How to Get the Funky Smell Out of an Instant Pot

Total time: 10 minutes 

The Instant Pot is one of the most versatile kitchen appliances around. With the 7-in-1 cooking tool, you can pressure cook, sauté, steam, and slow cook, along with settings for rice, yogurt, and more.

I'm embarrassed to say it was almost two years before I learned how to properly clean the Instant Pot myself!

Pressure cooking, one of the Instant Pot’s central functions, transforms recipes that would normally require standing over the stove for hours into meals that come together in minutes. Popular Instant Pot recipes include chilis, curries, soups, stews, and braised meats, streamlining recipes that pack flavor and punch.

After frequent Instant Pot use, however, you may notice unpleasant aromas lingering even after you've washed and scrubbed the appliance—perhaps the smell from last week’s chili is still hanging around, or the curry you threw together in minutes is still fragrant when you open the lid. Speaking from personal experience, I'm embarrassed to say it was almost two years before I learned how to properly clean the Instant Pot myself!

Don't live with a troublesome odor in your Instant Pot. Follow these easy steps to rid your pressure cooker of any funky smells in no time at all. Let’s get started!

Instant Pot Electric Pressure CookerInstant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker ×1
Instant Pot silicone sealing ringInstant Pot silicone sealing ring ×1
Microfiber Cleaning ClothMicrofiber Cleaning Cloth ×1
lemon ×1
white vinegar ×1

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Wipe out the Instant Pot with cloth

Unplug the Instant Pot and use a damp cleaning cloth to wipe any food residue from inside the appliance. Wipe down any visible food splatters on the exterior as well. In my experience, I find there are usually crumbs or grease hiding in the space where the lid locks into the base.

components of the Instant Pot lid

The lid is the culprit of most of the icky Instant Pot smells. In particular, the silicone ring though an excellent material for sealing the appliance, is prone to absorbing strong odors.

To clean the Instant Pot lid, begin by taking off the removable parts, including the:

With all of the pieces separated, clean each component with dish soap and water. Set aside to dry.

If the silicone sealing ring is particularly odorous, soak it in white vinegar anywhere from a few minutes to overnight to eliminate the smell. You can also run it in the dishwasher cycle after use to help prevent odor from building up.

(And if you need to, you can always replace the silicone sealing ring. They aren't expensive.)

steam cycle Instant Pot

After cleaning the Instant Pot base and lid, if you are still noticing an odor, run a steam cycle to rid the kitchen tool of any lingering smells.

Fill the Instant Pot insert with two cups of white vinegar. (You can also use two cups of water and a chopped lemon.) Seal the lid and run the appliance on the “steam” setting for two minutes. Remove the ring from the lid and let it air dry completely.