How to Clean a Rice Cooker

Do you own a rice cooker but don’t know the right way to clean it? Find out exactly how to clean a rice cooker so that it will last a long time.

Rice cookers are amazing, but they won’t stay amazing if you don’t clean them!

That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to clean your rice cooker. It will make sure your rice cooker lasts a long time – and that you always have perfectly cooked rice.

A rice cooker is one of the most essential kitchen appliances because it makes cooking rice so much easier. Not to mention, it also cooks other dishes like stews and soups.

But all that convenience comes at a price – your rice cooker needs to be cleaned regularly or else it will start to smell bad and not cook food as well. That’s why I’m here to show you the right way to clean your rice cooker so that it will last a long time.

By following these simple steps, your rice cooker will be as good as new in no time – and you’ll be able to continue using it for all of your cooking needs!

Keep scrolling for my top rice cooker cleaning tips.

How to Clean a Rice Cooker FAQs

How do I clean my rice cooker for the first time?

When you first get your rice cooker, you’ll want to clean it before you use it for the first time. Take out all the removable accessories and wash them by hand with warm, soapy water. Then, wipe the body of the rice cooker clean with a damp cloth. Make sure all the pieces are dry before you reassemble them.

How often should I clean a rice cooker?

You need to clean your rice cooker each and every time you use it. This is the best way to prevent stuck-on food and remove any stains.

How do you clean mold out of a rice cooker?

If you’ve ever accidentally left rice in the rice cooker for a few days, chances are you’ve opened it to find moldy rice. Cleaning mold out of a rice cooker is easy. Just mix one part vinegar with three parts water, stir it together and pour it into the rice pot while it’s still in the rice cooker. Then, turn your rice cooker on and let the mixture boil inside. After it cools, pour it out and clean it with hot, soapy water.

Safety Precautions To Observe Before You Start Cleaning

The first step to cleaning your rice cooker is to read the user’s manual for proper cleaning instructions.

The second step is to unplug it from the power and allow the cooking plate and other parts to cool down. This can take up to 20 minutes. 

A safety point to always remember is never to submerge the base unit into the water as this will expose the electrical components to water resulting in damage.

How To Clean The Different Parts Of A Rice Cooker

You will need a standard kitchen detergent, a soft sponge, and warm water. You will also need a dry wiping cloth to completely dry off all parts of your rice cooker. 

You want to avoid abrasive scouring pads as they can damage the outer layer of your rice cooker. You also want to avoid bleach, thinner, cleanser, and other harsh cleaning chemicals. These can damage your rice cooker.

Cleaning a rice cooker may vary with the brand and model, but for the most part, below is how you will clean parts of the rice cooker effectively. 

Image of an open rice cooker with the rice cooker pot, two rice paddles, and the rice measuring cup.

How To Clean The Rice Cooker Pot

Remove the pot from the base unit and pour some warm soapy water into the pot. Allow it to soak for a couple of minutes to loosen any stuck rice. Take a rubber or plastic spatula and attempt to pry off the sticking rice.

Using the soft sponge, clean the inside and outside of the pot. Rinse with clean water and allow it to dry on a dish rack. 

Finally, clean the rice cooker accessories- the spatula, steam basket, measuring cup, and spatula, with warm soapy water and rinse with clean water. 

A few don’ts when cleaning the rice cooker pot that may cause the non-stick coating to peel off:

  • Do not use a metallic spoon or sharp object to remove the hard-stuck or burnt food. 
  • Do not place the pot on top of other utensils.
  • Do not wash other utensils inside the pot
  • Do not use an abrasive cleaner to clean the inside of the pot.
  • Do not immerse the accessories in hot water as this may cause them to deform.

How To Clean The Rice Cooker Lid 

Depending on the model, the lid of your rice cooker may be detachable or nondetachable. If the lids can detach, carefully detach and wash in warm soapy water. Rinse and allow to air dry.

If the lid cannot be detached, open it up and, using a wet sponge that has been dipped in soapy water, wipe it down. Follow up with a wet washcloth to clean off the soap and leave it open to air dry.

How To Clean The Rice Cooker Heating Plate

We don’t ever recommend touching the heating plate, but if there are caked food particles or food stains on it, it’s okay to rub it with sandpaper gently. Then go over it with a damp washcloth to eliminate any remaining food particles and stains.

Do not scrape off the food particles with a metal spatula or spoon. This can lead to scratches on the hot plate surface. Also, be careful not to let any moisture get into the hot plate as this might result in electrical problems.

Wipe up any excess moisture using a clean, dry microfiber cloth.

How To Clean The Outside Of A Rice Cooker

The exterior is the most exposed part of a rice cooker, especially if you store your rice cooker on the countertop. Wipe down the outside with a soft sponge dipped in warm soapy water.

Then follow it up with a wet washcloth and finally with a dry washcloth to dry it off completely. Allow it to air dry before storing it away.

How To Clean The Cord

If the cord is just dusty, use a dry cloth to wipe it off along the length of the cord but avoid the connector ends. If it is stained, wipe using a soft wet sponge, then dry it off with a dry cloth.

Do not immerse the cord in water or splash it with water. You risk an electric shock or a short circuit that could render your rice cooker useless. 

Image of an empty rice cooker basin.

How To Get Rid Of The Bad Smells From A Rice Cooker

Vinegar and water are all you need to keep your rice cooker smelling fresh again. Make a mixture of water and white vinegar in equal parts and pour into a spray bottle. Spray directly on a dry washcloth and wipe your entire rice cooker. Do not spray directly into the rice cooker.

Another efficient way to get rid of odors is to prepare a mixture of one part of vinegar and three parts of water and pour it into the rice cooker pot.

Turn on the cooker and allow the mixture to boil. Once it starts boiling, turn off the cooker and let the mixture cool down. Then pour out the mixture and rinse the pot with clean water at least twice. The stench will be gone.

How Often Should One Clean The Rice Cooker

To get the most out of your rice cooker, you should clean it after every use. This is to prevent odors, mold, stains, and hard-stuck dirt that can be hard to clean.

Also, dirt and food particles impede a rice cooker from working effectively and performing optimally, which beats the logic of having a rice cooker in the first place.

How to Clean Your Rice Cooker Wrap Up

Remember to clean your rice cooker after every use to avoid stubborn stains, odor, and hard-stuck food particles. Use only a regular kitchen detergent and a soft sponge to clean all cooker parts, and only use a dry kitchen cloth to dry the different parts of your rice cooker.

Do not immerse the cooking plate unit, steam cap, and power cord in water. Also, do not wash your rice cooker in a dishwasher. Even though many manufacturers claim that it’s safe to wash the lid, pot, and accessories in the dishwasher, we recommend hand washing only.

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