Pressure cookers have been around for a long time, but many people are intimidated by them. An Instant Pot is essentially a multi-functional pressure cooker that is packed full of useful features.
It is much safer, more versatile, and easier to use for chefs at all experience levels. Perhaps that is why the Instant Pot has become such a staple in the modern world. Not only is it easier to use, but it also gives you more control over the pressure settings.
Despite all its advantages, people who own an Instant Pot are familiar with the unsavoury odour it can emit. The smell comes from the sealing ring inside the Instant Pot which tends to absorb the smell of the food. As a result, your Instant Pot starts smelling a bit weird after only a few uses.
However, if your Instant Pot has been smelling weird, there’s no need to worry about the odour. It’s a completely normal occurrence that is quite easy to fix. Read on to learn how you can get the smell out of Instant Pots and prevent it in the future.
Getting the Smell out of Instant Pot
If you have a smelly Instant Pot on your hands, follow any of the tried and tested methods below. Most of these methods are super easy and require regular pantry items. If one doesn’t work for you, try some more until you’re satisfied with the end result!
Using the Dishwasher
This is the easiest method to get a clean and smell-free sealing ring. All you have to do is remove the silicone ring from the Instant Pot and place it in the dishwasher. Run your dishwasher through a cycle and see the end result. This method may work well if your sealing ring isn’t infused with too many stubborn smells. If you own a dishwasher, this is a good starting point.
Using Vinegar and Lemon
Vinegar and lemon are amazing cleaning agents that you may have in your home already. Your silicone ring can easily be deodorized using any of the two ingredients. You can either use white vinegar or water and lemon rinds for this remedy. Follow the steps below to get rid of potent smells:
- Fill your Instant Pot with two cups of white vinegar. You can also use two cups of water with lemon rinds in it.
- Seal the lid of the Instant Pot.
- Run the Instant Pot on the steam setting for about 2 minutes.
- Once the steaming is complete, let the steam release. Then remove the sealing ring from the Instant Pot and let it dry.
- Check your sealing ring for any odd smells. It should be as good as new!
Alternatively, you can also soak your silicone ring in vinegar overnight. Just leave the silicone ring to sit in the vinegar and then remove it in the morning. Hand wash the ring or put it in your dishwasher and let it air dry. It should smell perfectly normal again.
Using Baking Soda
If you don’t have any vinegar or lemon lying around, you can utilize some baking soda to do the trick. Baking soda is alkaline in nature and it can help remove potent smells. Follow the steps below to clean up your Instant Pot with baking soda:
- Pour two cups of water in your Instant Pot. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda in the water and add some lemon rinds into it.
- Seal the Instant Pot and set the “Steam” settings.
- Let the cycle run for 2 minutes before turning it off.
- Once the steam is released, take out the sealing ring and let it dry naturally.
This should remove any smell that your sealing ring might have. Many people recommend cooking carb-filled foods such as pasta in the Instant Pot to remove smells as well.
Using Denture Cleaner
If all else fails, you can try some denture cleaner on the silicone sealing ring. Denture cleaners can be odour-eliminating and can help deodorize the Instant Pot.
Sunlight contains UV rays that are anti-bacterial in nature. By killing off bacteria, UV rays from the sun can also eliminate odour. Just place the sealing rings out in the sun and let the sunlight work its magic on them.
Replace the Sealing Ring
Sometimes none of the remedies may work for you. This could mean that your sealing ring is too far gone and cannot be salvaged. If none of the cleaning methods work, you may have to replace the ring itself. This can instantly freshen up your Instant Pot and remove all smells.
Keep a Spare Sealing Ring
Instant Pots are a very diverse cookware option. Many people use it to cook a wide array of things. From cupcakes to curry, Instant Pots can be used for a lot. If you’re someone who the Instant Pot for such different experiments, it is better to have two sealing rings. You can have designated sealing rings for certain dishes that leave an odour. This ensures that one sealing ring does not ruin your other dishes.
Preventing your Instant Pot from Getting Smelly
You may have heard the saying that prevention is better than the cure. Now that you know the cures, it is essential to know how you can prevent this in the future. By taking some of the measures below, you can ensure that your Instant Pots remain fresh and odour-less.
1) Place the Lid Upside Down
This is a simple trick that you can use to prevent smells from building inside the pot. After you’re done washing and drying your Instant Pot, make sure to place the lid upside down. This will help the lid dry thoroughly and ensure that it airs out.
2) Using your Freezer
Another nifty trick is to store your Instant Pot in the freezer when you are not using it. Freezers have very low temperatures at which bacteria cannot survive. This ensures your sealing rings remain bacteria-free and fresh.
3) Deep Clean your Instant Pot Regularly
To prevent smells and bacteria from building up, you should regularly deep clean your Instant Pot. You don’t have to do this every time you use the pot. Since it is a more time consuming and in-depth process, you can do it after every few uses.
- Begin by unplugging your Instant Pot to avoid any mishaps.
- Focus on the inner pot and lid first by taking them apart. Use a cloth made out of cotton or microfiber with some dishwashing liquid and vinegar to clean. This will disinfect, polish, and clean all the surfaces.
- Next, make your way to the exterior of the Instant Pot with the same cleaning supplies. Do not soak the exterior in water and make sure to wipe it with a cloth.
- If you want to perform a deep cleaning of the lid itself, you will have to take it apart. This involves removing the steam release handle and the anti-block shield. You can then wipe and disinfect their parts and remove any dirt particles inside the steam valve.
- Move on to clean the silicone ring that is attached to the float valve. Clean all these parts and then replace them once you are done.
- If you have problems with a smelly Instant Pot, this is the step that’s most important for you. Take out the sealing ring and utilize the method of your choice to clean it. You can use any of the methods we mentioned above. Also, ensure that the sealing ring is in good shape and does not need to be replaced.
- Scrub other parts of the Instant Pot including the steam rack, the inner pot, and other accessories. Make sure to use a soft non-abrasive cloth to do the scrubbing. Any metallic sponge or fabric can damage the finishing of the pot. You can also use vinegar or any of the above-mentioned techniques to freshen up these other parts.
- Reassemble the Instant Pot and start cooking!
Instant Pots are an amazing invention for people who love experimenting with their food. The small pressure cookers are full of impressive functionality. A little smell shouldn’t stop you from making the most of it. If you take good care of your Instant Pot, it will surely stay fresh for a long time. Just use our remedies and keep your Instant Pots looking and smelling great!