How to Clean Idli Maker – A Step by Step Guide to Remove Burnt Stains?

How to Clean Idli Maker – A Step by Step Guide to Remove Burnt Stains?

Idlis are a delicious staple food for many. But making these can get your idli maker dirty with burnt stains and stuck-on batter over time. While cleaning the plates and parts may seem tiresome, it’s crucial for safety, hygiene and properly cooking idlis.

Don’t get frustrated with stubborn buildup or scorched residues in your idli steamer. Cleaning your idli maker is manageable with some simple cleaning solutions and some tips. 

Follow these step-by-step methods to clean even the dirtiest idli maker. Get into those tough cracks and corners and remove all burnt-on stains.

With the right scrubbing tools and some natural cleaning boosters from your pantry, you can restore your idli maker to look and function like new.

1. Use Warm Water and Dish Soap

1. Fill a sink or large container with warm water and add one teaspoon of dish soap. 

2. Carefully place the idli plates and stand in the warm water.

3. Let them soak for 10-15 minutes. This will loosen up any dried batter or burnt stains.

4. Use a soft sponge or cloth to gently scrub the plates, stand, and other parts. Focus on any visibly stained or burnt areas. The warm water will help soften and dissolve the stains.

5. Rinse everything thoroughly under running warm water. Make sure all soap residues are washed away completely.

6. Check plates thoroughly for any remaining stains. Repeat steps focusing specifically on those spots until the plates are clean.

7. Allow the plates, stand, lids and other parts to air dry completely before reassembling.

2. Use Baking Soda

1. Make a Cleaning Solution

Take 2 tablespoons of baking soda and mix it with warm water to make a thick paste. 

2. Apply the Solution

Using an old toothbrush or soft sponge, gently apply the baking soda paste onto the stained areas of the idli plates and stand. Ensure you cover all the stained areas.

3. Let It Sit

Once applied to the stains, allow the cleaning solution to sit for 10 minutes. This gives it time to work on dissolving the hardened batter stains.

4. Scrub and Rinse

After letting it sit, scrub the plates and stand gently using the sponge. Then thoroughly rinse with warm water to wash away the cleaning solution.

5. Repeat if Needed

Check if any stains still remain. If they do, repeat the process by reapplying the baking soda paste and scrubbing again.

6. Dry Completely

Once plates are stain-free, allow them to air dry completely before forming back the idli maker.

3. Vinegar Time

1. Take white or apple cider vinegar and pour it into a large container. 

2. Now add warm water to the vinegar. Use 2 parts of warm water for every 1 part of vinegar. For example, if you used 1 cup of vinegar, add 2 cups of water.

3. Mix the vinegar and warm water properly with a spoon. It should form a cleaning solution for your idli maker.

4. Place the idli plates, stand, lids, and any other parts carefully inside this vinegar solution.

5. Let all the parts soak for 30-40 minutes. The acetic acid in the vinegar will help dissolve grease and leftover batter stains.

6. After letting soak, take out the parts and rinse them thoroughly under running water. Rub gently with a soft sponge if needed to remove residues.

7. Dry all the plates and parts completely of your idli maker.

4. Lemon and Water

Just as mentioned above, you’ll need to do the same with the lemon. And here how it is – 

1. Take 2 lemons and cut them into half

2. Squeeze the lemons properly into a large bowl or bucket. Extract as much juice from them as possible.

3. Now fill the bucket halfway with warm water. You can also use hot water. Stir well.

4. Place the idli plates, stand, lids and other parts into this lemon water solution.

5. Let all the items soak for a minimum of 30 minutes. For tougher stains, can soak for up to 1 hour.

6. After soaking, take out the items and rinse them well under running water. Gently scrub spots if any visible stains remain.

7. Ensure the items are dried properly.

The citric acid and antibacterial properties in lemon make it a very effective and safe cleaning solution. Follow this easy lemon water method every few weeks for sparkling clean idli plates with zero stains!

Helpful Tips to Clean Your Idli Maker

1. Clean Immediately After Use

Disassemble all parts of the idli stand including plates, lids, etc. Wash thoroughly under water to remove batter residues before it dries and hardens. This prevents staining.

2. Use Soft Utensils

Use a soft spatula or spoon to remove or serve idlis. Avoid metal ladles or spoons as they can scratch the surface.

3. Allow To Dry Completely

After washing, let the plates, and lids, stand air dry fully before assembling together. Moisture can allow mold growth. So avoid the moisture and air dry completely.

4. Store Properly

Keep the assembled idli maker in a clean, dry place like cabinets. Do not be exposed to moisture or too much heat.

5. Remove Stains

Make a paste of baking soda with water and apply it to the stains. Or use lemon juice and vinegar solution to remove stubborn stains.

6. Clean Regularly

Deep clean the idli maker every few weeks using the above tips. This removes odour or lingering stains.


Cleaning an idli maker properly and removing stubborn burnt stains is important to maintain the equipment and make tasty idlis. With regular usage, there are chances of the plates getting stained which affects taste and quality.

As mentioned above, soaking the idli stand parts in hot water first helps soften and loosen the hardened batter bits. Then gently scrubbing with a brush or cleaning pastes like baking soda helps remove the tough stains easily. One can also use homemade pastes made with lemon juice or vinegar for their acidic effect.

The key things are – only use soft brushes, do not scrub too hard, rinse properly after cleaning and finally let the plates completely air dry. 

The simple tips shared make the whole cleaning process very easy. Regular cleaning also removes any foul smell and ensures the plates retain their original look.

Join the discussion