This post shows how to clean an Instant Pot with a simple vinegar and water solution (and even what you can and can’t put in the dishwasher). See how to clean the lid, base, and inside easily.
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I feel like two of my blogging worlds are coming together today! 🙂 For years, I’ve blogged extensively about both cleaning and Instant Pot cooking – well, today, we’re going to combine those two big topics into one post. How did this never happen before?!
If you’re new to the Instant Pot world, cleaning your pressure cooker might feel daunting – but it isn’t, promise. You just have to know the specific steps needed to safely and effectively clean your appliance. It’s not hard at all to maintain your Instant Pot to get years and years of use out of it.
Before we get going, a quick note – I have the Instant Pot Duo 6 quart, but I believe these directions work for most Instant Pot models.
First, of course, let’s take a look at the before pictures of my Instant Pot. I use it to test my freezer meals almost daily (at least 3-4 times a week), so it sees a ton of use. Of course it’s going to be kind of messy.
So nothing major, but you can see a few spills, stuck on food, and splatters all over. I usually do this cleaning about once a month (on my Journey to Clean small appliance day during kitchen week).
How to Clean an Instant Pot
Step 1: Disassemble and Clean Lid
First thing’s first – yes, you can dishwash (most of) your Instant Pot! Obviously the electric base can’t be put in the dishwasher, but most everything else can be.
You’ll need to take a few things off of the lid before you clean it. Take the pressure release valve off (like I’ve shown in the picture above) and either rinse that off by hand of throw it in the utensil bin in your dishwasher. Mine normally doesn’t get that dirty, so I just rinse it off and set it aside.
Take your sealing ring out of the inside edge of your lid (it should pull out with a gentle bit of force). You can see that mine is pretty discolored from 3+ years of use – that happens over time. (I recommend having a sealing ring for both sweet and savory foods, and if you notice your food tasting odd or the sealing ring retaining smells, you can always replace it. Most of the time it just needs to be cleaned though!)
I put both my sealing ring and my lid in the top rack of my dishwasher. If there is stuck on food or spills on the lid, give it a light scrub first.
Step 2: Remove Condensation Collector
Once you remove both the valve and the sealing ring, you can pop the condensation collector off and put it in the top rack of your dishwasher as well. Most people don’t know what this thing is – it’s a small cup on the back of your Instant Pot that collects any extra moisture during cooking, and can get kind of gross. It can be easy to forget, but it can be one of the dirtiest parts – don’t skip this step!
Step 3: Dump the Gunk
(I’m doing this without the stainless steel inner liner in the Instant Pot. That’s something that should be cleaned every time you cook! I even have an extra so I always have one ready to use, even if the original one is dirty from the night before.)
This might seem straight-forward – but turn the whole thing over and dump any food particles in the trash. This goes a long way to making sure you’re only cleaning stuck-on food.
Step 4: Clean the Nooks, Crannies, and Surfaces
Now we’re doing the actual cleaning of the base!
The hardest part of the Instant Pot to clean is the little lip around the outside. To clean that, I wet a paper towel with a vinegar/water mixture and use a fork to kind of wedge the paper towel in the lip, gently scrubbing back and forth. The surface of this part is surprisingly nonstick, so this trick usually gets all of the food spills off.
After that, it’s easy! I use that same vinegar/water mixture to clean the inside and outside (in circular motions).
Once your lid and condensation collector come out of the dishwasher, reattach the sealing ring and the valve, add the collector to the back of the pot, and you’re done!
See? So much better. You’re ready for another month of lots and lots of Instant Pot cooking.
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