How to Clean Instant Pot Lid Smell Effectively: A Step-by-Step Guide





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If you’ve ever excitedly popped open your Instant Pot to dig into a savory meal, only to be met with a less-than-appetizing smell, you’re definitely in good company. It’s the kind of common kitchen hiccup that can briefly dampen your culinary high spirits.

But don’t worry; with a little know-how and some elbow grease, we can take care of those persistent odors together. As someone who has gone toe-to-toe with my fair share of stubborn kitchen smells, I’m here to walk you through getting rid of that funky aroma hanging out in your Instant Pot lid.

At the heart of keeping your Instant Pot smelling fresh is tackling the sealing ring—a sneaky scent-trapper made from silicone that loves to hang onto last night’s garlic extravaganza or today’s spicy jambalaya.

The good news is that something as simple as white vinegar can become our best friend in this scent-fighting journey. Stick with me, and before long, maintaining an odor-free pressure cooker will seem like second nature rather than a chore.

Let’s roll up our sleeves and jump right into freshness together!

Key Takeaways

  • Clean your Instant Pot lid and sealing ring right after use. This stops bad smells from sticking.
  • Soak the silicone sealing ring in white vinegar to get rid of any strong odors.
  • Always dry the lid and sealing ring before storing them to prevent mold and smell.
  • Use the steam cycle with water, vinegar, and lemon to deep clean and deodorize your Instant Pot.
  • Keep the Instant Pot’s lid open slightly when not in use for better air flow.

Reasons for a Smelly Instant Pot Lid

Food debris, bacteria and mold growth, and improper storage are the main reasons why your Instant Pot lid might start to develop a funky smell. Cleaning it regularly can help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.

Food debris

Bits of food often stick to the Instant Pot lid and sealing ring. These leftovers can cause bad smells if they’re not cleaned off right away. I always take apart my Instant Pot after cooking.

This includes pulling off the sealing ring and anti-block shield to clean them well. Soapy water or a dishwasher does a great job at washing away any leftover bits.

Sometimes, food gets trapped in small crevices that we can miss while cleaning quickly. That’s why it’s essential to regularly deep clean these parts. A good soak in warm, soapy water helps loosen up stubborn food particles.

Once everything is clean and back together, my Instant Pot is ready for another round of cooking without holding onto the last meal’s smell.

Bacteria and mold growth

Bacteria and mold can grow in the Instant Pot lid due to food debris and moisture. Regular cleaning of the sealing ring is crucial, as bacteria can thrive in leftover food particles.

Soaking the silicone ring in a vinegar solution for a few minutes helps kill any mold or bacteria that might have accumulated. Cleaning with white vinegar, water, and lemon rind also aids in eliminating bacterial growth and preventing unpleasant odors from transferring to future dishes.

It’s important to keep the sealing ring clean to ensure that no food smells are absorbed into subsequent meals prepared in the Instant Pot.

Improper storage

To ensure a fresh-smelling Instant Pot lid, proper storage is crucial. After thoroughly cleaning the sealing ring and lid, it’s important to store them in a dry and well-ventilated area.

Avoiding closed or damp spaces will prevent mold and bacteria growth, which can lead to unpleasant odors. Additionally, storing the Instant Pot with its lid slightly ajar allows air circulation and prevents stale smells from developing.

Keeping the Instant Pot lid parts separated during storage also helps to maintain freshness by preventing trapped moisture that could lead to odor build-up. Lastly, always double-check that the sealing ring is completely dry before reassembling it onto the Instant Pot lid for future use.

Step-by-Step Guide for Cleaning an Instant Pot

To effectively clean an Instant Pot, start by removing all the parts and wiping down the base of the pot. Clear any food debris from the lid and sealing ring, then wash all parts thoroughly with warm soapy water.

Finally, use a vinegar cleaner to eliminate any lingering odors and ensure your Instant Pot stays fresh and clean.

Remove parts

To clean the Instant Pot lid properly, I always start by removing the sealing ring, anti-block shield, and any other detachable parts. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Gently pull the sealing ring out from its position in the lid.
  2. Take off the anti – block shield by twisting it counterclockwise until it’s loose enough to be lifted out.
  3. Carefully remove any additional detachable parts according to the Instant Pot model’s instruction manual.

Wipe the base

I wipe the base of my Instant Pot carefully to ensure it remains clean and odor-free. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the interior and exterior of the base.
  2. Pay special attention to any food residue or spills, ensuring they are thoroughly wiped away.
  3. If there are stubborn stains, use a mild kitchen cleaner or soapy water to effectively remove them.
  4. Dry the base thoroughly with a clean towel to prevent any moisture from accumulating.

Clear food debris

To clear food debris from the Instant Pot lid, I wipe the sealing ring and anti-block shield with a damp cloth. Then, I carefully remove any stuck food particles using a soft brush. After that, I wash the parts in warm, soapy water or place them in the dishwasher. Cleaning these parts thoroughly is essential to prevent odors from lingering and transferring to future meals. Now let’s move on to the next step of our cleaning process – “Wash the Parts.”

Wash the parts

Now that the food debris is cleared, it’s time to wash the parts thoroughly. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the anti – block shield and sealing ring from the Instant Pot lid.
  2. Wash them in warm, soapy water, making sure to clean all crevices to eliminate any lingering odors.
  3. Alternatively, you can place them in the dishwasher for a convenient and thorough cleaning process.
  4. After washing, ensure they are completely dry before reassembling them back onto the Instant Pot lid.
  5. Regularly cleaning and drying these parts after each use will help prevent any unwelcome smells from developing.

Use vinegar cleaner

To eliminate odors from the Instant Pot lid, I use a vinegar cleaner. Here’s how:

  1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl.
  2. Remove the silicone sealing ring from the Instant Pot lid.
  3. Soak the sealing ring in the vinegar solution for at least 30 minutes to neutralize any odors.
  4. After soaking, thoroughly rinse the sealing ring with warm water to remove any residual vinegar smell.
  5. Allow the sealing ring to air dry completely before placing it back onto the lid.
  6. Regularly repeating this cleaning process helps to keep your Instant Pot free from lingering food smells.

Ways to Prevent Smells in an Instant Pot

Regular cleaning and proper storage are key to preventing smells in an Instant Pot. Using the steam cycle after cooking can also help eliminate odor buildup.

Regular cleaning

To prevent odors, I clean my Instant Pot lid and sealing ring regularly after each use. Soaking the silicone ring in a solution of water and vinegar helps eliminate any lingering smells.

Additionally, using baking soda to clean the seal can ensure that future meals cooked in the Instant Pot won’t inherit any food odors. By maintaining this routine, I can avoid transferring unwanted flavors to my next dish cooked in the Instant Pot.

Now let’s move on to “Proper storage” tips for keeping your Instant Pot odor-free.

Proper storage

After regular cleaning, it’s crucial to store the Instant Pot lid and sealing ring properly. Make sure they are completely dry before reassembling them on the Instant Pot to prevent mold or odor buildup.

Store the Instant Pot in a well-ventilated area and keep the lid slightly ajar when not in use to prevent trapped moisture that can lead to unpleasant smells. Additionally, storing the Instant Pot with a clean paper towel between the lid and pot can help absorb any excess moisture and reduce the risk of odors developing.

These simple storage practices will help maintain a fresh-smelling Instant Pot for your future culinary adventures!

Use of steam cycle

To eliminate stubborn odors from your Instant Pot lid, I often turn to the steam cycle. This method effectively removes lingering smells by adding water, vinegar, and lemon rind to the Instant Pot and covering it.

The steam cycle not only helps in deep cleaning the sealing ring but also ensures that future meals cooked in the Instant Pot are free from any residual food smells or odors.

Regularly utilizing the steam cycle as part of your maintenance routine can help keep your Instant Pot smelling fresh and clean. By incorporating this simple step into your cleaning process, you can ensure that your cooking experiences are always pleasant and odor-free.


In summary, cleaning your Instant Pot lid and sealing ring is essential for maintaining a fresh-smelling kitchen. The practical tips provided are efficient and easy to implement, ensuring a pleasant cooking experience.

Regular maintenance can lead to significant improvements in eliminating odors from your Instant Pot. For further guidance, explore additional resources on kitchen appliance care. Take action today to enjoy odor-free meals and create a healthier cooking environment.


1. What’s the best way to get rid of smells from my Instant Pot lid?

To remove odors from your Instant Pot lid, use a white vinegar cleaning solution for deodorizing or put the silicone ring in the dishwasher.

2. How do I clean the sealing ring on my Instant Pot lid?

For cleaning your sealing ring, soak it in a mixture of baking soda and water then rinse well, or steam clean it in your Instant Pot with vinegar and water.

3. Can I just throw my Instant Pot lid in the dishwasher to eliminate smells?

Yes! You can place your Instant Pot Lid and silicone ring into the dishwasher for effective food smell removal and deodorization.

4. Is there a way to freshen up my Instant Pot sealing ring without using chemicals?

Certainly! Deodorize your sealing ring by steam cleaning it in the pressure cooker with one cup of water and one cup of white vinegar.

5. Are there any quick tips for removing tough odors from my pressure cooker lid?

Yes, sprinkle baking soda on the sealing ring or wash it with vinegar to quickly get rid of strong food odors from your pressure cooker lid.

6. What are some methods to maintain my Instant Pot lid odor-free after cooking?

Keep your pot smelling fresh by routinely washing both lids with soapy water; alternate between using two seals – one savory foods, one sweets; always store cookie cutters open kitchen allow air circulate.

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