What is the best way to clean my silicon ring?
Cleaning Your Silicon Ring
NOTE: While cleaning your silicon ring if you ever notice any cracking or deformation of the sealing ring, do NOT clean or reuse the silicon ring. it’s time to replace it.
Cooking is really a process of science, and we have found that cleaning often is too.
Ever wonder why some new silicon rings (or silicon in general) may have an odor that resembles vinegar? It's because just like with vinegar, it also contains something called acetic acid. We can use this valuable information to clean your silicon ring. Silicone has a low surface tension. Over time food particles can buildup on silicon. Even if your silicon ring looks clean it can still harbor germs, bacteria, and viruses. The methods we list below will not only clean your silicon ring, but it will also sanitize it.
The two methods to clean the sealing ring listed below have always worked for us. It also needs to be mentioned that just because the silicon can pick up a 'smell' doesn't necessarily mean that the smell will transfer to another food. This is more of a assumption that grew over the Internet than anything. For example; we've cooked Italian foods the contained a LOT of garlic and then used that garlic smelling ring while making yogurt or other delicate foods and guess what? They turned out just fine and the garlic smell didn't interfere with the other food at all. This is NOT 100% because once it did effect the second food that was cooked, but all in all you should be pretty safe cooking with a smelly ring.
Now onto the cleaning methods...
This first method is the one that we normally recommend to use as we have found that it works the best. Our two kitchen friends - white vinegar and lemon juice - will be used for cleaning the silicon ring. We have found that - fresh lemons - work better than lemon juice that comes in a bottle, so the next time you're at the grocery store pick up an extra lemon or two.
You will also need something shallow to put the silicon ring on while the cleaning process takes place. We recommend to use a cookie sheet pan. Just make sure the sides of the sheet pan are taller than the silicon ring. If you don’t have a tall sided sheet pan, then you’ll need to repeat the process of both sides of the silicon ring.
This process takes an hour or two, so please plan accordingly.
Pour the white vinegar into the cookie sheet pan a little more than half way. Now place your silicon ring on the sheet pan. Cut your lemon in half and squeeze it over your sheet pan (make sure you distribute the lemon juice equally all over the sheet pan area). If there is any part of the silicon not submerged, then slowly add more white vinegar or lemon juice until it's fully submerged. Now let it sit for an hour or two. In the morning remove the silicon ring and clean with dishwashing soap like you normally would. Do NOT dry by hand! For best results instead place the silicon ring in the sun for around an hour to air dry.
Cleaning Tip #1: We have also found that this same formula works great for cleaning laminate kitchen countertops. So instead of throwing the used white vinegar and lemon juice away, simply reuse it to clean all the laminate kitchen countertops also. (Note: do NOT use this method to clean porous stone countertops).
Cleaning Tip #2: The same formula works wonders to clean your wooden cutting boards also. Simply add some salt or baking soda to the cutting board surface, and use the cut lemons (cut side facing down) like a cleaning sponge. Isn't science awesome?
This next method to clean silicon rings is much quicker and has worked 99% of the time. Having said that we usually recommend to just use the first method outlined above because it works better.
Fill the Pressure Cooker with one cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and then take your lemon from the grocery store and cut it into several pieces. Squeeze the contents of those pieces into the pressure cooker, and then place all the squeezed pieces of the lemon (rind and all) into the pressure cooker. Put the pressure cooker lid on your pressure cooker and set your Emeril Pressure Air Fryer to Steam > Vegetables and press the start button to let the magic happen.
NOTE: Make sure the steam function runs for at least 15 minutes.
Allow the pressure to release naturally, and then when it's safe to open the lid place the silicon ring in the sun to dry for around an hour.
We are also working on other ways to clean the silicon ring, including one way that uses the microwave. This method will clean both the inside of the microwave and the silicon ring at the same time. A little more time experimenting and this cleaning method should be ready to be published. Stay tuned.