How to Clean an Instant Pot

You already know how useful an Instant Pot is – this multi-use pressure cooker works like a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker and more, to help you prepare delicious meals quickly. While pressure cooking, it speeds up the cooking process, allowing you to prepare meals in a fraction of the time it usually takes, and as a slow cooker, well, just think of a good stew or gravy, gently cooking for hours and mixing the mouthwatering flavors together (perhaps you have used Good Housekeeping’s Instant Pot Cookbook to create some of your family’s favorite dishes).

After each use, your Instant Pot and its lid must be cleaned. to keep it looking its best and working properly. Despite how many small parts the lid has, cleaning this range is much easier and faster than you might think (almost all parts are dishwasher safe!), And the pros at the cleaning lab and Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliance Lab has put together some handy tips to help you clean your multi-use range, whether it’s an instant pot or another brand.

Before you start: Turn off and unplug the Instant Pot, then remove the inner pot. Always let it cool completely before cleaning and never immerse the base and the heating element in water or place them in the dishwasher.

What you will need:

  • Dish soap degreaser, like the star of Good Housekeeping Seal Dawn
  • Brush with soft bristles, like that of Casabella
  • Soft cloth, like Skura’s reusable microfiber wipes, or paper towels, like Bounty
  • White vinegar
    how to clean an instant pot

    How to clean your instant pot

    1. Clean the inner pot

    The inner pot is generally dishwasher safe, whether it is stainless steel or has a non-stick finish. Place it upside down in the dishwasher on the lower rack to clean it. If using a dishwasher is not an option, wash it in hot, soapy water, using a good degreasing dish detergent and a soft bristle brush to protect the finish, then rinse well and dry.

    To remove burnt food residues in the stainless steel pot, soak it in hot soapy water and give it an extra scrub with a delicate, non-scratching scouring pad. Do not use abrasive cleaners or steel wool, which can scratch and damage the finish.

    If the inside of the jar has discolored of minerals or salt in the food, to remove the bluish tint, cover the bottom of the pan with white vinegar and let stand for five minutes, then rinse thoroughly and dry.

    2. Remove and wash the parts of your cover

    Remove the parts from the outside of the lid – depending on your Instant Pot model, these may include the steam release lid (lift it up) and the steam release valve (it lifts up) also up). Some models also have a Quick Cool cover, which can be easily unclipped.

    Then remove the small parts from the inside of the lid – this could be the anti-block shield (a metal cap that covers the steam release hose) and the silicone cap that covers the float valve. Gently push the anti-lock shield towards the outer edge of the cover and lift it up, remove the small silicone cap and slide the float valve out.

    All of the small parts are dishwasher safe, but we like to use an old soft toothbrush to clean them in hot, soapy water. Rinse well and air dry.

    how to clean an instant pot

    3. Wash the cover

    While the parts are still removed, scrub the cover. If the lid is dishwasher safe according to the manufacturer, place it upright on the upper rack. But you might prefer to hand wash it (we do!) Using a soft bristle brush to get into every nook and cranny. Rinse it well to remove soap and any food particles.

    To completely empty the lid, hold it vertically over the sink and turn it like a handwheel, all around. After cleaning, store the lid upside down on the cooker base to ventilate it well and prevent odor build-up. When all parts are dry, reinstall them (don’t forget the little silicone float valve plug!).

    4. Clean the sealing ring

    Remove the silicone seal ring from the inside of the cover following the manufacturer’s instructions; hand wash it in hot soapy water or place it on the upper rack of the dishwasher to clean it. Replace the seal ring and make sure it is properly seated in the seal ring holder, flat against the cover.

    To eliminate odors from the sealing ring, We like the solution that Instant Pot suggested in its user manual: after cleaning the Instant Pot (and with all the parts properly reinstalled on the lid, including the sealing ring), add a cup of water and a cup of white vinegar inside the removable pot inside the instant pot. Close and seal the lid and start the pressure cook cycle for about five minutes. Release the pressure and, when safe, open the lid. Remove the silicone gasket from the lid, empty the vinegar mixture from the pot and rinse the lid, seal ring and inner pot in lukewarm water, then dry. Replace the sealing ring in the cover.

    GH lab tip: The seal ring is an essential part of your Instant Pot, so inspect it carefully while you dry it and replace it if it shows any cracks or other damage. Our pros like to keep two close at hand.

    5. Clean the Instant Pot condensate trap and accessories.

    If your Instant Pot has a condensation collector accessory on the back of the cooker base, empty and rinse it after each use. To clean it, it is dishwasher safe (on the upper rack), or hand wash it in hot soapy water, rinse well and let air dry.

    Wash the steamer rack and any other extra tools that came with your Instant Pot in the dishwasher or by hand in hot soapy water, then rinse them well.

    6. Clean the base and the heating element of the Instant Pot.

    Wipe down the inside of the cooker base with a soft, damp cloth. Don’t let the base get wet – it is not dishwasher safe! Use an old soft toothbrush to clean any residue from the rim and the groove the cover is in; wipe it off with a soft cloth. Let it air dry. Clean the exterior and the control panel with a soft, slightly damp cloth. Also wipe off the power cord.

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