Dirty rice cooker next to dishwasher - familyguidecentral.com

How to Clean Parts of your Rice Cooker in the Dishwasher (Without Damaging Them)

Cooking rice is a staple in many households. It’s quick, easy, and tastes great! But then what? How do you clean it out? Well luckily for all of us there are many different ways to go about this.

In this article, we will be discussing the dishwasher method.

Can you put a rice cooker in the dishwasher?

Yes, you can. However, not all parts of a rice cooker can go into a dishwasher. The parts that can be put in the machine are the:

  • Inner cooking pot
  • Steam cap
  • Gasket
  • Dew collector
  • rice spoon
  • Inner lid covering

One thing to mention that’s deeply important is that if there are any pieces of rubber on any of these items, make sure they are secure to the item. If they are removable, then it’s recommended to leave that rubber part out of the dishwasher.

This option is best for those who don’t have time or want to manually scrub their rice cooker out with soap and water.

Cleaning your rice cooker is an important part of keeping it in good shape. The dishwasher method is one way to do this and make sure that you remove every bit of gunk from the crevices so that it will stay looking brand new for years to come.

What kind of parts are there in a rice cooker?

Rice cookers come in various styles and models. Today’s rice cookers are built with lots of different parts. You will be surprised about the options you have in a rice cooker.

Rice cooker opened
Rice cooker opened

The most common parts are the cooking pot (main body), and a lid as well as an inner cooking pot.

Traditionally, you’ll find these items as part or comes with your rice cooker.

Main body

This is the outer casing of the rice cooker. It’s the part you see in front of you. It houses all the components of the rice cooker and also the electrical wiring and circuits.

Because of this, the body is not meant to be washed or submerged in any form of water and should be wiped and scrubbed down with a damp towel by hand.


The lid often comes in 2 different forms. One form is a removable lid and another that’s permanently attached by a hinge.

These 2 versions basically perform the same function. Both have small air vents to let out the steam that comes from cooking water with rice.

Inner lid

You’re probably scratching your head about this but trust me. Most modern-day rice cookers with permanently attached lids have an inner lid.

This lid may perhaps be one of the most overlooked parts of a rice cooker only because most people don’t understand its purpose.

The answer is that it preserves the seal mechanism. Bubbles will usually rise to the top and make contact with it first. It will pop before it reaches the vent.

Inner cooking pot

This part of the rice cooker is detachable and usually made out of aluminum and coated with Teflon to be non-sticky.

However, Teflon has had some bad reps in the past and the debate is still ongoing. We’ll talk more about that later on in the cleaning phase.

This part of the rice cooker is where the food goes. In most situations, it will be rice and water. However, you can cook more than just rice in a rice cooker.

The material that makes up this inner pot largely determines how fast you get your rice cooked. This is because of how heat is transferred through metals.

Surprisingly enough, most rice cooker inner pots are either made of aluminum or copper. Copper is almost 2 times more conductive than aluminum and oftentimes, copper will cook rice faster.

Heating element

The heating element of a rice cooker can be found inside, underneath where the inner pot sits.

It’s permanently attached to the main body and cannot be removed. Its job is to lay right underneath the inner pot making contact and heating up the pot.

Because this component converts electricity into heat, it would be advised not to place to introduce a lot of water but can be cleaned with a very lightly damp towel if it gets dirty.

If it needs to be cleaned, always remember to pull the electrical plug off from the wall first and wait several hours to days to wipe it down.

Thermal sensor

You probably won’t be able to see this part of the rice cooker because it’s embedded deep underneath or adjacent to the heating element.

The thermal sensor plays a vital role in monitoring and regulating the temperature of the inner pot while cooking rice.

When rice is done cooking and most of the water has evaporated from the inner pot, the temperature will continue to rise. It’s this thermal sensor that will pick up the signal and shut off the heating element, and place the rice cooker into “keep warm” mode.

Steam cap

The steam cap serves an important purpose in the venting system of the rice cooker. Some rice cookers are fitted with removable steam caps.

This a component of a rice cooker that will allow rice cookers to cook rice better by allowing more heat to stay within the chamber of the main body.

The vent is covered by a steam vent cap that’s usually made of heat-resistant durable plastic.

This steam cap requires regular cleaning, which you can do by either wiping it down with a damp cloth if it’s permanently attached. If it can be removed, you can run water over it to clean it.


This is also known as a sealing ring. It’s used between the lid and the main body of a rice cooker.

These rings are usually made from silicone or rubber, which is heat-resistant to withstand high temperatures without melting away as other materials would do so it can be used in cooking food at very hot temps for long periods with no adverse effects on its shape.

The gasket should also get cleaned gently by hand to prevent it from getting damaged and not sealing properly, which can lead you to have a cooker that leaks water when cooking rice because of steam escaping through gaps between the lid & body

Dew collector

The dew collector is usually located on the back or side of the rice cooker. It’s used to stop condensation from dripping onto the countertop and to collect any excess water that may have been left in your rice cooker.

The dew collector is usually made of a mesh or plastic material, which can be cleaned with warm soapy dishwater or by hand.

Rice spoon

This is simply the spoon that comes with the rice cooker. It’s used to measure the correct amount of rice and water for cooking, as well as a serving spoon when it comes time to eat your meal

The best way to wash it is just by hand and dish soap.

What parts of the rice cooker can be cleaned in a dishwasher?

As we discussed before, there are a lot of parts to a rice cooker. Some of these parts can be cleaned in the dishwasher, and some cannot:

Below you’ll find a table that lists all the parts of a rice cooker and whether or not they can be cleaned in your dishwasher.

Rice Cooker PartsDishwasher Safe?
Cooking bowlYes
Dew collectorNo
Detachable lidYes
Heating plateNo
Inner lidNo
Lid sidesNo
Main bodyNo
Non-detachable lidNo
Rice scoopYes
Steam basketsYes
Steam vent capYes
Thermal sensorNo
This is a table that lists all the parts of a rice cooker and whether or not it is dishwasher safe

The main body of the rice cooker is water-resistant, but the insides can’t be submerged in water. Avoid water where the power cord is because it may trigger a short circuit.

The inner pot may be the dirties when it comes to food. Make sure you remove any large chunks of rice still left inside. I recommend using the rice spoon to scrape the rice out and dump it into the trash. Any large groups of rice leftover may stay even after going into the dishwasher.

If you want to clean the main body, make sure you disconnect it from the power cord and then wipe it down with a damp cloth.

The lid can be cleaned in your dishwasher, but make sure to remove any food particles first so that they don’t get stuck on other dishes while washing them!

Finally, make sure all items are completely dry before putting them back in the rice cooker.

Remember, if the lid is detectable, then you can put it in the dishwasher. If not, then wipe it down gently by hand.

What parts of a rice cooker should not go in the dishwasher?

What parts of a rice cooker should not go in the dishwasher?

While some parts of a rice cooker can be washed in the dishwasher, there are other parts that should not be put in the dishwasher. Here are some parts that should not be washed in the dishwasher:

  • Lid: The lid of the rice cooker should not be washed in the dishwasher, as it is usually attached by a hinge to the rice cooker body and may become damaged or lose its seal.
  • Heating plate: The heating plate is the part of the rice cooker that heats up to cook the rice. It should not be washed in the dishwasher as it may damage the heating element or cause electrical issues.
  • Exterior: The exterior of the rice cooker, including the control panel, should not be washed in the dishwasher as it may damage the electronics.
  • Power cord: The power cord should not be washed in the dishwasher as it may damage the insulation or electrical components.
  • Rubber gaskets or seals: Some rice cookers have rubber gaskets or seals that should not be washed in the dishwasher as they may become warped or damaged, affecting the cooker’s ability to seal properly.

Simple steps on how to clean your rice cooker in the dishwasher

To thoroughly clean your rice cooker from top to bottom, follow the step I recommend.

  1. Always start with unplugging the rice cooker and giving it a few hours to discharge.
  2. Remove all the detachable parts which include the inner cooking pot, the lid, all loose gaskets, steam caps, spoon, inner lid, and the dew collector. Read into the manual of your model. Make sure you don’t yank out something you’re not supposed to.
  3. The inner lid is often something you might need to pop off to expose the bottom lid for cleaning. Check your owner’s manual for instructions.
  4. Rinse and remove any residue of food from any of these pieces. Don’t leave large chunks of rice clinging onto it.
  5. Place the dishwasher-safe items in the dishwasher.
  6. With a sponge or washcloth and dish soap, clean the rest of the parts.
  7. Flip the main body over and try to shake out any dried-up rice stuck in its crevices.
  8. Dry up all the wet parts with a towel or just leave it out to try for a day.
  9. Once completely dry, reassemble all the parts and cook.

How can I make sure I do not damage my rice cooker parts in the dishwasher?

  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions: Make sure to read the user manual that comes with your rice cooker, as it may provide specific guidance on which parts are dishwasher-safe and which are not.
  • Use a gentle dishwasher cycle: If you must use a dishwasher, choose a gentle cycle with a lower temperature and a shorter wash time. Avoid using a heated dry cycle.
  • Use a mild detergent: Choose a mild, non-abrasive detergent that is safe for use with plastics.
  • Avoid dishwashing certain parts: To be safe, it is best to hand wash the inner pot, lid, and any other delicate components. Use a soft sponge or cloth and mild soap, and rinse thoroughly.
  • Allow parts to cool down: Before washing, allow the rice cooker parts to cool down to room temperature, as sudden temperature changes can cause damage.
  • Inspect parts after washing: After washing, inspect all parts for any signs of damage or wear, such as cracks or warping. If you notice any issues, stop using the damaged parts and replace them as needed.

Is it safe to put the rice cooker bowl in the dishwasher?

It depends on the type of rice cooker and the manufacturer’s instructions. Some rice cooker bowls are dishwasher-safe, while others are not.

To be safe, you should consult the user manual that came with your rice cooker to determine whether the bowl is dishwasher-safe or not.

If the manual does not specify, it is best to hand wash the bowl to avoid any potential damage.

What type of detergent should I use to clean my rice cooker parts in the dishwasher?

You should use a mild, non-abrasive detergent that is safe for use with plastics.

Avoid using strong or harsh detergents, as they can damage the rice cooker components.

Also, avoid using bleach or other chlorine-based products, as they can discolor or warp the plastic parts.

How often should I clean my rice cooker parts in the dishwasher?

It is recommended to clean your rice cooker parts after every use, especially the inner pot and lid, to prevent any buildup of food or residue.

However, if you don’t use your rice cooker as often, you can clean the parts once a week or whenever you notice any buildup or stains.

If you are unsure whether a particular component is dishwasher-safe, it is best to hand wash it to avoid any potential damage.

Tips for keeping your rice cooker clean and in good condition

  1. Clean the parts of the cooker with dishwashing soap and water
  2. Clean the steam vent cap with a cloth
  3. Clean the removable lid with a cloth and soapy water
  4. Clean the rice cooker bowl with a cloth and soapy water
  5. Clean the heating plate with a cloth and soapy water
  6. Clean the inner lid with a cloth and soapy water
  7. Clean the rubber sealing ring with a toothbrush and soapy water
  8. Clean the exterior of the cooker with a cloth and soapy water
  9. Let the cooker dry after washing it
  10. Clean the food residue from the steamer basket

Popular brand rice cookers and if they are dishwasher safe

Rice Cooker BrandInner Cooking PotLidMeasuring CupSpatula
ZojirushiNot dishwasher safeDishwasher safeDishwasher safeDishwasher safe
Aroma HousewaresUsually dishwasher safeMay need to be hand washedMay need to be hand washedMay need to be hand washed
ToshibaNot dishwasher safeMay need to be hand washedMay need to be hand washedMay need to be hand washed
Black + DeckerUsually dishwasher safeMay need to be hand washedMay need to be hand washedMay need to be hand washed
CUCKOOUsually dishwasher safeMay need to be hand washedMay need to be hand washedDishwasher safe
This is a table that displays the typical model rice cooker models of some of the most popular rice cooker brands and whether or not the parts are dishwasher-safe. Not all models are made with the same restrictions so I recommend making sure your rice cooker is dishwasher-safe before actually putting it in the dishwasher.

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