Hi, just did this as well =(
Any updates from Instant Pot customer service on what they would have done? Thanks.
This comment sat on The Case of the Missing Inner Pot for a while. (Sorry for the slow response Wendy!)
To summarize the original post: My son and I had a misunderstanding. I said "Put the pot liner full of beans and water into the Instant Pot." He heard “Dump the contents of the pot liner into the Instant Pot base.” Time slowed down as I watched him pour the water and beans into the cooker base.
What to Do if You Dump Liquid in Your Instant Pot Without the Pot Liner
My solution is the same for all electronics:
- Unplug it immediately
- Dry it off as much as possible
- Leave it to air dry for a few days before powering it back up again.
The danger is an electrical short - electronics burn out if water conducts electricity someplace it’s not meant to go.1 Once it’s dried out, it should be fine, as long as it didn’t short out before I unplugged it.
It worked! That Instant Pot is still chugging along - I’ve moved on, but it’s going strong for my Sister-In-Law.
That said, I was curious. “What would Instant Pot Support do?” Here’s what they had to say about…
Oil: Base needs to be replaced
If the liquid is oil of some kind, we can only safely recommend they replace the base entirely.
Oil won’t evaporate…sorry. Move on to "It's Dead, Jim."
Liquid: Wipe out as much as possible, let dry for 72 hours
When liquid gets into the electronics, it is very important to wait at least 72 hours before testing the unit.
The first thing to do is to wipe the inside of the cooker base and heating element with a dry cloth to remove as much of the substance as possible. Next, place the cooker base upside down to let all the liquid drain out of the pot. Additionally, to better dry the electronics, there is a plastic vent cover on the bottom of the base that you can take off (while the unit is unplugged) by removing one screw. [Update: Pics of vent cover below]
Once it is completely dry, you can use the "Saute" function for 3 minutes without the inner pot to see if the unit still heats. Please be sure to monitor your pot the whole time during the test. If the heating element is working properly, it would seem like the cooker base is functioning. If you notice any excessive smoking, please unplug your unit immediately.
The safest option would be to replace the entire cooker base.
Safety? Feh. I’ll go with my “air dry it and hope”. It’s worked for keyboards, cell phones, and an Instant Pot.
Dry: Shake it Out!
And we have an additional one for just dry foods,
The first thing you can do is to turn your Instant Pot over, and try to shake out any food from around the element.
Next, there is a plastic vent cover on the bottom of the base that you can take off (while the unit is unplugged) by removing one screw. [Update: Pics of vent cover below]. Any food you couldn’t get out from the top is likely trapped in there. While you have the cover off, please be gentle with the wires and circuitry, but feel free to reach up into the cooker housing to see if you can get the remaining food out.
I do remember a couple of rogue beans I had to fish out from under the heating element. Luckily, I didn’t have any work their way deep into the insides of my pot.
How to remove the Instant Pot Plastic Vent Cover
That's the official name of the plastic on the base. My Instant Pot Duo Plus, Instant Pot Ultra, and Instant Pot Max all have the same type of cover on the underside of the base, held in place by a single screw. Back when I took these pictures, the screws were a standard Philips head. But, from reports from readers, Instant Pot has changed the screws to use a Torx T15 head. (I had to dig deep in my toolbox to find a screwdriver with a Torx head that would fit.)
To help the pot dry out, remove this base. Make sure the pot is unplugged before you remove the base! Water, electronics, and people with screwdrivers do not mix!
Remove the screw, and the vent cover is held in place by tabs on the base. Rotate the vent cover, line up the holes with the tabs on the base, and the vent cover lifts right off.
When I dumped water in the pot, the vents in the vent cover held on to a lot of water, so I dried it off with a towel and set it next to the pot. There were also drops of water on the electronics board in the base, so I gently - oh so gently - patted it with the edge of a paper towel to lift the water off. Don't get overly enthusiastic and damage the electronics.
And, AGAIN, please make sure the pot is unplugged before doing any of this!
It’s Dead, Jim.
Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that. If it didn’t work, and the cooker is permanently damaged, you’re not completely out of luck. User damage is not covered by Instant Pot’s warranty, but Instant Pot Support can help you get a replacement cooker base. Contact Instant Pot support for the details: InstantPot.com/Support
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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- This is where all the “put your wet iPhone in a bag of rice” advice comes from - the rice is supposed to absorb the water. The rice does not matter - it doesn’t do anything more than air drying - and anyhow I don’t have enough rice to bury my Instant Pot, even with the big 25-pound bag from the Asian market. ↩