If you've recently purchased an electric rice cooker, you may be unclear as to how to keep it clean. Fortunately, rice cookers can be cleaned quickly and simply, provided you have a few basic dish-washing tools at your disposal. Below are a number of handy tips that will help you successfully clean your electric rice cooker.
1. Always Give the Rice Cooker Time to Cool Down
Before proceeding to clean your electric rice cooker, it is very important that you give the device ample time to cool down. After the rice cooker has been unplugged, allow it to sit for 30 minutes to a full hour before beginning the cleaning process. The recommended amount of cooling time may vary depending on the size, model, and manufacturer of your particular rice maker, so consult the cooker's packaging, owner's manual, or the manufacturer's website. Attempting to clean a rice cooker that's still hot or plugged in will present a serious safety hazard, so make sure to heed this important tip.
2. Take Care to Remove Bits of Burnt Rice
Another thing to keep in mind when cleaning an electric rice cooker is to remove any bits of burnt rice from the main pot. While it may be tempting to ignore a few caked-on grains of overcooked rice, the longer these grains are allowed to remain in place, the more they will solidify and the harder they will be to remove. After your cooker has been unplugged and given time to cool down, make a point of promptly removing any burnt grains with the aid of a dampened sponge or washcloth. If the rice is particularly stubborn, you may need to use a spoon or fork to gently pry it out of place. Make sure not to scrape too hard, however, as this stands to scratch the pot.
3. Clean the Lid and Main Pot in the Same Fashion as Regular Dishes
One of the key tips to utilize when cleaning an electric rice cooker is that the device's key components — namely, the main pot and the lid — should be washed in the same manner as regular dishes. These components can be successfully cleaned with hot water, dish-washing soap, and a nonabrasive washcloth. For best results, wipe both components using careful circular motions. If either the lid or pot have incurred any stubborn stains, you may need to clean them with a sponge or scrub brush. To help prevent the formation of mildew, allow the freshly cleaned components to air dry before proceeding to store them.
4. Clean Your Rice Cooker After Every Use
Even if your electric rice cooker appears perfectly clean after all the rice has been removed, it is still important that you give it a thorough washing. Rice cookers produce a fair amount of moisture, which, if not properly cleaned off, may result in the formation of mildew or even mold.