These days, rice cookers aren’t only used for cooking parboiled or white rice. You can use them in a variety of ways such as making oatmeal, steaming vegetables, poaching fruit and boiling eggs.
However, like any other appliance used for cooking, you have to clean your rice cooker. But how do you clean it properly? Is there something you can use that helps with the process of cleaning without damaging your unit?
Read on to find out how you can clean your rice cooker with vinegar.
Before You Clean the Rice Cooker
There are a few safety precautions to follow before you clean your rice cooker. The first and most important rule is to ensure that you do not expose any of the electric parts to water.
This applies specifically to the hot plate inside the cooker as it is this plate that generates the heat used to cook the food in your cooker. You can easily identify the hot plate when you lift the pot from its casing.
It is also vital that you give the rice cooker a minimum of 30 minutes to cool down before you clean it.
Clean Each Part Separately
Every now and then, you need to take your rice cooker apart and wash each part separately. This includes cleaning the inner pot and wiping down the interior and exterior.
Begin by cleaning the inner pot. If there are hard food remnants stuck inside, use a spoon to scrape them off. Make sure you do it carefully as you don’t want to damage the surface of the pot. If there aren’t any food scraps, soak the pot in hot, soapy water and clean it with a sponge. Once it is clean, rinse it and dry with a cloth.
Don’t forget that you also need to wash the lid of the rice cooker. If yours is detachable, 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, rinse it using a cloth. Let each part dry completely before you reassemble it.
Cleaning the Rice Cooker with Vinegar
If you use your rice cooker regularly, you may find an unpleasant odor coming from inside your rice cooker. This typically happens if rice has been left in the cooker for a few days.
A mixture of vinegar and water is all you need to eliminate bad smells from your rice cooker. Mix one part vinegar with three parts water. Stir the mixture and pour it into the inner pot. Turn the unit on and leave until it boils. Once the liquid has boiled, turn the cooker off and leave it to cool. Then rinse the inner pot two or three times. You will find that the bad odor is gone.
Cleaning Inside the Rice Cooker
A moist cloth is perfect for cleaning the inside of your rice cooker once you have removed the inner pot. Stubborn residue can be very difficult to remove, so do not be afraid to be firm.
Using sand paper allows you to give the rice cooker a thorough cleaning. You can also use a scraping tool, but you should do so cautiously to ensure you do not damage the hot plate.
Make sure your cook is completely dry before you replace the inner pot.
Cleaning the Exterior of the Rice Cooker
A moist rag should also be sufficient for wiping food residue and stains that are left on the outside surface of your rice cooker.
You can use a mild cleaning solution if the stains are hard to remove. However, do not use cleaning solution inside your rice cooker.
Rather, use vinegar and water as this ensures only natural and safe products come in contact with the pot. A moist rag can also be used to clean the power cord if it gets stained or dirty.
Although your rice cooker probably isn’t as expensive as an oven or a refrigerator, you will want to maintain it properly so you can use it for many years to come. Additionally, by following the above tips for cleaning this innovative appliance, you can extend its life.