By Melanie Fincher

Cleaning tips for the gadget that does everything but clean.

If you've jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon as of late, you've probably been pressure cooking up a storm. For all the work it does for us, the Instant Pot deserves a little TLC, don't you think? Whether you're an avid Instant Pot user or you're hoping to find one under the tree this holiday season — use this guide to care for and clean your Instant Pot, remove incessant odors (especially those from the silicone sealing ring under the lid), and make sure you continue to get the proper seal during cooking.

Photo by Getty Images

Related: A Beginner's Guide to Instant Pot Cooking

After Each Use

Fortunately the inner pot, sealing ring, lid, and steam rack of the Instant Pot are all dishwasher safe, making daily cleaning a breeze. After each use, clean the following components to prevent funky odors and keep your Instant Pot looking new:

Inner Pot: The stainless steel inner pot is dishwasher safe, so simply toss it in with the rest of your dishes or hand wash after each use.

Cooker Base: Use a damp cloth to wipe down the interior and exterior of the cooker. Avoid spraying water directly on the cooker, as it's home to the heating element and could damage the unit. Never place the cooker in the dishwasher! If there is food residue around the lip of the cooker, use a toothbrush, small scrub brush, or damp dish cloth to remove the residue.

Sealing Ring: To prevent the silicone ring from absorbing food odors, remove it from the inside of the lid and wash it on the top rack of the dishwasher or hand wash.

Lid: Hand wash the lid with soapy water or place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Be sure to remove the sealing ring and wash the two separately on the top rack.

How to Deep Clean an Instant Pot

While daily maintenance is important to maintaining your Instant Pot, a well-loved Instant Pot will begin to show signs of use after a while. If you use your Instant Pot frequently, aim to deep clean it at least once a month.

Here's What You'll Need:

  • Damp dish cloth
  • Small scrub brush or paint brush
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Paper Towel

Instructions:

  1. Start by unplugging your Instant Pot. Use a damp dish cloth to wipe down the exterior and interior of the cooker base.
  2. Use a small scrub brush or paint brush to remove any dried food residue from the nooks and crannies at the base of the interior and the lip around the cooker.
  3. Wash the lid with warm, soapy water.
  4. Remove the quick release handle and the steam valve shield from the lid. Hand wash them with warm soapy water, and be sure to remove any food residue that could obstruct the steam valve.
  5. Remove the condensation cup and hand wash and dry.
  6. Remove the sealing ring from the lid and wash it on the top rack of the dishwasher. You can also use the steaming method below to deodorize it.
  7. Clean the inner pot and steam rack in the dishwasher or hand wash with soapy water. To remove any hard water stains or discoloration on the bottom of the pot, cover the bottom with white vinegar and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Rub in the vinegar with a sponge, remove, and rinse. Don't use steel wool or any other harsh abrasives on the inner pot, as they will scratch the surface.
  8. Reassemble the pot—don't forget the quick release handle and the steam valve shield!

How to Deodorize the Instant Pot Lid Sealing Ring

If you're an avid Instant Pot user, you know that that the silicone sealing ring on the interior of the lid can start to take on the smell of whatever you last cooked (or some combination of the last dozen Instant Pot meals you cooked). This method uses vinegar and citrus to steam away odors trapped in the sealing ring.

Here's What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Lemon peels

Instructions:

  1. Fill the inner pot with water, vinegar, and lemon peels.
  2. Run the steam setting for 2 minutes, and allow the pressure to release naturally.
  3. Once the lid unlocks, remove the sealing ring and allow it to air dry.
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