Air Fryer Smells Like Plastic – How to Get Rid of the Smell?

Have you ever experienced that unsettling plastic smell coming from your air fryer?

It is quite common for a new air fryer to have a plastic smell, especially during the few initial uses. 

This is mainly because of the manufacturing process and materials used. The coating, soldering, and parts are new and need to burn off and cool down a few times. 

There are simple ways to eliminate this smell, and I will guide you through them all. You can wash them, season them, and run them empty on high heat.

Some other alternatives are using baking soda, vinegar, and lime solutions or just charcoal. 

By the end of the article, you will be able to eliminate the plastic smell from your air fryer forever. Let us begin.

Why Air Fryers Smell Like Plastic

As I mentioned earlier, there can be various reasons for your air fryer to smell like plastic. 

Many parts of the air fryer are made up of heat-resistant plastic. This plastic needs to vent the plastic fumes over time.

This is done through the process of heating and cooling. 

Another possible cause of the odor is the protective coating that’s applied to the air fryer’s components during manufacturing.

This coating also needs to burn off. It may take a couple of uses to completely go away.

The third cause can be the electric components, including the fan and the heating element.

They may emit a plastic smell and require a short break-in period. The soldering may also need to vent the fumes. All of this can be taken care of by running it empty on high power for some time.

Summing up the reasons why the air fryer smells like plastic when it is new 

  • Heat-resistant plastic
  • Manufacturing coatings on components
  • Electric and soldering components 

As you can see, the reasons for this plastic odor are pretty common and not necessarily cause for alarm.

Also read: Do Air Fryers Smell up the House?

How to Get Rid of the Plastic Smell from the Air Fryer

Here is a short guide on how to get rid of the plastic smell in your air fryer.

Remove Plastic Components

When I first got my air fryer, I realized that some plastic components were causing the smell. 

Check for any plastic packaging, tape, or labels that might have been left on your air fryer, and remove them carefully.

This might help in reducing the plastic smell coming from the appliance.

Wash Your Air Fryer 

Before you use the air fryer for the first time, all manufacturers recommend a thorough cleaning. 

Remove the basket and the tray from the air fryer. Use warm soapy water and a soft sponge to clean the air fryer. 

Any good kitchen detergent is good enough. Just make sure not to use the abrasive side of the sponge. It can damage the non-stick coating.

Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior body of the air fryer. Be careful not to damage the electrical components.

Also read: Do I Need to Wash Air Fryer After Every Use?

Let it Run Empty at High Temperature

Ventilate your kitchen or do this step outdoors or in a garage.

Let your air fryer run at the highest temperature (400-450°F) for 30-40 minutes.

This process is also called break-in. Let it cool down for 15-20 minutes. Repeat the break-in a couple of more times. 

Just make sure to give the air fryer cool-down periods in between to avoid overheating and damage.

Season the Air Fryer Basket and Tray 

The next step after washing and breaking in is to season the air fryer. Take any good cooking oil that has a high smoking point, like olive oil

Apply a coating to the basket and the tray. Do not use oil spray cans as they damage the non-stick coating.

Run the air fryer at 400° F for 10 minutes. Wipe out the oil using a paper towel and repeat.

Once cooled, wash the basket and tray with a warm soapy solution and sponge. Let it air dry naturally. 

Hopefully, you will now no longer smell the plastic smell. 

Home-made Cleaning Solutions 

Here are two homemade cleaning solutions you can try to get rid of the plastic smell

Vinegar and Lime solution 

Using a mixture of distilled vinegar and lime juice is an excellent method to get rid of the plastic smell.

Fill an oven-safe bowl with equal parts vinegar and lime juice, approximately one tablespoon each. 

Place the bowl in your air fryer and run it at 300-350° F for three to five minutes.

Let the dish remain inside until the air fryer cools down. It will take 10-15 minutes.

Take a kitchen cloth and use the remaining solution to wipe away the surface of the basket and tray. 

Baking Soda

This step has to be done after washing the air fryer basket with warm soapy water.

Take some baking soda and make a thick paste with water. Take a soft-bristled brush or a soft cloth and rub the paste on the basket and the tray. 

Let the baking soda paste stay for 5-10 minutes. Wipe off with a damp cloth.

Charcoal 

Charcoal is a natural odor absorber. If you have a few charcoal sticks, you can easily remove the plastic odor from your air fryer. 

Simply place the charcoal sticks inside the basket in the air fryer for a few hours or one day.

There is no side effect of charcoal, and it will not damage the non-stick of your air fryer. It is a safe and easy way to get rid of the smell without any hard work.

Preventing the Smell in the Future

After successfully dealing with the plastic smell in your air fryer, you don’t want it to come back.

One of the most effective ways to prevent any unpleasant smells in your air fryer is through regular maintenance. 

Clean the air fryer after each use, focusing on the basket, heating element, and interior surfaces. This will help prevent any residue buildup and odors in the future. 

Also read: Do Air Fryers Smoke? Common Causes + Fix!

Choosing the Right Air Fryer

Selecting the right air fryer can also prevent unwanted smells in the future. Here are some helpful suggestions: 

  • Choose an air fryer of high-quality materials, like stainless steel. It is less likely to emit unpleasant odors compared to plastic components.
  • Choose an air fryer with a removable, dishwasher-safe basket to make cleaning easier and more thorough.
  • Look for air fryers with a good ventilation system to promote proper air circulation and reduce the risk of any trapped odors.

By following these tips and regularly maintaining your air fryer, I am confident you will be free of any unwanted plastic odors.

When to Seek Professional Help

Although it’s normal for your new air fryer to emit a mild plastic odor when initially used, I recommend seeking professional assistance if the smell persists or intensifies. 

Continuing to use your air fryer when it smells like plastic could potentially damage the unit or even pose a risk to your health.

In some cases, the plastic smell may be a result of a manufacturing defect. 

It is essential to inspect your air fryer thoroughly and ensure all components are securely in place. If you find something amiss or suspicious, contact the manufacturer’s customer support.

Here are some instances when you should seek professional help:

  • The plastic smell persists after multiple cleaning and deodorization attempts.
  • The air fryer shows signs of damage or unusual wear and tear.
  • You suspect a malfunction or a defective component.

If you have done everything in your power and the plastic odor remains, it is time to consult the experts. Remember, your safety and the longevity of your air fryer should always come first.

Does the Plastic Smell Affect the Taste of Food?

Yes, the plastic smell can often affect the taste of your food prepared in the air fryer.

When the smell persists, it creates an undesirable taste similar to plastic in your dishes, ultimately ruining the flavor of your cooked meals.

There are a few reasons that contribute to the issue:

  • New appliances often release fumes during their initial usage, due to the heat interacting with the materials.
  • Residue or dirt accumulated in the air fryer can cause a plastic smell.
  • In some cases, it might be attributed to lower quality materials used in manufacturing the appliance, which doesn’t handle heat well.

I have personally experienced this issue when using my new air fryer for the first time.

The plastic smell affected the taste of my French fries, and I had to discard them.

After trying a few techniques, like the vinegar and lemon juice method, the plastic smell dissipated.

It is essential to address the plastic smell immediately, not just for the taste, but also for your peace of mind while cooking with the appliance.

Stick to using recommended methods above, and you will be able to enjoy odor-free dishes.

Why Does My Air Fryer Smell Like Burning Plastic

The burning plastic smell coming from your air fryer is likely due to the protective coating lining the inside of almost all the air fryers.

When you cook food, this coating gets exposed to high heat, burns off, and emanates a plastic smell.

The smell could also be due to a malfunctioning air fryer, particularly when the power cord is damaged.

To get rid of the plastic smell, you can try washing the basket and grease separator tray with strong dishwashing soap with good degreasing power.

How Long Does It Take for the Plastic Smell to Go Away?

It is quite normal to experience a plastic smell during the initial use.

In my experience, it usually takes a few runs before the plastic smell disappears from the air fryer completely.

Here is what I did to get rid of the plastic smell from the air fryer: 

I washed my air fryer with hot soapy water and soap. I then let it run empty at 400-450°F for 30-40 minutes. 

The plastic smell in my air fryer disappeared within a couple of days. It might take more or less time for you, but it won’t take too long for your air fryer to smell as good as new!

Final Words

It can be quite bothersome for the air fryer to smell like plastic.

I have encountered this myself and have found a few solutions to eliminate the smell. 

The first step is to remove any plastic tapes, labels, or packaging that is left in the air fryer.

After that, you have to wash the air fryer. You can do this in the dishwasher or hand wash with a hot soapy solution and a soft sponge.

The next step is to let the air fryer run empty at the highest temperature (400-450°F) for 30-40 minutes. Repeat this a couple of times with a cool-down period of 15 minutes after each cycle. 

You can then season the air fryer basket.

Alternatively, you can try some homemade cleaning solutions that are quite effective in getting rid of the plastic smell. You could try vinegar and lime, baking soda, or plain charcoal sticks. 

By using these methods, I have managed to keep my air fryer smelling fresh and clean, enhancing my overall cooking experience. 

I hope these tips help you too. All the best!

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