Rice cookers are one of the best additions you can make to your kitchen equipment arsenal. They can be used to cook a variety of different foods, even more than you would imagine! However they can be costly and so you want to make sure that you are caring for them appropriately. Part of this care means cleaning your rice cooker regularly, preferably after each use. It’s important that you’re cleaning your rice cooker the right way so here are some great guidelines to follow!

Most importantly, safety first! Always make sure that you wait until the rice cooker has returned back to a cool temperature before cleaning it. If it is still hot it could not only damage the rice cooker but could also lead to some burns that would be less than fun.

After it has cooled, empty all rice or any other food out of the inner pot. Then you can take the inner pot out and soak it in hot soapy water. As you’re washing this it is also a good time to wash any other utensils you used in the process such as measuring cups and spatulas. Scrub these well then rinse off and set aside to dry.

Some rice cookers have an unattached lid. If so, it can also be washed along with the inner pot and utensils in the hot soapy water. However if it is attached, you will want to use a sponge. Once again taking warm and soapy water you can use the sponge to clean the lid and then rinse it off with cool water. Take a towel afterwards to wipe it dry.

The main pot needs to be left out to air dry for at least 30 minutes. This will help to avoid any sort of water damage that could otherwise occur so this is a very important step.

A damp cloth can usually be used to wipe down the exterior of the pot as well as the top of the lid. However, sometimes tougher stains may occur. For those it will be good to use spray glass or surface cleaner first on a paper towel and then apply it to the stain. It is important not to use these products directly on your rice cooker as to avoid any of these chemicals from getting on the inside of the spot.

Burnt grains of rice or other hardened food can also be tricky to get off of the rice cooker hot plate. A good idea is to use a bit of sandpaper to rub these off. That way the surface of the plate will be smooth and it can contact the inner pot evenly so that everything heats evenly. Never scrape this plate with anything sharp that could cause scratches.

Follow these simple steps to make sure your rice cooker is working well at all times and to keep it in good condition so that you can use it for many years to come!