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How to Clean Your Instant
Pot Step By Step

July 10, 2020

If you have an Instant Pot, you know what a workhorse this kitchen appliance can be. From delicious desserts to marvelous main courses and other Instant Pot recipes, this is one go-to cooking essential that makes cooking and cleanup quick and easy. While there’s little maintenance involved beyond post-meal cleanup, there are a few key parts under the lid that can make or break that all-important sealing power and your Instant Pot’s performance.

If you perform a quick post-cooking cleanup every time you use your Instant Pot, you’ll get ahead of lingering odors, residues and buildup. Washing the inner pot, sealing ring and lid and wiping down the outside is all that’s needed for peak performance. The inner stainless steel cooking pot, sealing ring, lid and steam rack are all dishwasher safe. If you use your Instant Pot regularly, give it a good cleaning at least once a month and when you detect odors or aren’t getting a good seal.

Here’s how to clean your Instant Pot and its parts to keep things working smoothly.

Stainless Steel Inner Pot and Rack

The inner pot and the steam rack are made of food-grade stainless steel and are dishwasher safe. For the most part, you can clean the inner pot just as you would clean any stainless steel pot, whether that’s in the dishwasher or by hand. If the inner pot develops surface water stains, a non-abrasive scouring cleaner made for cooking pots will bring back its shine.

You can also perform a quick cleaning of the inner pot by pouring in a cup of white vinegar, letting it soak for five minutes and then rinsing it out. Not only will the vinegar get rid of residue, it also helps remove stains. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant, cleaner and deodorizer, and it is an eco-friendly must-have for your kitchen.

Exterior and Base

Unplug your Instant Pot and let it cool down before you clean it. The cooker base is home to the electronics and the heating element, both of which are sensitive to moisture and essential to cooking. Clean the exterior of the cooker base with a damp cloth. If you find buildup, you can use a non-abrasive scrubber.

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If you need to clean the area around the lip of the cooker, use a craft foam brush with soapy water or an old toothbrush to clean the edges. If the cooker base gets wet, allow it to dry completely. If you have problems with your appliance after it gets wet, contact the Customer Care team. Never wash the exterior or base of your Instant Pot in the dishwasher or sink.

Cleaning the Instant Pot Lid

The lid on your Instant Pot is top-rack dishwasher safe. Remove the sealing ring and the anti-block shield for a more thorough lid cleaning. Verify the steam release valve and float valve are working properly and there is no food or other debris that would block them and decrease pressure. When you’re storing your freshly cleaned Instant Pot, keep the lid upside down to minimize the chance of trapping moisture that can cause odors.

Anti-Block Shield and Condenser Collector

Remove and clean the anti-block shield underneath the lid of your Instant Pot each time you use it. To remove it, use your thumb to push the side of the shield towards the lid rim and gently lift up. It may take a little effort, but the anti-block shield is designed to pop out.

Wash it by hand with warm, soapy water, then rinse and dry. To replace the anti-block shield, seat it and push down gently. You should also remove and clean the condensation collector when you clean the anti-block shield. Wash the condensation collector by hand, then rinse and let it dry before replacing it.

Clean Your Instant Pot Sealing Ring

The sealing ring is made of durable, heat-resistant silicone that provides the air-tight seal that’s critical for your Instant Pot to work properly. You can hand wash the sealing ring with warm, soapy water or run it through the dishwasher. Wait until the sealing ring is dry before replacing it in the correct position.

Another option is to steam clean the sealing ring while it’s still attached to your Instant Pot. Add one cup of water, a cup of white vinegar and one cut up lemon rind. Run the “Steam” program for two minutes, then remove the sealing ring and let it air dry.

The sealing ring is critical for maintaining the right pressure in your Instant Pot. Scrutinize it for cracking or tears after each wash. If you see any damage, you should install a new sealing ring. The manufacturer suggests using only genuine Instant Pot sealing rings, as using those from other brands may void your warranty.

Since silicone can pick up food odors and discolorations during cooking, you may want to use one sealing ring for spicy foods and another for sweet foods. An easy solution for getting rid of sealing ring odor is to soak the ring in white vinegar and let it air dry.

Removing Discoloration From Your Stainless Steel Inner Pot

Like most stainless steel pots, Instant Pot’s inner pot does not have a chemical coating and can develop bluish discoloration. Heat and oxidation can cause a range of colors from blue to a rainbow of tints. Fortunately, it’s easy to clean. A non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner works well and leaves a nice shine.

Another option is to pour white vinegar into the pot, let it sit for five minutes and rinse thoroughly. For white water stains, use a soft cloth or sponge with vinegar or lemon to gently scrub them away. Never use steel wool or other abrasive scrubbers that can damage the stainless steel.

Instant Pot Cleaning Takeaways

All parts of the Instant Pot except the cooker base and the exterior housing are dishwasher safe. This includes the stainless steel inner pot, lid, sealing ring and steam rack. The cooker base must be kept dry, and can be wiped down with a damp cloth when necessary. The anti-block shield and condenser collector should be washed after each use and reinstalled.

Follow these cleaning and maintenance tips to keep your Instant Pot looking great and working at peak efficiency for years. If you need more help around the house, whether it’s spring cleaning or kitchen scrubbing, The Maids is ready to clean.

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