As a hot pot lover, few things pain me more than the dreaded post-dinner cleanup. Between the leftover broth, greasy residue, and crusty remnants burned onto the pot, scrubbing away the mess seems to take forever. I’ve certainly stood over the sink cursing myself for suggesting hot pot in the first place!
But before you vow never to make hot pot again just to avoid the cleanup headache, there are some simple tricks to make washing it a breeze. The key is being strategic in how you cook, serve and store your hot pot to prevent messes in the first place. With the right techniques, you can cut your scrubbing time significantly.
In this post, I’ll share my best tips for efficient hot pot cleaning. You’ll learn the tools, methods and homemade cleaners that cut through grease and grime with ease. I’ll also give ideas for storing your hot pot between uses to prevent messes from accumulating. With just a little planning, you can keep your hot pot spotless and enjoy this meal without dreading the aftermath!
Step 1: Let It Soak
Right after you finish your hot pot meal, remove any large food pieces and drain the broth. Fill the pot with hot water and a splash of dish soap. This will help soften any stuck-on food residue. Let it soak for at least 10 minutes while you clear the rest of the table. The longer you leave it, the easier cleaning will be later.
Step 2: Scrub With Baking Soda
Baking soda is a mildly abrasive natural cleaner that will help lift stains without damaging your pot’s surface. Sprinkle a generous layer over the entire interior and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then take a scrub brush or sponge and scrub all over the pot, concentrating on any stubborn spots. The baking soda will help scrub the residue away. Rinse thoroughly.
Step 3: Use Vinegar for Odors
Even after washing, hot pots can retain food odors. Fill the pot with warm water and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. Let soak for 15-20 minutes before rinsing clean. The vinegar will help deodorize and sanitize the pot. It’s a great ideas to do this regularly with your hot pot to keep smells from building up over time.
Step 4: Remove Mineral Deposits
If you live in an area with hard water, you may end up with mineral deposits on your hot pot after frequent use. Make a paste with lemon juice and cream of tartar. Apply the paste to stained areas and let sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing away. The acid in the lemon juice helps dissolve the deposits.
Step 5: Clean detachable elements
Many hot pots have plates and inserts that detach for easy cleaning. Wash these removable pieces separately in hot, soapy water. Use a bottle brush to thoroughly clean inside any tubes or holders. Rinse and dry completely before putting back into the base.
Step 6: Deal with Burned-On Food
Hopefully your hot pot feast didn’t end with too much burned food stuck to the bottom. But if it did, break out the heavy artillery. Make a paste of 2 tbsp baking soda and 1 tbsp water. Spread paste thickly over burned areas. Cover and let sit overnight before scrubbing away in the morning. The paste helps lift even the most stubborn burned-on stains.
Step 7: Shine it Up
Once your pot is clean, give it one final shine by buffing the interior with a soft cloth and a tiny bit of coconut oil. The oil helps seal in moisture and gives your pot a protective coating. Your hot pot will look shiny and brand new!
Step 8: Air Dry Thoroughly
It’s important not to put away your hot pot until it is completely dry. Moisture can lead to mold, odors and corrosion. Leave the lid off and allow it to air dry fully before storing. Place a towel underneath to catch any last drips.
Step 9: Store Properly
Only put away your hot pot once you are sure it is dry. Place a sheet of paper towel inside before closing the lid to absorb any leftover moisture. Store in a cool, dry place. Consider placing it in a breathable cloth bag. Make sure to re-clean your hot pot before using it again for your next hot pot party!
Cleaning your hot pot doesn’t need to be difficult, but it does require a bit of time and elbow grease. Follow these tips, and your pot will look brand new. Taking good care of your hot pot means you’ll be able to break it out time after time for delicious communal meals with family and friends.