Why Does My Air Fryer Smell Like Plastic?

An air fryer is such a versatile appliance that everyone just wants one on their kitchen countertop. However, the new owners often experience a plastic burning smell coming from the air fryer. 

So why does my air fryer smell like plastic? 

The material and manufacturing process is the main reason for this problem. Most air fryers contain heat-resistant plastic components. They need to heat and cool down several times so that they can work properly. If these parts don’t go through these processes in the factory, then you will get a plastic burning smell. 

Why Does My Air Fryer Smell Like Plastic?

Why Does My Air Fryer Smell Like Plastic

If your food smells like burning plastic, it feels awkward. Also, it is unhealthy in a way. There are several reasons behind it. For example 

Protective coating

Almost Every air fryer comes with a protective lining coating. When you turn on the fryer, the coating heats up, burns off, and emits bad odors. It’s the most common reason for this problem and it happens with new fryers. 

Plastic parts

In an air fryer, most parts are great-resistant plastic. But more plastic means more odor. This is because of poor manufacturing processes. If these parts don’t go through the heat and cooling process, they emit a bad odor and need to vent the fumes over time. 

Heating Element

Heating elements include the fan and the operating chamber. They also emit a bad odor and require a short break-in period. Particularly, you may get the odor after some particular usage. Because food particles can store in that part over time. When the hot air circulates, you can smell burning. 

How To Remove Plastic Odor From My Air Fryer? 

It is offensive to experience a plastic smell in your air fryer. Fortunately, there are solutions that help eliminate the odor and ensure a pleasant cooking experience. 

Remove Protective Films or Stickers 

Remove all protective films or stickers from the air fryer. These films can emit a plastic smell when exposed to heat, and leaving them on can affect the overall cooking experience. It will be great if you check the user manual or manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on removing any protective materials.

Pre-use Cleaning

Before using your air fryer for the first time, it is essential to clean it thoroughly. Remove all accessories, such as the cooking basket and tray, and wash them with warm soapy water. If they are dishwasher safe, then put them in. 

Wipe the interior and exterior of the air fryer using a damp cloth. This will help remove any manufacturing residues or contaminants that may contribute to the plastic smell.

Burn-off Method

To eliminate the plastic smell from your air fryer, you can use a burn-off process. If you get the plastic burn smell in the very first usages, then we will highly recommend performing the process. You just need to run the air fryer at a high temperature for a specified duration to allow any residual manufacturing substances or odors to dissipate.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to put food in at that time. To do this: 

  • Ensure the air fryer is empty, without any food or accessories inside.
  • Set the temperature to the highest setting like 350-400 degrees for the burn-off process.
  • Set the timer for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Then turn off the fryer and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. 
  • You need to repeat the process 2-3 times to eliminate the problem permanently.  
  • Open windows or ensure proper ventilation during the burn-off process to minimize any potential odors. Or your home will smell of plastic.

Steam Bath

To prevent a plastic smell, you need to give a steam bath of lime and vinegar. Well, it’s a traditional method of removing odor and still, it works nicely. 

You need to make a solvent of 1tps distilled vinegar and 1tps lemon juice in a heat-safe bowl. Then put it in the air fryer basket. Set the temperature at high heat and turn on the fryer for 3 min. Then let it cool inside the fryer. The steam will absorb the plastic fumes. 

You need to wash the fryer basket one more time after the steam bath. Then wipe all the parts with a damp cloth and remove all residue. 

Tips For Using Air Fryer To Eliminate Odors

  • Before using the air fryer, ensure that all components, including the cooking basket, tray, and interior surfaces, are thoroughly cleaned. Use warm soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth to remove any residue or food particles. Regular cleaning after each use will prevent any buildup that can contribute to odors.
  • Preheating the air fryer before adding the food helps to eliminate any residual odors from previous uses. 
  • Certain ingredients, such as strong spices, pungent cheeses, or highly aromatic foods, can leave lingering smells in the air fryer. While these ingredients can still be used, be mindful of the quantities and consider pairing them with other ingredients to balance out the flavors and aromas.
  • Adequate ventilation during the cooking process can help dissipate any smells. Place the air fryer in a well-ventilated area or open nearby windows to allow proper air circulation.
  • When not in use, store the air fryer in a clean and dry area to prevent any odors from developing. Ensure that all accessories are properly dried and stored separately from the main unit.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Is plastic smell unhealthy?

The plastic smell is totally unhealthy. It increases the risk of heart disease, headaches, or other nervous system damage. So you need to make sure there is no plastic smell in your food. 

How do I clean the inside of the air fryer? 

Without the detachable parts, you can not put the main unit in water and clean it. In this case, you need to use a damp towel to clean the inside of the air fryer. 

How do you get rid of the plastic smell? 

There are several ways to get rid of the smell. First, you need to clean the fryer thoroughly. Then perform a heat and cool process to eliminate the odor. 


Smelling burning plastic in your air fryer can be a common issue, particularly with new appliances. However, by understanding the potential causes and taking appropriate measures, you can eliminate the odor. 

It’s important to clean your air fryer thoroughly before first use, removing any protective films or stickers that contribute to the plastic smell. If the smell doesn’t go away, then you need to consult with the manufacturer and solve the problem. If your product warranty covers it, you will get free service.

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