Have you been using the Instant Pot for some time now? After a few days of using the instant pot, many new users start to think:

  • “Why does my food smell like what I cooked last night?”
  • “How to get rid of the Sealing Ring Odor?”
  • “How to clean the discolored Stainless Steel Liner?”
  • “How do you clean the rim?”

You must be wondering why I have to take so much effort to clean the instant pot. But hey, we always want to take care of the things we love. And when instant pot is making our lives easier by cooking delicious food quickly, let’s show it some love by keeping it clean.

How To Clean Instant Pot
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Here are the cleaning tips we can share after using the Instant Pot for a long time now.

If you have not already purchased an instant pot, check out this buying guide with recommendations.

Cleaning Instant Pot Stainless Steel Liner

Many of us got the instant pot as it had the stainless steel liner, which is wonderful and dishwasher safe. You can also wash it by hand with warm, soapy water.

After some use, you might start to see bluish cloudy stains (also called “rainbow” discoloration) at the bottom of the pot. Instant Pot website says that these can be caused due to minerals and salts in the food being cooked. But worry no more. These can be easily removed.

White Vinegar – Just drop some vinegar and rub with a cleaning sponge. It works great for minor discoloration.

Barkeeper’s Friend – This is my go-to method for cleaning the pot. Sprinkle the powder or a few drops of liquid, depending on the one you have. Rub with a cleaning sponge, and rinse with warm water. Your liner will be just like new.  Some people in the Facebook community have reported that using a magic eraser cleaning sponge along with barkeeper’s friend can help with tougher stains. I have always been able to clean the pot with the cleaning sponge I use regularly and would highly recommend it.

Note: Do not use steel wool to clean the liner, as it will scratch the surface.

Cleaning the lid of the Instant Pot

With normal use, you don’t have to thoroughly wash the instant pot lid after every use. I normally just rinse it with water and check there are no food residues. If there are stains, wash the lid with warm soapy water.

I do a thorough cleaning about once a week with normal use. You can remove the parts – silicone ring, anti-block shield, steam release knob, and condensation collector – and wash each one with soapy warm water.

Cleaning the sealing ring of the Instant Pot

You might have heard of or experienced firsthand the food smell lingering in the sealing ring. The good news is that it can be cleaned. The sealing ring is dishwasher safe (top rack). However, I usually prefer to wash it by hand.

Getting the odor out of the sealing ring of the Instant Pot

White Vinegar works like a charm here, too. Just soak the sealing ring in a vinegar + water mixture overnight and rinse it in the morning.

Another thing I have done is to have two sealing rings, one for sweet and the other for savory foods. Instant Pot sells a set of red and blue sealing rings, so you can easily distinguish the one you use for sweet v/s savory dishes.

Another option to clean the sealing ring is to add 2 cups of white vinegar and some lemon juice to the instant pot liner and run the “Steam” function for 2 minutes. Then, remove the vinegar and rinse the liner and sealing ring. Let the sealing ring air dry. Some people have liked showing sunlight to their sealing ring, which also helps remove the odor.

I recommend keeping the lid open when you are not cooking by attaching it to the side of the instant pot handles. See picture. This helps reduce the ring’s odors as it is not closed and can get some air. Of course, this only applies if you have the space to keep the instant pot on the counter.

Instant Pot lid

Cleaning the rim of the Instant Pot

The food caught between the rim of the Instant Pot can be hard to clean. For this, I use a DIY solution. Wrap a kitchen towel or microfiber cleaning cloth around a chopstick or anything pointy, and clean by moving the towel around the rim. I have also successfully used a paper towel to clean the rim.

You can also use a small brush to get in the rim and remove the residues. Here is a great brush that some users have been recommending to get into the rim – Foam Brush. Wet the brush with some water. If there is too much grease, add a drop of soap to the brush and move it along the rim. Then use another foam brush to dry the rim.

Cleaning the exterior of the Instant Pot

Use a wet, damp cloth to wipe the stainless steel pot from the outside. You can use a kitchen towel or a microfiber cleaning cloth.

The exterior of the instant pot should never be immersed in water. Also, always be careful not to pour liquid or food into the instant pot without first placing the stainless steel liner.

Note 1: Always unplug the Instant Pot before cleaning.

Note 2: Always try to keep the instant pot dry to prevent rusting in the long run.

Now, your instant pot will be clean and ready for the next wonderful dish you want to cook!

Share your cleaning tips with us in the comments.  We would love to try them out!

Wondering about Instant Pot Acronyms? Check out our foolproof guide.

Instant Pot Language: Terminology & Acronymns

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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    1. Hi Viv – Glad you found the post helpful. I believe it is fine. Clean it, and around it well while it is still attached.

    1. Hello – I usually just wipe/rub it with a damp cloth to remove the marks. But best to not put much water on the base. Also, unplug the instant pot before cleaning the base.

  1. Hi Meeta,

    To soak the ring in vinegar + water solution, how much vinegar and how much water should be used?

    Thank you!