You've Been Cleaning Your Instant Pot Wrong This Whole Time

Sure, the Instant Pot is the new Wonder Appliance that can do just about anything ... anything, that is, except keep itself clean. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your Instant Pot, actually, involves failing to clean all its little parts and pieces ... or, horrors! Not cleaning it at all.

In order to keep your Instant Pot in proper working order, it's best to do as the manufacturer recommends, which means cleaning each component separately on a regular basis. The stainless steel inner pot, the sealing ring, the steam rack, and the lid can all go in the dishwasher, but you should never, ever submerge the cooker base as it contains the heating element and this can be damaged by water.

The proper way to clean your Instant Pot

To clean your Instant Pot, wipe the outside of the cooker with a damp cloth, and wipe it down inside as well, being sure that the heating element stays dry. Scrub around the lip with an old toothbrush, if need be. 

Hand wash the lid, the inner pot, and the lid — before cleaning the lid, though, it's best to remove the sealing ring and anti-block shield. The shield is not dishwasher-safe, so it should always be hand-washed in warm, soapy water. The condensation collector is another non-dishwasher safe part. Although it doesn't need to be cleaned every time you use the Instant Pot, you should remove it every so often and give it a gentle hand washing.

Getting rid of stains and odors in your Instant Pot

If you're concerned about any discoloration on the stainless steel pot, non-abrasive cleansers, white vinegar, and lemon juice are all recommended, but you should avoid using steel wool or anything else that might scratch the surface.

The stinkiest part of your Instant Pot is probably going to be the sealing ring, since silicone does tend to pick up food odors. You may be able to combat these by soaking the ring in vinegar, or you may, as Instant Pot's manufacturer recommends, replace it every six months or so. You could even consider keeping two rings on hand — one for cooking desserts in your Instant Pot, and the other for savory dishes. 

But then again, maybe you really don't need two rings. Dinner in an Instant author Melissa Clark confessed (via Bon Appetit) that she's cooked chocolate pudding in an Instant Pot whose ring reeked of garlic, and the scent did not transfer to the pudding. One less thing to worry about!