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Thumbnail for There’s one part of your Instant Pot that you’re not cleaning—and definitely should be
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Photo: W+G Creative

Ready your gag reflex, because you’re about to hear a story that will leave you shook—especially if you have a personal affinity for the meal-prep all-star Instant Pot. In an account published on MyRecipes, writer Darcy Lenz reports that her friend found maggots—yes, maggotsgrowing in the condensation collector of her trustworthy purveyor of broths, chicken, and braised artichokes.

For obvious reasons, you may feel the urge to throw your multi-cooker out the window—like right now—but there’s actually a fairly simple way to make sure this atrocity never happens in your kitchen.

The condensation filter captures moisture from whatever you’re cooking to keep it from dripping all over your countertops. If uncleaned, it hosts the perfect combination of wetness and leftover foods necessary to help larvae thrive.

The solution? Just make sure your cleaning routine takes into account all the nooks, crannies, and secret compartments stashed in your smart appliances. The condensation filter found on some models on the Instant Pot, for instance, is a plastic cup that captures moisture from whatever you’re cooking to keep it from dripping all over your countertops, reports Dearly. This means Lenz’s friend’s dilemma likely occurred because she whipped up her dish of choice, cleaned out just the main compartment, then stuck the contraption in a dark cabinet where the larvae had the perfect combination of wetness and leftover foods necessary to help ’em thrive.

So, next time you’re about to stash your make-ahead meal savior, go through this mental checklist: Did you hand wash the condensation collector? The silicone ring on the pot (where food residue grows and causes a stench)? The anti-block shield? All the other pieces, including the actual pot, the steam rack, and the lid can be loaded right into the dishwasher. Because, seriously, who wants uninvited guests to crash their Sunday meal-prep party?

You might be under-cleaning some other filthy objects, like your AC and your yoga mat.

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