4 Steps to Cleaning Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot Cleaning Step-by-Step guide: Tips on How to Clean Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, Removing Sealing Ring Odor, Cleaning the stained liner, and more.

Now that you’re getting the hang of cooking with Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, you might start to wonder “How to get rid of the Instant Pot Sealing Ring Odor?” or “How to clean the discolored Instant Pot Liner?” Time for some Instant Pot Cleaning!

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So, what have you made so far in your new Instant Pot?

Hard boiled eggs? Ribs? Mac and Cheese? or something crazy adventurous? 😀

After a couple of meals, many Instant Pot users notice the curse of the unavoidable stinky Sealing Ring.

How to get rid of the smell of the last dish?
Will it cross-contaminate into the next dish?

What’s scarier is when they peek inside the pot, they see a scattered rainbow – the dreaded discolored Stainless Steel Inner Pot.

Fear not! Some Instant Pot Cleaning will take your troubles away!

Below are 4 Simple Steps to give your precious new kitchen helper a deep cleaning.



Instant Pot Cleaning Tips Guide:



Step 1: Clean Instant Pot Exterior Housing & Rim

1.1 Clean Exterior Housing with Damp Cloth

First, wet a clean damp cloth to wipe off any food residual or stains on Instant Pot’s exterior housing. We prefer to use Microfiber Cleaning Cloth for our magic pot.

If Microfiber Cleaning Cloths are good enough for cars’ paint, it’s good enough for the Instant Pot. 😉

Instant Pot Cleaning: How to clean the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Exterior Housing


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*Caution: Never immerse the exterior housing in water or any other liquid.

1.2 Clean Rim with Foam Brush

Food or liquid might drip into or get caught in the rim as we cook with our Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. The rim can be quite hard to wipe & clean.

2 Ways to Clean Instant Pot Rim

1. Easy Solution: Rim Cleaner Foam Brush – many users find it’s easiest to soak their craft foam brush with soapy water, then clean by sliding and scrubbing it around the rim.

2. DIY Solution: If you don’t have foam brushes handy, you can also wrap a wet Microfiber Cleaning Cloth around a stick or chopstick, and clean the rim by pushing the cloth around the rim.

Instant Pot Cleaning: How to clean the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Rim with Microfiber Cloth



Step 2: Clean Instant Pot Liner (Stainless Steel Inner Pot)

2.1 Wash Instant Pot Liner (Stainless Steel Inner Pot)

The Stainless Steel Instant Pot Liner is dishwasher safe. But you can always hand-wash it with warm soapy water.

2.2 Remove Cloudy or Rainbow Stains with White Vinegar

After using the Stainless Steel Inner Pot, you might start to see discoloring, cloudy stains, or even rainbow stains at the bottom of the pot.

Don’t panic! It’s normal and they’re easy to remove! 😀

3 Ways to Clean Instant Pot Liner Stains

Level 1 Minor Discoloring – White Vinegar

White Vinegar – you can easily remove the usual discoloring with simple white vinegar. Check out the photos below. They work like a charm! 🙂

Instant Pot Cleaning: How to clean the Instant Pot Liner (Stainless Steel Inner Pot) and remove stains with white vinegar
Cleaning Instant Pot Liner Rainbow Stains with White Vinegar

Level 2 Stronger Stains – Bar Keepers Friend

For stronger stains that white vinegar couldn’t take out. You might want to invest in some Bar Keepers Friend.

They remove rust and hard water stains for Copper, Tile, Brass, Stainless Steel, Porcelain, Plastics and Glass surfaces.

They work miracle! You can easily revive your stained stainless steel liner to the shiny and fresh look. As good as new! 😀

Instant Pot Cleaning: How to clean the Instant Pot Liner (Stainless Steel Inner Pot) and remove stains with Bar Keepers Friend

Level 3 Tough Stains – Bar Keepers Friend + Magic Eraser

For tough old stains, you’ll need to kick it up a notch combining Bar Keepers Friend with Magic Eraser Cleaning Sponge.

*Note: This skillet has only been washed with warm soapy water for the past few years. Look at what Bar Keepers Friend (Photo #2) + Magic Eraser Cleaning Sponge (Photo #3) can do in about 5 minutes.

Jacky said he can probably make this looks almost brand new with more elbow grease. 😛

Instant Pot Cleaning: How to clean the Instant Pot Liner (Stainless Steel Inner Pot) and remove stains with Bar Keepers Friend and Magic Eraser Cleaning Sponge
Cleaning Tough Stains with Bar Keepers Friend + Magic Eraser Cleaning Sponge.

With this combination and elbow grease, you will be able to clean off 99% of stains. 🙂



Step 3: Wash the Lid + Parts

3.1 Wash Instant Pot Lid with Warm Soapy Water

Under normal use, the Instant Pot Lid only requires a quick rinse under tap water after every use.

If it’s splattered with food or liquid, you can wash it with warm soapy water by hand. It’s best not to wash the lid in the dishwasher.

3.2 Periodically Rinse the Instant Pot Parts

*Note: We rarely take out the parts on the lid for cleaning. But if your Instant Pot needs a deep cleaning, here are the steps. 🙂

a. Anti-Block Shield – you can push it on the side to lift it up (as shown in photo below) to check for food residual or liquid. After rinsing and drying, press it down in position to install it back in.

Instant Pot Setup: Unboxing Instant Pot before first use - check the Instant Pot Anti Block Shield

b. Instant Pot Steam Release Valve (Venting Knob) – remove it for washing by pulling it straight out.

Instant Pot Setup: Unboxing Instant Pot before first use - check the Instant Pot Steam Release Valve

c. Condensation Collector – simply slide it out, pour out the liquid (if any), and give it a quick rinse.

Instant Pot Setup: Unboxing Instant Pot before first use - Instant Pot install condensation collector



Step 4: Clean Instant Pot Sealing Ring

4.1 Wash Instant Pot Sealing Ring

The Instant Pot Sealing Ring is a critical part of the pressure cooker that directly affects the pressure cooking process. So, remember to be gentle and take great care of the ring. 🙂

The Instant Pot Sealing Ring is dishwasher safe.

However, we try our best to minimize the number of times we pull the silicone sealing ring out of the lid to avoid stretching or deforming the sealing ring.

Instant Pot Cleaning: How to clean the Instant Pot Lid and Silicone Sealing Ring

Unless it’s splattered with food or liquid that requires thorough cleaning, we usually gently rinse and dry the sealing ring while it’s seated in the lid (as shown in above photo).

*Caution: Don’t use the Sealing Ring if it has cracks, cuts, or any other damages.

4.2 Instant Pot Sealing Rings Odor

Ah! So this is the question we get asked a lot about Instant Pot Cleaning!

How to get rid of the Instant Pot Sealing Ring Odor?!

Easy Solution: White Vinegar – many users like to soak the silicone sealing ring in white vinegar, then air dry it to get rid of the stinky smell.

Best Solution: Extra Silicone Sealing Rings – we believe the best solution is to have 2 pairs of Sealing Rings – 1 for Savory dishes, 1 for Sweet dishes. Then, you won’t have to worry about the smell cross-contaminating between savory and sweet dishes! 🙂



Instant Pot Cleaning Guide Summary

Dishwasher Safe Parts: Instant Pot Liner (Stainless Steel Inner Pot), Instant Pot Sealing Ring, Trivet (Steamer Rack)

  • Exterior: Never immerse the exterior housing in water or any other liquid
  • Rim: Clean the rim with a foam brush
  • Inner Pot: Remove the rainbow stains with White Vinegar or Bar Keepers Friend
  • Lid: Wash lid with warm soapy water
  • Instant Pot Parts: Periodically rinse the Anti-Block Shield, Steam Release Valve, Condensation Collector if necessary
  • Silicone Sealing Ring: Remove odors with White Vinegar or get an extra pair of Silicone Sealing Ring

Instant Pot Cleaning was easy, wasn’t it? 🙂

Your Instant Pot is now ready for your next food adventure!



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  1. The first meal I cooked in my IP was a chicken dish, and my sealing ring kept smelling like chicken. Then one day I decided to try storing my IP with the lid inverted to try to let it air dry. Now I routinely store it that way and it no longer smells. So try storing your pot with the lid off and see if that helps you with the odor.

  2. The pan that needs a lot more elbow grease:::: Try spraying with undiluted bleach. and cover in a bag and let rest for a few days. then remove from bag and rinse very well. See if that will work for you and save elbow grease.

  3. Thank you for your great recipes. You make them easy to follow, and you explain everything so well. My next thing I will be cooking is your IP roasted potatoes, they look wonderful! Thank you too, for telling us how to clean our pots!! We bought a friend of mine an instapot, and I am referring you to her, knowing how well you explain everything. Thanks for your great recipes!! My son bought me my pot for Christmas, and I always take a picture of what I have cooked, and I send it to him, he is very impressed!!!

  4. Greetings from Canada!
    I was nervous about using the instant pot. The manual was not terribly useful and I needed more help.
    So I found your site and it has been great. So many excellent tips.
    Last night I used my IP for the first time. I made jasmine rice by following your simple direction. Perfect result.
    Gives me confidence – thank you so much!

  5. You say to minimize how often you take the sealing ring out so it won’t stretch out. But you also say to have two rings, one for savory dishes, and one for sweet ones. Doesn’t that mean you would be frequently changing the ring if switching it out between savory and sweet dishes? Can you clarify this?

    1. Hi Tamara,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year 🙂
      Thank you for your question.

      We try our best to minimize the number of times we pull the silicone sealing ring out of the lid as in we only do it when absolutely necessary.
      Example: No pulling out the ring to wash after each use. No switching the ring unless the dessert is very mild in flavor…etc

      Happy New Year & please take care

  6. I used the pressure cooker on my instant pot for the first time and followed your recipe for Umami chuck roast. It was the most flavorful roast I think I’ve ever had! Looking forward to seeing and using your recipes again ?? Thanks for the hints on cleaning it too!

  7. Thank you for this! I have had success with using a baking soda paste to scrub stick-on food from the inner pot. Just sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons into pot, add a little water to make a thick paste, and start scrubbing with cloth or sponge. Shiny once again!
    Looking forward to trying the tricks for clearing odor from ring.

  8. I also have gotten rid of smells in my lid by sprinkling a good amount of baking soda on it and the ring when I go out of town for a couple days. Come back, rinse and all smells are gone. You can probably do this overnight too.

    1. Hi Barbara!

      So happy to hear from you again. Hope you have been doing well 🙂

      Our website does not support this feature yet. Only recipes can be printed.

      Hope we can implement that feature in the future.

      take care & have an amazing weekend

    2. You can copy and paste. Hold your finger at the top are bottom of what you want, then pull down on the blue till you get everything you want . Copy will come up click on it go to your email click on write , paste it on page and print

    1. Hi Mary!

      Hope you are having a great week and thank you for your question 🙂

      If you didn’t buy the non-stick version, it will be fine.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  9. Hi there,
    Great cleaning tips and love your blog and recipes. Best and easiest way to get odours out of the silicon ring is to leave it outside to air. It completely removes the odours if you leave for a day or so (a few days of summertime). I still have extra rings but definitely air them out to get the smell out.

    1. Hi Elaine,

      thank you so much for your kind words and method on removing the odors 🙂

      Many readers have suggested this method to us as well. I will ask Amy to add it to this post.

      Thank you so much once again!

      Take care & have fun cooking

  10. Thanks for the cleaning tips! I burned food in my instant pot tonight and couldn’t get it completely clean with soap and water. I poured in a small amount of vinegar and everything came right off. Brilliant!

  11. For your readers who want to print out the cleaning tips they could take a picture of them with there phone and print them off they’re phone at a photo kiosk at Walmart Also I have a bottle of liquid bar keepers friend does it work the same?

    1. Hi Donna,

      thank you for your tips and question 🙂

      We haven’t used the liquid version of it ourselves, but some of our readers said the powder version worked better for them.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  12. My instant inner base is getting grease how to clean m not talk8ng about pot which gum out m talking about inner base how to clean

    1. Hi Barb,

      Sorry for the late reply as we are still in the middle of moving.

      To remove the sealing ring from the lid, you can just pull it out carefully.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  13. I have just taken my pot out of the box, read the directions and was totally intimidated.
    I came upon you site and am actually going to cook a turkey breast for myself. Thank you for helping me feel confident to actually use it and to know what issues to be on the lookout for!

    1. Hi Melba,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      You can substitute it with the same amount of soy sauce, but the flavor profile of the final dish will be slightly different.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!

    1. Hi Jill,

      Thank you for your questions 🙂

      We are still looking for the best way to make these into printable format.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!

  14. My hubby uses this machine and likes it. I get nervous lol. I have a quêtions. He bought this for Xmas and we are missing the bottom plate on legs, it I sure round on the bòx. Is there any way we could get one please.

    1. Hi Connie,

      Congrats on your new Instant Pot 🙂

      You will want to contact Instant Pot Company support for the trivet.

      Happy New Year & Have fun cooking

  15. Amy & Jacky, thanks so much for all you do. I have a Power pressure cooker and use your recipes as well as the one that came with the pressure cooker. You are very kind I appreciate your blog and tips…….e

    1. Thank you for your kind words Elaine! So happy to know you’ve been enjoying your pressure cooker & our blog. 🙂
      Wish you & your family a Merry Christmas & many blessings to come in the New Year!
      Take care,

    2. I’m still somewhat intimidated by my ip , tried to make the meatloaf but ended up with a mushy mess. No, I never found my trivit until after the fact. Now I’m afraid to try again.
      Thanks for your helpful hints. Elaine Vann Jones

  16. I keep old toothbrushes under the sink for cleaning things like the sealing ring. No need to spend money on foam brushes.

  17. I wonder Jacky just how many of us will be making soap in our IP……. “”For recipes with a lot of liquid such as soaps, congees, stocks…etc, you will want to cut them by half.”…. It made my day! Thank you!

  18. I understand most people use the 6 qt Instant Pot. Can I use most of your recipes for the mini 3 qt Instant Pot or do I need to cut it down for this smaller IP?

    1. Hi M. Wong,

      thank you for your question ?

      Our recipes are developed in the 6 quarts and for most of them you will not need to divide the recipe in half (as long as the meat fits)

      For recipes with a lot of liquid such as soups, congees, stocks…etc, you will want to cut them by half.

      The cooking time will stay the same!

      Take care & have a wonderful week!

  19. Would you kindly create a printable version of these cleaning tips please? I have a folder containing the user manual and other miscellaneous documents for the Instant Pot. These cleaning tips would be a great addition! Thank you.

    1. Hi Louise,

      thank you so much for your comment and suggestions 🙂

      Can’t promise, but We will try to figure out a way to do it.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  20. Hi,
    Will the inner pot be safe to use if there’s little scratches.
    I have gotten them by using a metal spoon to scoop the food out ?

  21. Thank you for the great recipes i haven’t had a failure on anything so please keep up the good work.Thank you also for the tips on cleaning the lid as that was what I needed to know. ?

  22. If I notice a lingering smell after cooking something savory I usually make a batch of hard boiled eggs and add a tablespoon or two of white vinegar to the water. It doesn’t seem to effect the eggs but does a nice job of deodorizing everything else.

  23. This is a great article!!! So helpful.

    My ring got so icky with bone broth smell. Vodka and soap in a Ziploc helped but didn’t remove the smell. Denture cleaner also helped, but it still smells. I now have a broth ring, savory ring, and sweet ring.

    1. Hi Rhonda,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      All the models should have one, but we have heard from our readers that their new Instant Pots are missing one.

      Perhaps they have removed it on the latest shipments.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  24. is the discoloration harmful to the pot or the food being cooked and is it related to smell residue and will the smell affect the next cooking?

    1. Hi Thomas,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      The discoloration is not harmful to the pot or the food being cooked.
      It is mostly cosmetic issue with leftover caramelized oil & protein.

      Take care & have fun cooking

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