As you already know by now, rice cookers are one of the most dependable pieces of kitchen equipment there is today. These electronically powered machines can whip up perfectly cooked rice in a few minutes, leaving users with more time to prepare their home-cooked meals and do other chores. But just like any electrical appliance, rice cookers also need proper care and attention. In this article, we’ll discuss the step-by-step process of caring for the machine — before, during and after cleaning.
1. Before cleaning the rice cooker
Before you even proceed with cleaning your rice cooker, make sure to pay attention to the following safety precautions to avoid damage and injury:
- Unplug the machine from the electrical outlet to avoid exposing any live electrical parts to the water. The base of the rice cooker connecting into the wall should always be kept dry at all times. Additionally, you will need to take care of the rice cooker’s hot plate; this should also always be kept dry and clean throughout the whole cleaning process.
- Make sure the hot plate of the cooker is heat-free and in a completely cool state. Once you have determined that the plate is neither hot nor on, begin the cleaning process.
- If you’re planning to clean the rice cooker after using it, wait at least 30 minutes for the machine to cool. It’s important to remember that not all rice cookers will cool down around the same time; the process will mostly depend on which brand and model you are using. To practice extra caution, read the safety instructions and user manual to determine the exact waiting time for your machine to cool down.
2. Cleaning the rice cooker’s individual parts
To get the most out of your cleaning, follow this step-by-step guide when cleaning the cooker individual parts:
- Get soap and hot water and create a solution in a basin or a large water container. Remove the rice cooker’s inner pot and leave it to soak in the solution. If there are traces of rice or other food chunks in the pot, scrape it gently with a plastic spoon or spatula.
- Wash the rice cooker’s utensils with a clean sponge and soap while the entire pot is soaking.
- To remove hard bits of rice and food inside the pot, use a spoon to scrape off the surface. Do this carefully and gently to avoid scratching the surface of the pot. Afterwards, give the pot another quick scrub while the water’s flowing to wash away the remnants of food.
- Wash and clean the lid with soap and water. Rinse it thoroughly and leave it to dry on a clean surface.
- If you have a dishwasher, you can speeden up the cleaning process by placing all of the removable parts inside. This is a deeper way of cleaning the individual parts that can save you a lot of time with little to no effort.
- After washing the removable parts — whether through a dishwasher or soap and water — leave them to dry on a clean surface. Afterwards, assemble them back together and use the machine once again to cook rice.
3. Cleaning the inside of the cooker
Before cleaning the inside of the rice cooker, here’s a helpful guide to make the process smoother and faster:
- Use a scraper to get rid of hard-to-remove stains and residue from the hot plate and its surface. For tougher stains, use a metal utensil with caution to avoid scratching the surface. For better results, rinse away the remaining chunks of food properly with soap and water.
4. Cleaning the outside of the rice cooker
After you’re done cleaning the inside of the rice cooker, turn your attention to the external part of the machine and do the following steps:
- Use a moist rag or cloth to remove food residue or stains from the surface. To remove tough stains, use a cleaning spray and spritz on the affected area and wipe until it gets removed. Afterwards, give the machine’s cord something cleaning action as well — this time, by using a clean cloth to wipe off any stain.
Tips when cleaning and maintaining the rice cooker
Now that you have read about the entire process of cleaning a rice cooker, here are some general tips that can make cleaning and maintaining faster, easier and more efficient:
- The best way to maintain a rice cooker is to perform basic cleaning after each use. This involves wiping the internal and external parts of the machine — from the hot plate, the control and even the lid. You need to also practice in giving the hot plate ample amount of time to cool down before doing the cleaning.
- If there are still rice particles left on the hot plate, there’s a good chance that it can become hardened and more baked on. This will make cleaning more difficult and time-consuming. To avoid this from happening, make sure that the surface is always free of any particles after every use.
- If you’re using a cleaning solution for the cooker, be careful not to let any excess solution make its way into the corners of the machine. This might result in more complicated problems for the machine and its electrical output. To avoid this from happening, use a clean and dry cloth to remove any excess solution.
- Always mop up any excess moisture on the rice cooker machine by using a clean microfiber cloth.
- Never use abrasive sponges and brushes to clean the cooker; this can result in scratches that can make your rice cooker look old in a short period of time.
- Lastly, if you’re unsure of the right cleaning procedure for rice cookers, always refer to the user manual for proper instructions.
Looking for more cleaning tips? Download our kitchen cleaning checklist here.