Instant Pot cleaning: The ultimate guide to keeping every part in great shape

Has the Instant Pot taken over your kitchen, yet? This handy little cooking gadget has caused quite the sensation with its speedy cooking times and simple recipes! The Instant Pot has apparently even helped people lose weight and save money!

However, with the Instant Pot doing such heavy lifting in the kitchen, it’s important to keep it clean. This is not just for sanitary reasons, but also to keep it in top working condition.

So, what’s the best way to clean your Instant Pot? Let’s break it down by the device’s individual parts!

instant pot
Flickr | Alachua County

Cleaning The Stainless Steel Pot

First, let’s focus on the inner, stainless steel pot. Obviously, that needs to be washed after every use. There are two ways you can do this:

  1. Hand washing in the sink with warm water and dish soap. Do not use steel wool or any sort of abrasive sponge to scrub your pot as you will scratch the pot’s surface, which can affect its performance.
  2. Rinsing out the pot and putting in the dishwasher. Yes, that part of your Instant Pot is dishwasher safe! Woo hoo!

Instant Pot

Other dishwasher-safe Instant Pot parts include the sealing ring and the steam rack.

The pot’s base, heating element and lid are NOT dishwasher safe. In fact, these should never get wet, with the exception of minor food spills. The makers of Instant Pot recommend to contact its customer care team if your pot’s base and heating element get wet.

After a while, even with proper daily care, your steel pot may show some discoloration. Food can get stuck on the bottom, water stains begin to show, etc. This is normal. However, you need to keep the pot clean for the appliance to work correctly!

Fortunately, there are some simple solutions on how to get that beautiful shine back!

Baking Soda And Vinegar

The first method requires two simple ingredients you probably already have in the kitchen: white vinegar and baking soda. YouTuber Follow Your Echo shows how easy it is to remove the buildup from the bottom of the Instant Pot. It’s like a basic chemistry lesson with a practical application!

Bar Keepers Friend

Even with deep cleaning, that stunning steel shine will fade over time. Get it back with a little shake of Bar Keepers Friend, a cleansing powder-polish that works like magic! I’ve used it in my steel sink, teapot and more!

Instant Pot user and YouTuber Pressure Luck shows off the shine that this stuff can restore.

Cleaning The Sealing Ring

The Instant Pot’s sealing ring is the key part to keeping the Instant Pot’s pressure, which is what allows it to cook so quickly. Keeping the ring clean ensures it won’t fail in the middle of your meal prep.

While it is dishwasher safe, the sealing ring can also be hand-washed with soap and warm water.

There are two important things to remember when washing the sealing ring:

  1. Allow the sealing ring to dry completely before putting it back into the Instant Pot lid. The silicone-made ring may not be able to properly hold a seal if it’s not completely dry.
  2. Remember to securely place the ring back into the lid after you wash it. I’ve forgotten to do that and then wondered why my pot wouldn’t hold pressure. Whoops!

One of the downsides of the sealing ring is how it can absorb odors after extended use. This can affect the taste of foods prepared in the Instant Pot.

Instapottin’ with Poonam has an easy way to deodorize the sealing ring. Simply mix one cup of water with one cup of white vinegar into a large bowl. Put in the sealing ring and let it sit overnight. Then, the next morning, wash the ring with soap and water. Once it’s rinsed, allow the sealing ring to air dry.

Many Instant Pot users—and even the manufacturer—recommend having two different sealing rings: one for sweet dishes and one for savory dishes.

Cleaning The Lid

To give your Instant Pot’s lid a decent cleaning, you need to disassemble it. Don’t worry. It’s not that scary! Lauren Vandever shows you how to do it in less than five minutes via YouTube. Yep,  it’s that simple!

Cleaning The Condensation Container

That little condenser lid needs some T.L.C., too! It may be a little plastic cup on the side, but it collects residue and needs a gentle hand wash with soap and water occasionally. Make sure to allow it to completely dry before putting it back on the Instant Pot.

What If You Spill Food On The Heater?

This is the worst-case scenario for any Instant Pot user! Whether you drop your steel inner pot or accidentally forget the inner pot, getting food or liquid inside your cooker can lead to major problems.

The first thing to do is unplug the device before cleaning it. Then, do your best to get the spilled water or food out as quickly as possible. The goal is to get it clean and dry immediately.

Pressure Cooking Today

Your Instant Pot must be clean and dry before being plugged in and used, otherwise it could short out, electrically. This could permanently damage your precious Instant Pot.

I recommend avoiding trying to take apart the device yourself. Contact your pot’s manufacturer to get advice on what to do if it’s still under warranty.

Happy cooking and cleaning!