5 steps to a clean a rice cooker

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Cleaning your rice cooker is a simple as these 5 steps!

Gone are the days where rice cookers are only used for cooking rice and rice alone. In fact, it brings back many good memories of being a poor student in college dorms where it was one cooking appliance that could cook just about anything. Which leads to the need to clean it properly afterwards. So here are some simple steps how to clean it the proper way. And as an added bonus here's also how to clean rice cooker with vinegar to deep clean, which you've never even heard of.

Step 1: Before You Clean the Rice Cooker

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As a safety precaution, always unplug the rice cooker from the power socket and do not expose any of its electric parts to water.

This includes the hot plate inside the cooker which generates the heat used to cook the food in your cooker. You can easily identify the hot plate when you remove the pot.

It is also important that you let the rice cooker cool down before you actually start cleaning it. On average, your rice cooker should cool down in about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Clean Each Part Separately

It is true that we tend to wash only the removable pot most of the time. But to be thorough you need to take your rice cooker apart and wash each part separately from time to time. This means removing the inner pot and wiping the inside and exterior of your rice cooker.

When cleaning the removable pot, most people would start by scraping all the food remnants stuck inside. Do this only if you are pressed for time and need to use the pot immediately. A gentler way is to soak the pot in hot, soapy water, then set it aside until you can remove the remnants easily with a sponge. Once it is clean, rinse it and dry with a cloth.

If your rice cooker lid is detachable, then don't forget to wash it too. Remove it and wash it like you would wash the inner pot by soaking it in hot, soapy water and cleaning it with a sponge, then rinse.

If your rice cooker’s lid isn’t detachable, use a sponge to remove any stains and residue. Once you have cleaned it, wipe it clean several times with a wet cloth making sure to rinse after each wipe.

Some of the newer rice cooker pots may have a small water reservoir which drains out excess steam and water during cooking. It is usually detachable. Empty out the contents and clean it out with a sponge.

Let each part dry completely before you reassemble your rice cooker back.

Step 3: How to clean rice cooker with vinegar

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Sometimes you might find an unpleasant smell coming from the inside of your rice cooker. This happens when you've forgotten to clean out the rice or food that has been left in the cooker for several days. The trick to removing this is simple. You just need to know how to clean rice cooker with vinegar, as the vinegar would remove all the unpleasant odour that has seeped into the pot.

All you need to do is to mix one part vinegar with three parts water then pour it into the pot. Turn your rice cooker on and set it to cook until it boils. After that, turn the cooker off and leave it to cool. When it is cool, rinse the inner pot with water a couple of times. Check if the smell is gone. And that's how to clean rice cooker with vinegar! Simple!

Step 4: Cleaning the inside of your rice cooker

A moist cloth can be used to clean the inside of your rice cooker once you have removed the inner pot. But if there are stubborn stains on the inside, you might need to put in a bit more elbow grease removing all of them. As tempting as it might be, do remember not to use detergent to clean the inside of your rice cooker.

Some might even resort to using a scraping tool to remove the stains found on the inside. But remember to do this carefully to ensure you do not damage the hot plate.

A good practice is to ensure that the inside of your rice cooker is completely dry before you replace the inner pot.

Step 5: Don't forget the exterior too!

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Many people tend to forget this step thinking that it is unnecessary. But in actual fact, you should wipe the outside of your rice cooker from time to time. Wiping it once a week should be sufficient unless it is really dirty.

For the removal of any stubborn or oily stains, a small amount of detergent can be used. You can also use watered down vinegar in place of soap as a more natural alternative, then follow-up with another wipe-down with a damp cloth to remove any soap or vinegar residue.

Don't forget to also wipe down the electrical cord if it is oily or dusty. But remember to unplug it from the socket and avoid wetting the plug itself.

For Asians, the rice cooker is definitely the kitchen appliance that we use most often. Therefore proper cleaning and maintenance should be practised to make it work better, ensuring that it will last for many years to come.

Read also: 3 easy and quick ways to clean a blender