How to Keep Your Instant Pot Sealing Ring Smelling Fresh

Your Instant Pot sealing ring is surprisingly easy to keep fresh and clean. Here's what to do!

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My absolute favorite recipe to cook in my Instant Pot is Indian butter chicken. I spoon up the saucy, spicy mixture over rice and serve garlic naan on the side for a delicious dinner.

But after the plates are wiped clean, my Instant Pot sealing ring still bears the distinct aroma of all the spices that went into the butter chicken. Here’s how to freshen up Instant Pot sealing rings!

How to Clean Instant Pot Rings

The Instant Pot is an easy appliance to clean—when you know what to do. As the Instant Pot instruction manual says, all Instant Pot inner pots, pressure cooker lids, glass lids and accessories are dishwasher safe. And don’t miss our tips on how to clean the Instant Pot.

Everyday Cleaning

You can pop the plastic sealing ring in your dishwasher. I’ve done this many times, making sure to place it the top rack.

But if I have a sink full of soapy water to wash other dishes, I’ll sometimes just wash the ring with warm soapy water, rinse it and wipe it dry, or let it sit in my dish-drying rack.

Deep Clean an Instant Pot Ring

Instant Pot cooks have plenty of tricks to get the sealing rings squeaky clean. A popular one is to leave a ring in the Instant Pot and add two cups of white vinegar to the pot. Then run the Instant Pot on the Steam setting for two minutes, pop out the ring and dry it. Some cooks even like to put the ring in the freezer for a short time to dry it completely.

Another trick to try is to bake the sealing ring. Yes, in your oven. Don’t turn the temp up too high, though. Set it to 250°F and place the ring (or rings, if you have more than one) on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes to remove odors.

Don’t miss all of our Instant Pot secrets!

How to Keep Instant Pot Rings Fresh

Buy Extra Sealing Rings

Sealing rings aren’t expensive. One of my first-ever Instant Pot accessory purchases was a pack of two different colored sealing rings, one red and one blue, priced at about $6 each. I decided right away that I would keep the clear ring I already had for Indian dishes, use the blue for other savory meals and reserve the red for cheesecake. (Here’s a guide to must-have Instant Pot accessories.)

Store the Lid Separately

If space is at a premium in your kitchen, you might be tempted to store the Instant Pot’s lid on the pot, tightly sealed. Don’t do this—it helps the odors hold tight to the ring. I store the Instant Pot in one of my cupboards and lean the lid against its side. That way, the lid itself is airing out, not sealed tightly inside with any aromas.

Expose the Rings to Sunlight

And speaking of airing out, sometimes after I rinse the sealing ring, I set it on a cookie sheet and put the whole thing outside on my deck. Mom used to always say hanging clothes outside to dry was the best way to freshen them up, and the same is true for the sealing ring. When I bring it in after a few hours, any food scents have completely disappeared. Mom, as always, was one smart cookie!

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Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is a pop culture junkie and the co-author of Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops and The Totally Sweet '90s. She covers TV, movies, books and pop culture, as well as food news of all kinds. Gael is a weblog pioneer who started her first blog, Pop Culture Junk Mail, in 1999.