How to clean an Instant Pot

How to clean an Instant Pot
(Image credit: Amazon)

Knowing how to clean an Instant Pot is going to be key if yours is an everyday fixture in your kitchen. After all, the better condition your Instant Pot stays in, the longer you can keep whipping up delicious meals in it. Day to day, as with its cooking functions, cleaning an Instant Pot is all about saving time. That means that, thankfully, the inner pot, sealing ring, lid, and steam rack are dishwasher safe.

In the long term, it’s good to give your device a deeper clean once every month to maintain both the aesthetic quality and longevity of your pot - not to mention keeping it hygienic, too! Instant Pot is a brand that's hugely popular, as seen in our guide to the best Instant Pots, so with the occasional deep clean, your pot should look as good as new for a long time.

First up, before any cleaning commences, make sure your Instant Pot is unplugged and has suitably cooled down, as the temperatures they reach can be extremely high. It’s also super important to remember that the cooker base of your Instant Pot cannot get wet during the cleaning process, as the microprocessor may become seriously damaged. Instant Pot advises using only a ‘slightly damp cloth to clean the inside of the cooker,’ always remembering that the cooker base should never be immersed in water. 

Whether you're always whipping up a stew, baking tasty treats, or using your Instant Pot as an air fryer, it's time to get cleaning.

How to clean an Instant Pot's exterior

Simply wiping down the outside of your Instant Pot with soapy water after each use keeps food residue and stains away. Or, as Instant Pots are bulky gadgets, if you’re looking to store them away, it's doubly important to make sure the exterior is clean to avoid lingering smells while in storage. Microfiber cleaning cloths are a worthwhile tool to use for this task, as they won’t mark the sleek stainless steel appearance of your pot. 

A trickier element to clean is the rim of the pot; the Instant Pot website recommends using an old toothbrush to get to these difficult areas around the edges. Alternatively, there are specialist rim cleaner brushes made of foam you could invest in for a more thorough clean, which are available to purchase in a kit with a microfiber cloth on  

cleaning materials

(Image credit: Getty)

How to clean Instant Pot inner pots

For households with one of the best dishwashers, cleaning the inner pot is as easy as putting it in it with your other dishes; another way the Instant Pot lives up to its name. For those without a dishwasher who plan on manually washing their pot, make sure to use a soft pad to rinse clean the inner surface of the stainless steel. Never use an abrasive scourer for washing your inner pot, as it may mark the steel finish irreversibly. 

To ensure its longevity, you should take steps to deep clean your inner pot once every month or so. Instant Pot recommends placing one cup of white vinegar in the bottom of the inner pot to rest for five minutes before giving it a further rinse. This will leave the surface looking nice and shiny and will eradicate any ‘rainbow stains’, a persistent discoloration issue for Instant Pot users. Tougher stains, those caused by hard water, can alternatively be eradicated by scrubbing with a damp sponge soaked in vinegar or lemon juice. 

dishwasher with dishes

(Image credit: Getty)

How to clean an Instant Pot lid and sealing ring 

After everyday use, it’s fine to place the Instant Pot's lid in the top rack of your dishwasher or wash it in soapy water by hand. Remember to remove the sealing ring and anti-block shield before washing to ensure the lid gets a thorough clean. The anti-block shield especially can become splatted with food during the cooking process and, therefore, should be cleaned regularly, too, with warm, soapy water.

The sealing ring is a very crucial element of the Instant Pot as it affects the pressure cooking element of the machine's operation. Take care when washing it, inspect it carefully before use, and replace any broken sealing rings before they cause any serious damage to your pot. Replacement rings are available to buy online and are usually needed after about a year of use. The Instant Pot website recommends repurchasing the branded rings, as any other replacements will void your 12-month warranty.

As with the lid, the Instant Pot sealing ring can also be placed in the dishwasher or carefully manually washed. A persistent issue for Instant Pot users is the smells from cooking sticking to the sealing ring. To avoid this, the Instant Pot website advises allowing the ring to dry completely before inserting it back into the pot. A more extensive step would be investing in separate rings for sweet and savory foods, as this can prevent cross-contamination of smells. During a deep clean, some users have found soaking the rings in white wine vinegar can also prevent lingering odors.

How to clean Instant Pot attachments 

One of the accessories included with the Instant Pot is the steam rack; this component is also dishwasher safe and can go in alongside the inner pot and lid. It’s good to check the condensation collector attached to the machine regularly, too; it can simply be hand-washed and returned once dry. 

Molly Cleary

Molly is the Staff Writer for the Home Section at Top Ten Reviews, joining the team after finishing college. When she's not writing she enjoys baking and embroidery, as well as getting stuck into a good book. She now enjoys writing about kitchen appliances, gardening tools, and will even dip her toe into writing about fridges and ovens.