How to Clean Instant Pot 101

Confused at how to clean your Instant Pot? Should you wash the Instant Pot before the first use? Need to know how to deep clean the Instant Pot? Read on…

Instant Pot cleaning supplies

The Instant Pot is pretty easy to clean, it just takes a little time. The time spent maintaining the appliance is worth it for years of continued use.

(This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Suggest cleaning items

Wash brand new Instant Pot

Should you wash your brand new Instant Pot before using it for the first time?

Yep. It’s always a good idea to wash anything you’re planning on cooking with before using it, even if it’s new from the manufacturer.

Using hot water and soap, you can clean it for the first time so that it’s ready to cook!

cleaning Methods

Now that you’ve used your Instant Pot, it’s time to clean it.

You’ll need 2 different types of cleaning methods:

  • Everyday Use Cleaning Method is performed after every time you use the Instant Pot.
  • Deep cleaning Method, needs to be done every few weeks, depending on frequency usage.

Every day cleaning Instant pot

It’s recommended to clean the Instant Pot after each use.

  • Unplug the Instant Pot.
  • Wash the inner pot (liner) by hand with hot water and soap, or wash in the dishwasher.
  • Remove the silicone ring (shown further below) and either wash by hand using hot water and soap or place on the top rack of the dishwasher to clean.
  • Wash the under side of the Instant Pot lid and drain/shake any excess water.
  • Dry all parts.

Deep Clean Instant Pot

Every few weeks, or sooner depending on usage, the Instant Pot will need a deeper clean than the every day method.

Let’s start with this extremely dirty lid of mine. I cooked pasta in the Instant Pot and upon quick release, a bunch of starchy water started spitting out of the venting knob. It definitely needed a deep clean after this happened.

dirty instant pot needing to be cleaned

Ew, so gross and dirty!

upside down dirty instant pot lid

And filthy on the bottom of the lid too.

Step 1 – Float Valve

First, remove the float valve (venting knob) by gently lifting up, slightly wiggling it until it releases.

Wash by hand or in the dishwasher utensil caddy.

Make sure to check for any blockages by peering through the holes.

hand removing instant pot anti-block shield

Step 2 – Anti-block shield

Next, remove the anti-block shield. Sometimes this can be a little stiff to remove. Give it a twist while pulling off and that helps.

Hand wash or in the dishwasher caddy.

removing instant pot sealing ring

Step 3 – Sealing ring

Remove the sealing ring. If you’re removing this for the first few times, expect that this sealing ring may be difficult to remove.

If having trouble, use a utensil to help pry the ring off by one of the notched indents on the sealing ring.

The sealing ring can be washed by hand or on the top rack of the dishwasher.

I usually wash mine by hand because I forget that I need to wash the lid until the next time I’m ready to use it. Oops!

If your sealing ring still smells after cleaning it, find out how to remove the smells from your Instant Pot sealing ring.

Don’t forget to replace the sealing ring every 6-12 months, if using the Instant Pot several times a week. The ring can deteriorate, stretch out and might not be able to properly seal for pressure cooking.

If you notice any imperfections in the sealing ring such as cracking or tears, replace with a new one. You can find inexpensive ones on Amazon.

dish brush and baking soda paste to clean instant pot lid

Step 4 – Clean Lid

Now it’s time to clean the lid. I always wash the lid by hand but it is safe to wash on the top rack in the dishwasher.

We have hard water in our area and to keep my lid looking as nice as possible, I wash it by hand. This preserves the nicer appearance from hard water build up and dishwasher fogginess.

Using a scrubbing brush, clean under the metal rim where the sealing ring goes. Then brush on top of the lid where the sealing knob goes.

Rinse well and shake/drain the water from the lid.

gloved hand and sponge cleaning instant pot rim

Step 5 – Clean Rim

Next, let’s clean the rim. There’s a space between the where the inner pot rests and the outside of the appliance. This rim is a crumb collection of meals past.

It’s gross. It’s hard to reach and clean out. It’s also a necessary chore to clean regularly.

Using damp dish sponge and soap, push the sponge into the gutter and follow along around the entire track, taking out the sponge to rinse off gunk periodically.

Or you can use a dish scrub brush to get in the crevices.

Some prefer to use an old toothbrush, or a craft foam brush. The main objective is to find an object that will fit inside the rim to clean it.

dish scrubbing brush cleaning instant pot rim

(Example of scrub brush to cleaning rim)

gloved hand cleaning the instant pot rim

Step 6 – Dry Rim

I like to use a chopstick covered with a thin cloth napkin to dry the rim after cleaning.

Use anything that will fit.gloved hand removing condensation collector from back of instant pot to clean

step 7 – remove condensation collector

Remove the condensation collector cup by sliding off the back. Empty contents and wash regularly.

gloved hand instant pot condensation collector with cotton swab

The space is narrow, even too narrow for old toothbrushes. I found that a cotton swab works great.

Air dry completely before placing back on Instant Pot.

hand wiping down and cleaning outside of instant pot

Step 8 – Clean outside

To clean the outside of the Instant Pot, wipe down with a damp soft rag with soap. Wipe horizontally or with the grain of the stainless steel to prevent scratches.

I like to use Mrs. Meyer’s multi-surface cleaner in a spray bottle because it does a great job at cutting grease and not leaving any residue behind. It’s great at removing finger prints marks too.

Wipe dry with a soft towel, again, with the grain.

Secret tip: I also use this to clean my stainless refrigerator doors.

before and after picture of how to clean instant pot

Step 9 – Clean Inner Pot

To clean the inner pot, you can wash by hand with mild soap and a scrub brush or it can be washed in the dishwasher.

Sometimes the inside of a clean pot will still have a cloudy appearance. This happens whenever I cook rice in it.

A baking soda paste will shine it up like new.

baking soda paste in instant pot liner

How to make baking soda paste

After washing the inner pot clean, drain all water from pot.

Generously sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the pot.

Using a wet dish sponge with scrubby side, or a dish brush, scrub the bottom of the pan.

The amount of water in the dish sponge should be enough to create a paste with the baking soda when scrubbing.

If not, add 1 tsp water to the baking soda and proceed. The baking soda paste should be about the consistency of a thick, dry toothpaste.

This works about 98% of the time.

Baking soda didn’t work? I like to use Bon Ami next to create a paste with it just like the baking soda.

If you STILL have stains/discoloration, then bring out the big guns and use Bar Keeper’s Friend, the powder kind that’s made just for cookware.

Create a paste and scrub pot with paste until all spots are gone.

I always recommend trying the least abrasive method first with the baking soda.

Using natural and more green/safe products as much as possible is highly encouraged, especially when using it on something you’re cooking food with.

Bar Keepers Friend isn’t as green/safe as baking soda is, so use it only as a last resort.

instant pot looks like new after deep cleaning

Rinse paste

With all paste methods above, rinse well when done.

Dry with a soft towel.

Cleaning instant pot with lemon and vinegar

Step 10 – Deodorize

Sometimes the smell lingers in the Instant Pot and sealing rings, needing to be deodorized.

Add the following into the Instant Pot:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Slices of fresh lemon/rind

Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes on STEAM setting followed by a full natural pressure release.

Cleaning instant pot with lemon and vinegar

The vinegar and lemon method also works to remove the cloudy/foggy Instant Pot liner just like the baking soda method (mentioned previously).

Before lemon and vinegar

cleaning cloudy instant pot liner

After running steam cycle with lemon and vinegar

instant pot looks like new after deep cleaning storing instant pot with lid upside

Store lid upside down

Oh almost forgot. Store the Instant Pot lid upside down on the Instant Pot whenever not in use.

This allows the air to circulate and prevents smells.

That’s it! It really is simple.

Enjoy your pretty Instant Pot, looking good as new.

instant pot with cleaning supplies on counter with text overlay

Ready to cook?

Here are some of our favorites:


Similar Posts


  1. This is very helpful, thank you. If you do anything different for a Ninja I would appreciate that information.

  2. Thank you for that very helpful advice. I would not have thought of storing the lid upside down.
    And I agree, always use baking soda and other natural solutions first. Not enough people are concerned about what goes down our drains.

  3. Excellent info. I do usw a stainless steel scrubbie and that restores my IP back to new. It does not mar the bottom of the pan. Love my IP. Thanks, Carole

  4. I don’t like bar keepers friend. Whenever I use it on stainless steal it leaves a gray residue. I have found that soaking stainless steal in vinegar for 24 hours and then doing baking soda does the best job.

  5. I’ve found myself consistently referencing this guide whenever its time for a deep clean…super helpful as a reminder of all the bits and pieces that come off for easy cleaning. Quick question though… I just noticed you mention using the steam setting when deodorizing, and I can’t quite figure out what that is. Based on your photos I’m fairly certain we have the same model, and i can’t find anything like that in the user manual. Am I missing something?

    Thank you!

    1. I have an IP DUO 6QT and an Ultra 8QT and both have a steam setting. If you don’t have a steam setting, then just use the low pressure setting and try that!

  6. I am afraid I ruined my IP! I accidentally poured butter water into the pot without the liner! (sorry, getting old ain’t for sissies!)
    I did use the sprayer to flush out the bottom, and lots of water came out the bottom. But I am afraid to use it. have you heard of anything like this?

    1. Oh no! That’s so upsetting when that happens. Give yourself some grace, it was an accident. My thoughts are to not use it after spraying it with the sprayer (really saturating the mechanics with water), even after it dries out. This is a pressure cooker and not worth the risk of it malfunctioning. Sorry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.