Rice cookers are an amazing addition to any kitchen but unfortunately even rice cookers aren’t perfect and need some extra care, especially when it comes to cleaning. Rice can be a hard food to clean off any surface, an excellent way of combating the sticky grain is to use a dishwasher.
Rice cookers as a whole appliance are not dishwasher safe due to the electrical components, though the inner bowl of the rice cooker is dishwasher safe. The inner pot can be removed, washed and replaced easily and safely for washing or replacing.
However, you’ll want to check your instruction manual of the rice cooker to make sure that your model is dishwasher safe; your rice cooker may contain aluminum or a non-stick surface that may deteriorate in the high heat of a dishwasher.
If your inner pot can be cleaned in a dishwasher, this is an effective way to ensure the pot is thoroughly sanitised which is hard to do when just washing by hand.
Depending on how much food/dirt is stuck to the inner pot after you have used it, it might be beneficial to pre-soak or pre-wash the pot before putting in the dishwasher for a final clean and sanitise.
You will also still need to clean the outer unit and heating element by hand with a damp cloth and cleaning spray.
Are Rice Cookers Dishwasher Safe?
Rice cookers like many other appliances run on electricity and so have electrical components and wires, making them unsafe to mix with water.
However there are components of a rice cooker that can be removed and cleaned separately. These components are the inner bowl in which the rice is held. The bowl is easy to remove and clean.
Rice cooker bowls are universally dish washer safe though it is always best to check the care and manufacturers instructions before doing so.
Are Rice Cookers Easy To Clean?
Rice cookers can be easy to clean if the machine is looked after, used correctly and is properly cleaned after every use.
The cleaning procedure is very simple however before you start cleaning your rice cooker, you need to make sure it is unplugged and has completely cooled down.
The level of cleaning will depend on how much food is stuck to the bottom of the inner pot or if you accidentally burnt or overcooked your rice.
If there is food stuck to the inner pot, do not use anything metal (ie. knives, metal scourers) to scrap the food off as this will remove the non-stick coating or protective layer off the inside of the pot; this will affect the functionality of your rice cooker.
Once, the cooker has cooled completely, remove the inner pot and fill with hot soapy water. Let it sit for about an hour to soak and allow any stuck dry food to soften.
While the inner pot is soaking, gently clean the outside unit, including the heating element using a damp cloth and either a good surface cleaner spray or a vinegar cleaning spray.
Again do make sure the unit is unplugged while you do this. Once clean, allow the outside unit to fully dry before storing level in an uncluttered cupboard.
With the soaking inner pot, empty the soapy water and gently remove any remaining dirt using a non-abrasive sponge, more soap and hot water. If the food/dirt does not remove easily then remove what you can before giving it another soak with hot soapy water.
Once clean, give the inner pot a final rinse with clean fresh water before drying and storing with the rest of the cooker.
As mentioned before, if you make sure you properly clean your unit after every use you will prolong the use of your cooker and also ensuring the cleaning will remain minimal.
How Often To Wash Your Rice Cooker
I’m often thanked for informing friends that you can put your rice cooker in the dishwasher and not always wash it by hand as you will need to wash your rice cooker after every use.
A dishwasher of course makes this quick and easy, and while you may be tempted to skip cleaning, given the fact all the rice cooker cooks are water and rice (for the most part), a rice cooker can suffer from mold or mildew if it’s not cleaned.
Cooking in something with mold or mildew will negatively impact your food and in some cases result in bacteria growing and therefore food poisoning.