How to Clean a Rice Cooker

Have you ever made a batch of rice and everything seemed to go well, but when you cleaned out your rice cooker – it just plain stank – no amount of scrubbing could hide the fact that it smelled awful. This happened to me a few weeks ago, and I was determined to find a way to clean a rice cooker that I could share with other people who may have the same issue. After considerable searching of the internet, I did come up with several solutions which I thought would help others.

Have you ever wondered how to clean your rice cooker?

It can be pretty difficult if you don’t know how to clean it. When it comes to cleaning rice cookers, there are many different things that need to be cleaned.

Finding the right kind of cleaner for your rice cooker may be challenging. Cleaning your rice cooker is something that needs to be done often because it gets dirty quickly. The more you use it, the dirtier it will get. If you are wondering how to clean a rice cooker, then this article will help you along the way.

What is a Rice Cooker?

A rice cooker is a gadget that cooks rice. It is a small machine with a round, glass lid. You pour your rice into the machine, and the lid closes. You set the timer, and come back in a few hours to a beautiful, fluffy, perfectly cooked rice.

The magic of rice cookers is that they have water in them — in fact, a lot of water. They steam the rice. When steam condenses, you get water and a lot of it.

But steam is tricky stuff. If your rice cooker has too much water in it, you risk getting water all over the place. But if the water level gets too low, the rice may cook unevenly. The rice inside the rice pot may cook faster than that outside the pot so that you end up with clumps of undercooked rice.

On the other hand, if the water level gets too high, the rice will burn.

So the trick is to keep the water level just right. If you set the timer, and come back and the rice isn’t cooked, you have to adjust the water. But if you do that, the rice may get overdone. And if you do that too much, the machine may run out of water.

What to do?

The solution is to set a timer and come back every few hours. Once you get the timing right, you don’t have to think about it again.

Except that the rice cooker isn’t perfect. There is a limit to how much heat it can handle, and that limit is reached at about the same time all the water has gone out. So you have to do the adjustment two or three times.

How to Clean A Rice Cooker

The rice cooker is the most reliable appliance in the kitchen. It is there when you need it, and it isn’t in the way when you don’t. But like all appliances, it needs cleaning from time to time.

The best method I’ve found for cleaning a rice cooker is to soak it in a sink full of hot water. This loosens the dirt, and next, I pour some detergents and baking soda onto the rice in the cooker. The detergent and soda work like magic. The rice looks clean and the cooker looks new.

After that, I rinse the rice cooker thoroughly and wipe it dry. The whole thing takes me about 10 minutes, and it’s pretty much foolproof.

But just in case the rice isn’t clean enough, or you have trouble getting it completely clean, here are a few extra tips.

First, if you’re working with white or brown rice, it’s best not to soak it. Rice absorbs a lot of water, and when you soak it, the rice swells and leaks out.

Second, the rice cooker gets dirty from cooking rice, but it is usually okay to cook rice in it. If you cook rice in it, don’t soak it after.

Third, the rice cooker gets dirty from the steam that escapes when you cook rice in it. The steam is heavier than air, so the rice settles, and some of it ends up stuck to the bottom of the cooker. If the rice gets stuck, I pour more hot water into it, and then I use a toothpick to gently pick the rice out.

With a little practice, cleaning a rice cooker is fairly easy. And once you do it once or twice, it is so easy that you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

How Does a Rice Cooker Work?

The magic of the rice cooker is hidden in the laws of thermodynamics. Rice cookers work because, under high heat, water boils. And boiling water is 99.9 percent water. The 0.1 percent that is not water is steam.

Steam is invisible. It dissolves into the air, and you can’t see it. But physics knows all about it. Steam is gas, and gases diffuse. When steam is in contact with air, it diffuses into the air. If steam is confined, it condenses back to the water.

Rice cookers work because the steam inside the cooker is tightly confined. The rice is pushed down toward the hot bottom, and the steam is trapped below it. The steam boils, the water evaporates, and the rice is dry at the end.

READ MORE: Can Air Fryers Cook Rice?

Types of Rice Cookers

The design of a rice cooker is simple, but the way it works is complex. A rice cooker is an electric appliance, like a toaster, that cooks without burning. You can boil water in it. The heating mechanism depends on the rice. Rice cookers can’t cook anything else.

There are three kinds of rice cookers: Japanese, electric, and induction. There’s only one kind in the rest of the world: electric. The Japanese make electric rice cookers, but they’re expensive. If you want an induction rice cooker, you have to buy it in Japan.

Japanese rice cookers:  use electricity to throw heat into a pot containing the rice. The pot contains a heating element, a thermostat, and a fan. The fan blows air over the heating element, and the heat transfers to the pot, which in turn transfers heat to the rice.

Japanese rice cookers work because rice is a bad conductor of electricity. Rice won’t burn, but neither will it cook. The heating element is the only thing you need to cook rice.

Electric rice cookers: work the same way, but they have a heating element that cooks the rice as it’s cooking. The heating element heats up rapidly, so you need lots of it. The heating element conducts heat poorly, so you need lots of it. The heating element is made of tungsten. Tungsten conducts electricity well, but it’s dense, and it burns easily.

Electric rice cookers use the heating element to heat the water. The heating element heats the water by radiation. The heating element heats up the water until it boils, and the water evaporates. The evaporated water cools down and condenses on the heating element.

Induction rice cookers: The best rice cookers are the Induction rice cookers. They are a little trickier than the regular ones, but they are worth it. The only downside is that you should always clean them by hand, not in the dishwasher.

An Induction rice cooker works because electricity travels better through metal than through other materials. In essence, when a current passes through metal, it creates an electromagnetic field. (In a conductor, the magnetic field generated by the current actually pulls on the electrons, producing the electricity.) The electric field created at one end of the conductor by the current is like the magnetizing field in an electromagnet – it’s what pulls the current through the metal.

In a regular rice cooker, the magnetizing field is created by a magnet, and the electric field is generated inside the rice cooker. You can think of this as a sort of generator. The magnet is a magnet. The electric field inside the rice cooker is created by a small coil of wire, which is like an inductor. (An inductor is an electrical component that acts as a sort of electrical “storage” device.)

In an Induction rice cooker, the magnet and the inductors are one and the same. When the cooker is turned on, the inductor becomes a magnet.

An Induction rice cooker has two advantages over ordinary rice cookers. First, the magnetizing field created by the inductor is much more uniform than a magnetic field created by a magnet. If the magnetic field from a magnet is uneven, some portions of your food will be cooked more quickly than others.

Second, the magnetizing field created by the inductor dissipates much more rapidly than the magnetic field created by a magnet, so it won’t heat up your kitchen if you leave the cooker on.


As you can see, cleaning a rice cooker doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. When you know what you’re looking for, it takes little time to thoroughly clean your rice cooker and restore it to its original sparkling finish.

Right now, there are a lot of variations on rice cooker cleaning methods. Some people say white vinegar is the key to success, while others swear by bleach or baking soda. I’ve tried them all, and the results are mixed.

Through the guide presented above on how to clean a rice cooker, you should know how to clean your rice cooker completely on the inside and on the outside. Now, you can use it safely and be sure that there is no bacteria or mold hiding in your rice cooker. No matter what type of rice cooker you have, clean it regularly to keep it running smoothly. Use these simple steps to help get the job done.

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