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In recent years, the Instant Pot has become a complete revolution for home cooking aficionados and lazy homeowners alike. Thanks to its all-in-one function, the Instant Pot can pressure cook, slow cook, steam, sauté, cook rice, make yogurt, and warm your food all at the touch of a button. And with all kinds of hacks available on the internet by savvy individuals nowadays, you’re sure to find a way to use your Instant Pot to prepare your food just the way you want it.
And it is precisely because of its ease of use that most of us tend to use it every single day from the quick weeknight dinner to a full spread for Sunday lunch when you have guests over.
The end result from this constant use? Well, much like any other cooking appliance or utensil, if you don’t clean it properly, all kinds of food debris, and stains can accumulate to the point where it becomes unsightly or even worse – a health hazard!
Stains in your Instant Pot?
You may notice after heavy use of your Instant Pot, that the inner pot may start to show signs of wear. One of the most common ones is a bluish stain that occurs on the surface of the inner pot. This is common in stainless steel kitchenware, and is a result of a chemical reaction between the minerals found in food and water, and the surface of the stainless steel.
And if you notice something worse such as stubborn food debris, charring, or with very visible burnt-on bits from months (or even years!) of daily use, here are 5 methods you can use to remove most stains from your Instant Pot.
5 easy methods to remove stains from inner pot
Here’s how to remove stubborn stains from your inner pot of your Instant Pot:
- Soak it with soap and warm water
- Use a scouring cleaner
- Baking Soda hack
- White Vinegar clean
- Boiling Lemons
1. Soak it with soap and warm water
Pour a dish soap and warm water solution into the inner pot liner and allow it to soak for at least an hour. This softens the burnt-on bits or debris that can’t be scrubbed out with a normal sponge.
If the stains are very hard to get rid of, turn your Instant Pot on to slow heat to really loosen up any food stains still stuck to the inner pot. Then, scrub it off with a normal sponge.
2. Use a scouring cleaner
Use scouring cleaners like the Bar Keeper’s Friend while your Instant Pot liner is wet, then use a scrub sponge to loosen any stubborn debris still left behind. Take note: never use a steel scourer to clean your inner pot as it will damage the lining!
3. Baking Soda hack
If you still have absolutely stubborn bits clinging on to your Instant Pot inner pot, use this hack – sprinkle 2 tablespoons of baking soda all over the base of your inner pot liner, then add 2 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Now turn on your Instant Pot and switch it to high pressure and the timer at 2 minutes.
Then, scrub all the residue off to reveal a smooth, shiny surface in your inner pot’s surface!
4. White Vinegar clean
If you see some bluish inside your pot, you’ll want to soak the inside of the pot in white vinegar and leave it to soak overnight before throwing the vinegar out in the sink and rinsing it thoroughly. The vinegar is acidic in nature, which will help in dissolving the layer of mineral deposits that have accumulated on the inner pot over time.
Repeat this process over a few days depending on the seriousness of the issue, and you should be able to see results in just a few days.
5. Boiling Lemons
You can also use Lemons to remove stains inside your Instant Pot. All you need to do is fill up your inner pot with water, and simply put 5 or 6 Lemons skins into the water. Turn on your instant pot to a high heat setting, close the lid, and let the Lemons work its magic on the stains.
After it is cooled, gently scrub the surface of the inner pot to remove any remaining debris.
The usual suspects for dirt and debris on Instant Pots
Because most people use their Instant Pots to cook just about anything (well, it was designed for it anyway), accumulation of food debris or just general dirt starts to become a huge problem if it is not taken care of sooner rather than later.
Aromatic leftovers from all of the things that you cook such as oils, fats, and liquids tend to be stubborn debris and if not washed away properly, will settle into the tiny crevices between the numerous seals and gaskets of the Instant Pot unit.
To ensure a thorough clean, follow these steps below:
- Clear out any visible debris from the steam release valve. Additionally, you should also check the red float valve and clean it accordingly if you see any food debris or oil stains left on it.
- Clean the anti-block shield by removing it from the float valve. This is a nub made out of silicone and is used to cover the float valve from the inside of the Instant Pot. Be careful not to lose this part however, as it is an important component of your Instant Pot, and it is quite a small piece.
- Lastly, take out the silicone sealing ring, which is the white rubber gasket that runs around the entire circumference of the Instant Pot. This little piece notoriously picks up strong odors especially if you use lots of strong spices and seasoning oils in your cooking. Wash it in the dishwasher after every use to keep the bad odors at bay, and ensure that it is completely clean.