Deep-clean and deodorize your Instant Pot to keep it running like new

Vidya Rao
December 19, 2019
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If you have an Instant Pot, you know how quickly it can become indispensable. It's a multipurpose savior of the home-cooked weeknight meal (try our favorite easy Instant Pot dinner recipes). But for all the convenience, it's easy to forget that the Instant Pot needs a little TLC to keep it clean and running smoothly—sans the smells of last night's chili.

You likely already do a basic cleaning of the pot after every use, but a deeper cleaning is called for after several uses. For any cleaning, make sure to unplug the Instant Pot and thoroughly dry all parts before reassembling and storing.

How to Clean the Inner Pot

The inner pot is what holds the food, so you'll want to clean this after every use. If food particles get dry and hard in there, give it a good soak before washing. (Don't use steel wool or other abrasive scrubbers, which will scratch it.) For regular cleaning, you can either wash it with a sponge and warm, soapy water, or (score!) put it in the dishwasher. If you notice discoloration in the pot (which can happen over time), cover the bottom of the pot with white vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes. Pour it out and rinse.

How to Clean the Instant Pot Lid

Typically, you can just hand-wash the lid with soapy water and then wipe it down with a cloth. You won't need to remove any parts to do this. But after cooking something particularly pungent, you'll want to do a deeper clean. Gently pull off the steam-release handle from the top of the lid. Flip the lid over and remove the anti-block shield. Then, gently pull the silicone cap and the screw it's holding in place. Remove the sealing ring. Put the lid on the top rack of the dishwasher, and wipe down all of these pieces and clean out any food particles that may have gotten lodged in them. Reassemble once everything is dry.

Pictured recipe: Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon

How to Clean the Sealing Ring

As mentioned above, you can just wipe down the sealing ring, but because it can trap odors, you should wash it in soapy water often, or put it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Inspect it for any cracks before putting it back into the lid. If there are cracks, order replacement sealing rings. Note: The manufacturer recommends having two sealing rings, and using one for savory dishes and one for sweet dishes.

How to Clean the Cooker Base

The cooker base is what houses the electrical unit. Do NOT put this in the dishwasher. You typically will just need to clean this every several uses or if there is some food spillage. Wipe the inside and outside of the pot with a slightly damp cloth, and then wipe with a dry cloth to make sure there's no remaining moisture. Use a brush or cotton swabs to clean out any food particles from the crevices in the lip of the cooker base.

Pictured Recipe: Instant Pot Curry

How to Remove Odors from the Instant Pot

Dishes like chilies and curries can leave behind a strong scent, which is the last thing you want wafting into your Instant Pot brownies. In addition to doing a deep clean, knock out odors by filling the pot with 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar and some lemon peel. Set the unit to Steam for 2 minutes and then let it vent naturally.

When storing, leave the lid upside down, letting it rest on the pot. This will prevent any odors from getting locked in.

So fresh and so clean, your Instant Pot is ready for its next adventure!