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I have a nicer Zojirushi rice cooker that has a removable pan which reveals a small heating element with a button in the middle. Through my use the element has gotten some light brown and black stains on it, which I'm guessing is from things left on the removable pan and water drying up leaving the minerals on the element. I'm able to remove the things stuck to the element such as something burnt but the stains I can't.

Is there any way to clean this without causing any issues with the inner components of the rice cooker? The middle button I was talking about would allow small particles or liquids to reach the inside of the rice cooker.

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Many rice cookers use an aluminum disk as the heat transfer element. Aluminum discolors easily, but it's also soft and subject to scratching. Scratches will reduce contact between the heating element and your cookpot. Unless the stains form actual bumps on the surface of the element, you're better off leaving them alone.

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