaner. Remember to always dry the pot completely before retiring it back to the Instant Pot housing.
Here is how I wash my Instant Pot, following the photos below. First, take out the inner pot (photo 1) then add some soap to a sponge (photo 2). Lightly scrub out the pot (photos 3 and 4).
The lid is also dishwasher safe. You should only put it on the top rack. Before you place it in the dishwasher, remove the sealing ring and the anti-block shield. I prefer to wash the lid by hand, but the dishwasher can save you some time.
The stainless steel steam rack is also dishwasher-safe. Wipe down any food particles that are stuck to it and place it in the dishwasher.
The sealing ring is made of silicone, so it is safe to place in the top rack of the dishwasher. But I would recommend that you wash it by hand.
Wash Instant Pot Parts By Hand
Whether you put it in the dishwasher or wash it by hand, you need to wash the lid after every use.
You should also hand wash the sealing ring after every use too. Just use some soap and water and remove any stains or food bits from the sealing ring. Dry it off completely before putting it back on the lid.
The photos below show each step of washing the lid - from removing and washing the sealing ring (photos 1 and 2) to rinsing and drying it (photos 3 and 4).
Another part that you need to hand clean after every use is the top of the Instant Pot. Take a rag or a small brush and clean any food particles on the outside where the lid sits.
Never put the cooker base in the dishwasher. Use a washcloth and soap and water to wipe down any spots or places where food might have dripped. Always dry the cooker completely after you wash it.
Finally, don't forget to clean the condensation collector cup if there are any liquids in it.
Daily Instant Pot Cleaning Tips
Here are a few things I've learned that will help you maintain your Instant Pot and keep it running like new.
Remember to clean the anti-block shield underneath the lid especially when you cook starchy foods such as rice or pasta and do a quick release. Clean it, especially if you cooked food that splattered. To remove it, use your thumb to push the side of the anti-block shield toward the lid rim and then lift up. It might take a little work, but it will pop off.
How To Deep Clean The Instant Pot
You should deep clean the Instant Pot every 3-4 weeks. Here's how to deep clean your cooker. Pay extra close attention to any stains or small areas where food or grease might have collected.
Clean The Housing Unit
Use a damp cloth with a little bit of soap on it to wipe down the entire outside of the housing unit. To prevent water spots, make sure you dry it completely after you are finished.
It's very important that you keep the Instant Pot unplugged the entire time you are cleaning it.
Use A Small Brush To Clean Crevices
Use an unused toothbrush or some other small brush to clean out the lip around the top of the housing unit, the bottom of the unit, and any other hard-to-reach places on your Instant Pot. This is a very common source of odors, so try to keep these areas as clean as possible.
Clean The Sealing Ring
Handwash the sealing ring after every single use. Use a sponge and soapy water to wash inside the folds of the ring.
Over a period of time, even with regular washing, the sealing ring may discolor and also retain some of the food smells. Although it is still safe to use, you may want to consider getting an additional colored sealing ring for non-spicy foods, desserts, yogurt, etc.
The sealing ring is very important. If it wears out or is not installed properly, it won't seal the pressure cooker correctly and will not build the pressure as expected. You will also notice steam escaping from the sides of the lid if the sealing ring is missing, not pushed in all the way through, or if it has stretched and become loose.
Replacing The Sealing Ring
Replace the ring immediately if you notice any tears in it or if it is too stretched to fit snugly in the lid. It's a good idea to replace the ring every 6-12 months, depending on how often you use the pressure cooker.
One way to prevent the lid from smelling bad is to place it upside down on the pot until it has dried completely.
Clean The Anti-Block Shield
Even if you clean the lid after every use, it's still a good idea to wash the anti-block shield itself about once a month.
If you are having trouble removing it, use a paper towel to get a grip and then twist while gently pulling upwards.
Wash it with warm, soapy water and dry it completely before putting it back on the clean lid.
Clean The Float Valve
To clean the float valve (stainless settlements pin) carefully remove the white silicone button/cover from the inside of the lid and then remove the stainless steel pin. Rinse and dry both pieces. You can also gently blow air through the float valve to remove any food particles or moisture. Then secure both pieces back inside the lid.
Clean The Pressure Release Valve
It's also a good idea to clean the pressure release valve once a month. Sometimes this collects grease or even dust.
To remove it, just pull straight up. Wash it with soapy water, dry it, and replace it.
Wash The Condensation Collector
The condensation collector is dishwasher-safe. Just place it in the dishwasher and make sure it is completely dry before you put it back.
How To Remove Bluish Marks or White Coating From The Stainless Steel Inner Pot
It is perfectly normal for the stainless steel pot to form a bluish or rainbow discoloration after lots of use. This happens when minerals or salt in the food and water cause discoloration on the steel. If you live in an area with hard water, the bottom of the pot may build a thin white residue.
To remove it, use a non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner. It will remove the marks and will help retain the original brightness of the pot too. My favorite is Barkeeper's Friend. Sprinkle the powder or spread the liquid inside the pot, allow it to sit for 5 minutes and then gently scrub the pot with a sponge. Rinse and dry the pot.
The second option is to use vinegar. Pour 1 cup white vinegar in the inner pot to completely cover the bottom. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, dump out the vinegar and rinse it - the discoloration will be gone!
The third option is to add ¼ cup of vinegar, 1 cup of water to the inner pot and steam for 2 minutes. Follow with quick release, rinse the inner pot with soap and water and you will have a shining inner pot.
Do Not Use Steel Wool
Avoid using steel wool on your stainless steel inner pot. It will scratch it and leave the marks permanently on the pot.
It's better to use vinegar or baking soda or some other non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner for the pot.
You can also purchase a non-stick ceramic inner pot that makes clean-up a breeze.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions people often ask about taking care of their Instant Pot.
The best way to make your sealing rink not stink is to deodorize it with vinegar steam. Fill the Instant Pot with 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vinegar, and a few lemon peels. Run the Instant Pot on the "Steam" setting for 2 minutes and let the pressure release naturally. After it unlocks, remove the sealing ring and let it air dry.
The best way to remove grease on the lid is with a bit of dish soap and a sponge. After you wash it off, rinse it and dry it completely.
Yes, lots of people like to make a paste out of baking soda and clean the inner pot with it. This helps to keep it shiny. To do this, make sure the inner pot is clean first (no grease or food in it). Then, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the pot. Use a damp sponge to begin scrubbing with the baking soda. If there isn't enough water in your sponge to create a paste, add about a tablespoon or so of water.
Then, rinse it out and dry it.
How To Clean The Instant Pot- Final Thoughts
If you effectively clean your Instant Pot every time you use it, it will stink less and last longer. This is a fantastic piece of equipment and it will last a very long time (and make lots of delicious meals) if you take special care to deep clean it once a month as well.