How to Clean an Instant Pot

Goodbye Stains and Burnt-On Food

instant pot and vegetables

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

While one of the main selling points of the Instant Pot is the reduced cooking time, there are other advantages, including easy cleaning. For many recipes, the inner pot is the only pan you'll need to scrub down, making cleanup a breeze. Whether you use your Instant Pot electric pressure cooker every day or only occasionally, here's what you need to know about keeping it clean and working properly.

  1. Most parts of the Instant Pot can be washed in the dishwasher. The inner pot, sealing ring, and trivet are all dishwasher safe, and the lid is top-rack dishwasher safe. Use a clean, damp cloth to clean the outside of the Instant Pot base. Always unplug the Instant Pot before cleaning.

    Do not wash the base. If it does happen to get wet, let it dry thoroughly before using.

    Instant Pot in the dishwasher
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Clean the inner pot with warm, soapy water or wash it in the dishwasher. For stuck-on pieces of food, try scrubbing with baking soda or a non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner, such as Bar Keepers Friend. If the pot has some light staining or discoloration, wipe it down with some vinegar. Always dry parts thoroughly before returning to the Instant Pot. Store the pot with the lid upside-down.

    Instant Pot inner pot
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. The anti-block shield on the inside can get clogged with food, especially when cooking starchy ingredients like oatmeal or grains or sauces that splatter. Check after each use and, if needed, clean with soapy water and dry thoroughly.

    the anti-block shield looks like a small cap with holes
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    It's easy enough to remove the anti-block shield, but there is a certain technique. Push the side firmly with your thumb, pushing it toward the outer edge of the pot lid. The anti-block shield should pop right off. If it is slippery or difficult to remove, place a piece of paper towel or cloth towel under your thumb for a better grip. Wash the anti-block shield with warm soapy water, rinse it well and dry it thoroughly. Pop it back on when it is dry.

    remove the anti-block shield
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Periodically remove the steam release valve and check it for debris. Wash it with warm soapy water and rinse it thoroughly. When it's dry, place it back on the lid.

    The steam release valve
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Crumbs and spills in the lip of the outer base can interfere with the seal, so it should be checked periodically. Clean it with a small brush, damp cloth, or toothbrush as needed.

    clean lip around the Instant Pot base
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. If your Instant Pot came with a clear plastic condensation collector, wash and rinse it periodically.

How to Deep Clean the Inner Pot

Sometimes the inner pot needs a little extra love. If you have stubborn burnt-on food that won't come off with normal scrubbing, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the pot and fill it with 4 cups of water. Pressure-cook for 5 minutes, then allow a natural release. When the pressure is completely released, remove the lid and wash the inner pot with warm soapy water.

Water stains and bluish discoloration, which are common in stainless steel cookware, can be removed with a non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner. Or, add about 1 cup of vinegar to the pot and swirl it around. Let it stand for 5 minutes, then rinse the pot out and clean it with soapy water. Avoid abrasive cleaners and steel wool, as they will scratch the surface of the pot.

The manufacturer also sells a pot with a ceramic non-stick interior (PTFE and PFOA free) which is easy to clean and a nice option when you are preparing several dishes in the Instant Pot.

nonstick pot
The Spruce / Diana Rattray

How to Remove Sealing Ring Odors

The silicone sealing ring tends to absorb odors, so it's a good idea to buy extra rings. Use one for desserts and lightly flavored dishes and the other for savory and heavily-seasoned dishes. The manufacturer recommends Instant Pot brand replacement parts.

To remove odors from a sealing ring, add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vinegar, and a few strips of lemon peel to the inner pot. Lock the lid in place and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Choose the steam setting and set the time to 3 minutes. When the time is up, allow a natural release. Remove the sealing ring and let it dry thoroughly.

Inspect the silicone sealing ring periodically for splits or damage that might interfere with the seal.

extra silicone seals
The Spruce / Diana Rattray