Instant Pot smells like dirty dishwater

Help! Everything I make in my new Instant Pot smells like dirty dishwater to me. I clean it thoroughly with soap and water, and I will try the vinegar and baking soda solution to really get it clean. Beyond having a clean Instant Pot, am I using the wrong recipes? Why does everything have the same odor? I think it has to do with the fact that nothing gets to evaporate and condense/intensify flavors. Am I alone in this?



Nicole D. June 12, 2023
Replacing the seal is a good idea, as is washing it each time in the dishwasher after use. I found this thread through working on a Food52 story about cleaning tips—if you have one, please feel free to weigh in here, thanks! —Nicole Davis, Community Editor
Daniel P. September 6, 2018
Your instant pot can smell. That can happened sometime, when you did not washed it properly,
What I will recommend is to use baking soda to clean it up and even leave it there overnight, so it will suck the smell out.

Voted the Best Reply!

Smaug August 2, 2018
Vinegar and baking soda has somehow got traction as a cleaner, but really makes no sense. Either vinegar or baking soda can be an effective cleaner for burned on food, and baking soda can absorb odor, but if you mix them together they just neutralize each other; they produce a lot of foam that looks impressive but has no real cleaning power.
Lori T. August 2, 2018
Have you checked, emptied and cleaned the condensation collector on the side? If it isn't emptied of the water collected from the lid, the stagnant water would generate a smell, and possibly mold. Otherwise, like the other answer, the solution might be to replace the silicone seal ring. If you cook something with strong aromatics, like garlic, sometimes it will hold on to the odor. I use two seals, one for savory cooking, and one for desserts, so as not to have the trouble.
ktr August 2, 2018
I personally have never had this issue. The pot should not retain smells, but the seal can so you may want to either replace your seal or try washing it really well.
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