Question about Zojirushi NH-VBC18 10-Cup Rice Cooker

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Spoiled rice after 20+ hours

I am used to my rice cooker keeping my rice fresh for over 3 days. As of a week ago, the rice would always spoil after 20+ hours.

Does anyone know why this happened? I know it's not my rice because two of my other family member have the same rice cooker model and their rice starts to spoil too. It's rather weird...only 2 years of good use?

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  • 3 more comments 
  • Anonymous Jun 29, 2008

    6 month old NH-VBC10 rice cooker makes rice spoiled after 8 hours

  • Anonymous Jan 25, 2009

    Ours is 2.5 years old and used to keep it fresh for over a week. All of a sudden, our rice doesn't stay edible after a day.

  • Linda N Jun 10, 2013

    I have a Tiger Brand rice cooker and it used to keep my rice fresh for three days. I have had it for four years and within the last week, my rice starts to turn slimy and smell musty after a day. What is causing this?

  • Anonymous Mar 23, 2014


  • Anonymous Aug 08, 2015

    Three to four years ago cooked rice would be edible up to 7 days (more or less) in my cooker on my counter. Since then different brands of rice I've purchased have been coated with a substance that is essentially impossible to wash off prior to cooking and contributes to rapid spoiling. I have been to many other sites that attribute the spoilage to improper cleaning and hygiene... Nowhere have I seen anyone attribute the spoilage to the true cause! It makes me wonder who these people and who is paying them?



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I know this thread is old but after much research and trying all the crazy theories on sanitizing the rice cooker I have solved the problem and it should work for you too. EVERY person I've shared this with has reported the same results, rice that keeps for up to a week, nice and hot in the rice cooker as it ALWAYS has, the way you remember when you were a kid.

The problem lies not with the cooker itself but in the water you're using. Yes as simple as that. Let me give you a brief overview. You probably don't know but the tap water you're using most likely is treated with a compound called chloramine. The problem is this compound is also subject to a biological process called nitrification which in turn leads to an accelerated biological process in your rice cooker. This is a very high level explanation and there is much more detailed scientific explanations of the process and issues that are exacerbated by the pipes in your house and at the plant. I will not cover all the technical aspects but if you're wondering why this didn't happen before it's mainly because water was treated with chlorine before, not chloramine.

The bottom line is this. Rinse and cook your rice using ONLY bottled spring water, check the label. If it indicates the bottled water you're using is from municipal sources, call the manufacturer to make sure there is no chloramine. If you do this you will be so relieved and happy, I'll be happy knowing I saved you the frustration and brought rice peace to your life.

Forget about all the special cleaning procedures or equipment testing, I too thought there was something wrong with my fuzzy logic cooker...NOT!!!
If you want more in depth information about chloriminated water you can join my Facebook page and read/discuss it:

Posted on Oct 20, 2012

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Our rice cooker would keep the rice from spoiling for about two years and then all of a sudden it wouldn't keep for even 12 hours before the "spoiling" smell would be present. I tried really washing every washable part and even did an alcohol wipedown in case it was a bacterial or something, but nothing worked. I liked the cooker before this started happening, but don't want to buy another one because it is so expensive. When I was in Japan, there are some REALLY good ones that would monitor the moisture level and want one of those, but will have to live with what is available here. Anyone got a solution?

Posted on Mar 29, 2008

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There is some bacteria some place the cover? inside a cover? inside a liner that may be cracked or slightly split. as a measure I would completely imurse everything in bleach water for 6 hours, let the bleach get everywhere and then let it dry for 24 hours. that will keep the bacteria at bay for awhile, in addition if you can open the unit up and look inside at the electronics you may find you have a leak your not detecting from the cooking side.

Posted on May 27, 2008

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I went through the same thing myself. For over a year, my Zojirushi rice cooker was keeping my rice warm and fresh for 7 days or more. It was so nice compared with my less expensive rice cookers of the past.

Then, one day it happened, my AC outlet in my kitchen stopped working, and the rice in my cooker sat for a day or so unnoticed at room temperature, until the rice spoiled in a smelly way. After that, my rice would spoil after only a day or so of making it.

I had suspected that the software in my cooker needed to be re-downloaded, but as it turns out, that wasn't the issue. The problem was that once my rice spoiled the first time, that fateful day, bacteria (or something small, nasty and invisible) bloomed inside the hidden spaces within my rice cooker. I would clean it, but the rice would still spoil the next time I used the cooker.

The solution was cleaning it really good, taking apart everything that would come apart, and washing it with anti-bacterial dish soap, then cleaning it again. I thoroughly cleaned it 4 or 5 more times, and would remove the rice after a day or so, before the cooker was finally back to normal. The trick is not to let the bacteria to get a strong-hold in the hidden places in the rice cooker. Now my Zorjirushi is back to normal, and it stays hot enough, with internal pressure, to prevent the bacteria from thriving again, and my rice stays fresh for over a week; at least until I lose power again.

Posted on Apr 13, 2018

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Omg after reading all the comments I feel like I'm not alone. My rice cooker(tiger band) can keep my rice warm for days now only12 hrs n it starts to smell so I brought a new one same brand n it's still acting the same. I can't seem to keep it warm for more than 12 hrs b4 it starts to smell. It's not the rice either bcuz I also brought a new bag of rice. Wth is going on with the rice cooker?

Posted on Feb 27, 2016

Temperature is most likely not holding high enough--that is the easiest way to spoil rice--grab a thermometer and just check it by filling the cooker with water and leave it on. I'd stick my probe thru the steam hole andcheck it over the next few days. it should keep the water at maybe 135---you may want to look up the temp--140 might be better--170 is too high i think--hope this helps

Posted on Oct 25, 2008

Dunno, happened to us, and we had a really old rice cooker (like 4 years) so we got a new one, but it still happened. We cant figure out what is happening...

Posted on Mar 22, 2008

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Mine is about 3 years old and just recently, rice would spoil the next day. I noticed there is some water at the bottom that's making the rice wet and probably causing it to spoil. Anyone know what's causing this and how I can fix it?

Posted on Dec 12, 2009

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