Have you ever burnt rice before? I did, and it’s not one of my favorite moments!
I’ve had to put out the smoke and assure everyone that everything is under control. Then go through the tedious task of soaking, scraping, and scrubbing the pot to remove burnt debris.
Luckily, that encouraged us to buy a rice cooker.
Cleaning the rice cooker was a different story, though. I couldn’t soak and scrub the whole thing under running water as I did before. That’s why I checked the product manual and found the right way to clean a rice cooker.
If you want to learn how to clean the rice cooker pot, today is your lucky day!
Before Cleaning Your Rice Cooker
First off, safety.
Make sure that all electrical connections have been unplugged before cleaning the cooker.
After removing the inner pot, check that the hot plate at the cooker’s base has sufficiently cooled down; give it at least 30 minutes to do so. Check the safety instructions in your rice cooker’s user manual to see how long the base takes to cool down. Different rice cooker brands will likely have different cooling-down times.
Cleaning Part by Part
You may be tempted to soak your rice cooker right after using it. However, you’ll want to remove the detachable parts first to wash them individually.
These detachable parts would likely be:
- Inner rice cooker pot
- Detachable lid (for some models)
- Steam cap
- Condensation catcher/collector
Some rice cooker models may have additional detachable parts and come with extras like a plastic ladle. It would be better to check the user manual before attempting to take it apart, so you don’t lose any pieces.
First, soak the pot in warm water and some drops of dishwashing soap for a few minutes. Leave it soaked til you’re done with the remaining parts, then rinse it.
Grab the other parts and rinse them thoroughly with warm water, then dry them with a microfiber cloth. A microfiber cloth is ideal for drying because it collects all moisture.
Removing Stubborn Bits
If, after soaking, there are still some bits of rice stuck to the inner pot, you can soak it for another 10 to 15 minutes. Or, you can use the plastic ladle with your rice cooker to gently scrape the stains.
For obvious reasons, a metal spoon is a no-no, as it may end up scratching the pot’s surface. If you don’t have a ladle, use any similar utensil, but make sure to scrub gently to avoid causing any scratches.
How to Clean Rice Cooker Hot Plate?
Some bits of rice will inevitably make their way to your cooker’s hot plate. In this case, a moist cloth is your best friend for cleaning.
If these pits are too hard, fine-grain sandpaper will do instead of a regular cloth, but you’ll have to be gentle with it.
Run the fine-grain sandpaper over the surface where the stuck bits are, and have a damp washcloth ready to wipe down what you have managed to buff off.
Dealing with Mold
If you tend to leave cooked rice for days in the cooker before you throw it away, your cooker may have developed mold.
Here’s how to clean rice cooker from mold:
If the moldy rice is still in the cooker, remove it with a large spoon. Then, fill the pot with three parts water to one part vinegar, and turn it on.
Leave the mixture inside until it boils, then turn it off and leave it until it completely cools down.
Next, rinse the pot a couple of times to get rid of all remnants, and leave it for a couple of days out in the open to get rid of the vinegar smell.
You can also wipe down the interior of the rice cooker with vinegar and warm water solution; get to the nooks and crannies to ensure no mold remains.
Cleaning on the Outside
Run a damp, soft rag outside your rice cooker as part of your cleaning regimen.
If there are stubborn residues on it, you can use a cleaning solution of 1 part dishwashing detergent, 3 parts warm water, and 1 part baking soda.
Dip your cleaning rag into the detergent, baking soda, and water mixture, and squeeze the excess liquid. Then, wipe down the outside of your rice cooker thoroughly.
If you don’t want to use a detergent to maintain the safety of your cooker, another option is to use a chemical-free natural cleaner. Mix a few tablespoons of lemon juice diluted in warm water or vinegar and a warm water solution.
After you prepare your mixture, dip your washcloth, squeeze it tightly, and use it to wipe your rice cooker’s exterior and interior. You can choose whatever option is readily available to you.
Some Tips for Cleaning Your Rice Cooker
Here are some tips to keep your rice cooker safe while cleaning it:
- To keep the cleaning solution from seeping into the crevices of your cooker, don’t spray it directly on the appliance. It’s better to dip the rag in the solution, then wipe down the outside.
- Ensure the interior and the exterior have thoroughly dried before plugging the cooker in to use it again.
- Rice cookers have different parts; some are detachable, while others have permanent fixtures. Read the user manual before cleaning the cooker to understand where each part goes.
Now that you know how to clean rice cooker, you won’t worry about leaving rice inside it again! Soak it in a vinegar-water mixture and boil it when there are stubborn stains on the pot.
Other than that, it’d be enough to wash its parts using water and a dishwashing detergent. In all cases, remove all the detachable parts first, and clean the pot separately.