If you are an Instant Pot lover and use one often, you know that cleaning it can seem like a hassle. And you may be wondering if you actually have to clean your Instant Pot between each and every use.
You don’t have to fully clean your Instant Pot after every use, though all pieces of the Instant Pot that touch food should be cleaned every time. Each food you cook in the pot is different from the last, and you don’t want your current food to taste like the last one you cooked.
Other parts of the pot that don’t touch the food, like the condensation cup, don’t need cleaning every time you use the pot for cooking. Multiple parts of the Instant Pot are dishwasher safe, making your cleanup a bit easier.
Keep reading, as I’ll cover more about why you have to clean your Instant Pot after every use and the dangers of not doing so. I’ll also share more tips on how to make it easier to clean your Instant Pot.
Do I Have To Clean My Instant Pot After Every Use?
It would be best to clean the Instant Pot after every use. When you don’t clean an Instant Pot after each use, you invite bacteria to grow and bugs to have an easy meal. Because the environment of an Instant pot is moist and humid, it’s an ideal breeding ground for mold to grow.
You can place the Instant Pot lid, inner pot, sealing ring, and metal trivet in the dishwasher for a safe, effective way to remove the food and grease. However, the metal base of the Instant Pot can’t go in the dishwasher.
In case you’re one to go the extra mile, know that there’s no need to sanitize your Instant Pot, yet you can. There’s even a function encoded in for this. Furthermore, you can use your pot to sanitize other things! The Instant Pot works the same way that hospital autoclaves work to disinfect and sterilize operating instruments and baby bottles.
The Instant Pot instantly gains more value and versatility when you can sanitize baby bottles, nipples, breast pump shields, and other essential baby items. All you need is a steamer insert, two cups of water, and 15 minutes with the Instant Pot set to “steam.”
What Parts of My Instant Pot Should I Clean?
Parts of your Instant Pot you should clean are parts that touch the food and anywhere steam has passed through. When you use an Instant Pot regularly, you should plan to clean the entire pot and all of its parts once a month.
Here are the parts of the Instant Pot to clean after each use:
- Instant pot inner pot: Once you finish cooking the food and are ready to clean your Instant Pot, remove the inner pot for cleaning.
- Rim and cooking base: Sometimes, the food you cook will spill over the pot onto the rim. Foods can also drip down to the cooking base.
- Steam rack: The steam rack sits in the Instant Pot for steamed food. Clean the rack since food can spill over.
- Instant pot lid: The lid to your Instant Pot is a critical part of the cooking function.
- Rubber gasket: The rubber gasket should be cleaned thoroughly after each use. This gasket will collect and hold the smells of the food, making your next cooking session unpleasant when the gasket is dirty.
- Condensation collector: This piece snaps to the side of your Instant Pot to collect water and other condensation.
Dangers of Not Cleaning My Instant Pot
While an Instant Pot is an excellent timesaver for cooking, not cleaning the pot thoroughly and correctly will result in spoiled food and possibly a ruined pot. Mold spores will begin to grow on the Instant Pot where the bits of food are left. The problem with cleaning the Instant Pot after the mold has started to grow is that microscopic spores will remain in the cracks and crevices.
- Ruined Instant Pot: The last thing you want to do is ruin your Instant Pot. Not cleaning the pot can result in the a blockage of the steam release and your Instant Pot will not go to full pressure.
- Ruined food: If your Instant Pot has not been cleaned entirely since the last use, the food you prepare might not cook correctly or completely. If the seal is not clean, the pot won’t pressurize and the food can be undercooked.
- Pot explosion: Since the Instant Pot cooks with high temperatures and intense pressure, it needs a place to release the steam. If the steam release is clogged or has another problem, the possibility that the Instant Pot can catch fire or explode is high.
Here is a video on how to ensure you clean the cracks and crevices of your Instant Pot:
How To Clean My Instant Pot
One of the most important things to remember when cleaning the Instant Pot is to use warm, soapy water and gentle abrasion. Using steel wool or other abrasive methods to clean the Instant Pot can damage the parts, which causes your pot not to work correctly.
- Begin your Instant Pot cleaning with the inner pot. This pot is dishwasher safe, and you can put it in the dishwasher on pots and pans setting for easy cleanup. If you don’t want to put the inner pot in the dishwasher, wash it with warm, soapy water and a dishcloth and dry.
- Clean the Instant Pot lid. You can also place the lid in the dishwasher or you can hand-wash with a soft-bristle brush and warm, soapy water. Rinse and dry.
- Clean the steam release cover and steam release valve in the same way.
- Clean the silicone ring in hot, soapy water.
- Remove and clean the anti-block shield.
- Remove and clean the condensation collector. You can hand wash this piece or place it in the dishwasher.
- Clean the Instant Pot base with a warm, damp cloth. Don’t forget that the base has the heating element and can’t be immersed in water. Remove food residue from the rim with a toothbrush and wipe the power cord.
A special note about the sealing ring: This silicone ring will absorb the odors of the food you are cooking, which will smell badly the next time you cook with your Instant Pot. To remedy this smell, place one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water in the fully assembled Instant Pot.
After closing and sealing the lid, run the Instant Pot cycle for fifteen minutes. This will sanitize and disinfect the silicone ring to remove any residual smell.