A rice cooker is an electric kitchen appliance used mainly to make cooking rice a much easier task. Because of its name, however, some people don’t know that it can be used to cook so much more! From chilis, cereals, and soups, to vegetables and pasta, rice cookers have made preparing all types of meals more simple and fun.
Keeping your rice cooker clean is a very important step in maintaining it’s overall use. It must be cleaned thoroughly after each use to ensure there is no mold growing from the food left inside.
If you are interested in learning how to properly clean your precious rice cooker, then you have surely come to the right place!
Below, I’ll explain why proper maintenance is so important, and the steps necessary to guarantee a clean and spotless rice cooker every time!
What To Know Before Getting Started
It is important to note that not all rice cookers come made the same. Therefore, their cleaning routines may vary depending on the brand and what they’re made from.
For example, some brands have removable parts to make the cleaning process much easier, while others do not. Some may come with a non-stick coating that requires special care when cleaning.
Be sure to check the labeling on your product in search of any special cleaning instructions that may be unique to the brand you have purchased. Some brands of rice cookers may even have machine washable parts to make your clean-up that much easier!
But again, researching your specific product can save you from making any unnecessary (and costly) cleaning mistakes.
Step 1: Remove Food, Unplug, And Allow To Cool
While this should go without saying, your first step will be to remove any food from your rice cooker, because well, duh. After putting it away, unplug the rice cooker from the wall.
Some models even allow you to remove the cord from the appliance itself, if this is the case in your situation, unplug it from the wall, then unplug it from the cooker itself.
DO NOT expose any electrical parts of the rice cooker to the water at any point in the cleaning process. This will ruin your cooker, and cleaning it will be the least of your worries!
Give your rice cooker a decent amount of time to sit and allow it to cool down so that you may touch it safely. Typically, 30 minutes is the average time it would take to fully cool down.
Step 2: Clean Each Piece Of The Rice Cooker Individually
Begin by removing the main inner pot from the base of the rice cooker. Place the pot inside of your sink and use hot water and dish soap to soak the bowl for a respectable amount of time. Some may choose to let the pot soak overnight to ensure that there are absolutely no food particles left.
If any excess food is still stuck to the side and remains until another use of the pot, it can really cake to the side, making clean up that much more difficult. So definitely be sure to give the pot a fair amount of time to soak.
While the pot is soaking, use this extra time to clean any utensils you may have used along with the rice cooker.
If after soaking the rice cooker pot, there are still food particles remaining on the sides, use a plastic or wooden utensil to gently scrape it off. A plastic utensil is typically preferred as metal spoons, knives, or forks may leave unwanted scratches on the inside of your pot.
After completing this step, use your regular dish sponge or a rag to give the inside a final scrub down before rinsing your pot with warm water. Then, use a cloth, towel, or rag to hand dry your bowl.
Quick note: using paper towels may result in unwanted lint being left behind.
If you have a detachable lid, remove it and wash it as well. If you happen to have a rice cooker with a non-detachable lid, use a sponge soaked in warm water to gently wipe down the inside of the lid. Double back over with a dry rag to complete the cleaning process, while simultaneously ensuring to keep water away from the inside of the rice cooker itself.
Check the labeling on your rice cooker’s packaging to see if any of your parts can be machine washed to make the task a bit easier on you.
Step 3: Cleaning The Inside And Outside Of Your Rice Cooker
If you find that any food has somehow made its way onto the inside or outside of your rice cooker, these can be particularly tricky areas to clean. You must always keep in mind where the electrical areas of your cooker are.
If you plan to use a cleaning solution to handle these areas, be sure to spray or squeeze the cleaning product directly onto a damp (not dripping wet) rag. Do not spray directly onto or inside of the rice cooker.
Gently wipe away the excess food on the inside and outside using this damp rag or sponge. Make sure the inside of the rice cooker and the pot itself are both completely dry before placing the pot back inside.
No More Moldy Rice
For some people, it’s just another chore. It doesn’t matter how you look at it, you have to clean your rice cooker every now and then. It’s not hard nor time-consuming. When done, you’ll have not only a sparkling clean rice cooker but also a rice cooker with a much longer lifespan!
Just follow these simple and easy steps and you’ll be ready for your next meal in no time!