Today is the Spring Equinox, which means winter is officially over! And that means it’s spring cleaning time for you, your home, and your Instant Pot.
The two things we get asked about the most when it comes to cleaning are: how to remove water stains from inside the pot, and how to get rid of residual odors from the sealing ring? The answer to both can be the same: vinegar.
Removing water stains from Instant Pot inner pot
The stainless steel inner pot is dishwasher safe, and most people find that a good wash after every use is enough to keep it pristine.
However, over time it may happen that your shiny new inner pot may become cloudy or stained. Perhaps you’re seeing that bluish or rainbow effect that can sometimes appear, or maybe your hard water is making white stains. Not to worry, it’s a breeze to fix. After all, they call it stainless steel for a reason!
You could use a proper stainless steel cleaner – Barkeeper’s Friend works great! – but you’ve probably already got all you need in your pantry. Plain old white vinegar can do the trick.
To clean the rainbow, pour vinegar into your inner pot until the stains are covered and let it sit for about 5 – 10 minutes. Pour it out and rinse, wiping with a non-abrasive sponge if necessary.
White stains caused by hard water might need a little more scrubbing with vinegar or lemon juice, but should easily come away. Never use steel wool or anything else that might scratch the surface.
Getting rid of smells from Instant Pot sealing ring
The removable sealing ring that seals the pressure inside the Instant Pot is made of high quality silicone. It’s an amazing substance – it’s flexible, heat-resistant, long-lasting, and makes a perfect seal – but it is also prone to absorbing odors from your cooking.
The good news is that whatever smell your sealing ring has absorbed won’t transfer to whatever food you’re cooking in your Instant Pot (no curry-smelling cheesecakes). A lot of people keep extra sealing rings and use one for sweet and another for savory dishes, just for peace of mind. But if you don’t like having it smell at all, another great quality about silicone comes to the rescue: it’s easy to clean.
You can soak the sealing ring in vinegar for anywhere from a few minutes to overnight, then rinse and wash thoroughly. Any smells should be completely gone.
If you want to clean smells from the sealing ring and stains from the inner pot at the same time, put two cups of vinegar into the pot, then use the steam program for 2 minutes. Wash out the pot, remove the inner ring and let both dry completely.
The silicone ring is also dishwasher safe, and running it by itself through a hot cycle with dishwasher soap is another way to get rid of any unwanted smells.
In order to help prevent smells from building up, remove and wash the sealing ring after each use and let it air dry. A lot of people find putting the lid back onto the cooker upside down until it’s completely dry works great.
Share your spring cleaning tips
One of the best things about Instant Pot is the community of users that has grown around it as more and more people discover that time with an Instant Pot truly is time well spent.
If you have any spring cleaning tips of your own that will help others keep their Instant Pots in tip-top shape, please share them in the comments below. Or, if you have any questions that you’d like to see us address in future blogs, post them too. We read every comment, and love to hear what you think.
Until next time, happy Spring-time and keep on cooking!