Why Do Air Fryers Smell? & How to Get rid of Plastic Smell?

If you are health conscious, the air fryer will be your best buddy to enjoy fried foods that contain up to 90% less oil. They are fantastic appliances whether you are trying to eat healthier or you just don’t like the flavor of oil in your cooked or baked foods.

You might notice that your air fryer is starting to release a smell. Sometimes, air fryers can smell that can be disturbing. When you talk about new air fryers, they will have a plastic-type smell. Thus, there are various causes for each odor.

So, when people ask do air fryers smell, the answer will be yes. But you can eliminate the smell by following the instructions given below:

Do Air Fryers Smell like plastic?

Do Air Fryers Smell?

Similar to regular ovens, air fryers release some smells when in use. The smells can be of different types and sometimes can be irritating. The proportion will vary depending on a variety of elements. These elements include the kind of food you are preparing, the kitchen’s heat level, and the duration of frying time in the air fryer.

Also, your air fryer can odor due to several additional reasons.

Wonderfully, fresh air fryers sometimes have good odor than older air fryers. It is because the older air fryers have been utilized several times. This can be food jammed in the air fryer or it can be a component of the air fryer’s parts that is allowing it to ignite.

So, these are the major reasons for the air fryer’s smell but you can eliminate these smells by following some instructions and precautions.

Why does my Air Fryer smell like Plastic?

Why does my Air Fryer smell like Plastic

Your air fryer would release an odor like plastic if it has not been completely made of metal. The issue occurs when this odor persists after your great attempts to clean and take care of this pricey equipment.

New plastic equipment generally has an unpleasant scent, but as your food is prepared in air fryers, this odor becomes an issue. You won’t like odorous chicken nuggets, for sure.

The following are the main causes of air fryer odors:

1. Protective Covering  

From the box, a small plastic outer coating is applied to the air fryer’s parts. It works as an insulating cover to avoid any damage. This thin layer begins melting when an air fryer is preheated and it will emit an odor.

Now, after two or three uses, the plastic lamination on your air fryer will quickly peel off if it’s of high quality. But not all air fryers operate in this manner. If an air fryer is regularly used, its outer layer won’t burn off, it will make your house smell like plastic. Most air fryers quit smelling after a couple of frying cycles because this light covering will burn.

2. Plastic Components

Most of the parts of an air fryer are composed of plastic, excluding the frying buckets. Additionally, air fryer parts can’t withstand high temperatures, just like other plastic machines.

The plastic components of an air fryer can emit some odor even after the outer layer has been melted. This layer will burn when it will be exposed to high temperatures. A plastic structure can still be an issue even though it doesn’t increase the odor.

3. Residue in the Heating Source

Residue in the Heating Source causing smell

The heat source of an air fryer has a wire that is either under or above the frying bucket. Particles of food can gather after some time in your air fryer’s heating coil. And wherever it will be, it will increase the foul odor in your air fryer.

The thermostat smell on the food particles is distinct from the typical plastic odor. Besides everything, it seems like the air fryer’s interior part is on fire. After being used much time, your air fryer can begin to smell because of bits of food in the thermostat.

4. Debris on the Exterior Surface

Black smoke will release into the environment from an air fryer’s air conditioning system. It will happen when food is cooking inside of it. The ventilation in your kitchen can discharge a burning odor if debris has accumulated around it.

Additionally, you can detect stuck oil around the air fryer’s exhaust, which can also lead to the carbonization scent. It is simple to get rid of this scent if you maintain your air fryer neat and clear from the outside as well as inside.

5. Poor Ventilation System

Your air fryer won’t have enough area to circulate if you operate it directly from a kitchen cupboard. It will get trouble while working there. This tight space can collect plastic chemicals inside various air fryer parts. After some time, it will lead to a foul smell.

You must consider leaving open the cupboard door and living room window when using an air fryer. You will have to open the ventilation if you are unable to clear any storage space for it.

How to get rid of the Air Fryer Plastic Smell?

How to get rid of the Air Fryer Plastic Smell

A few of the methods that I have identified would assist you to either lessen the air fryer odor or eliminate it. The type of smell and its common source will determine the most appropriate solution for your air fryer.

So, let’s discuss some of the methods that can help you eliminate the smell of your air fryer:

Cleaning your Air Fryer

Thorough cleaning of your air fryer would assist to decrease the risk of particles getting stuck in the fryer’s parts. Stuck particles will then produce unpleasant odors. Fortunately, cleansing an air fryer is a simple process. It is because most of its detachable parts are dishwasher friendly, like the pan.

The optimum air fryer maintenance requires normally about 20 minutes. If the air fryer has been utilized to prepare food recently, you must disconnect it and give it time to cool down completely.

Then you will have to take out the bucket and any other loose parts. You will immediately have to put them in the dishwasher. You will then start filling the basin with heated water and soap.

You must use the soap if you see that some foodstuff is lodged in the basket or has stiffened. Let the basket soak overnight before putting it in the washer for a more thorough cleaning. The prolonged soaking will aid in the removal of any stuck-on foodstuff. Also, it will greatly aid in the thorough cleaning of your air fryer basket.

After that, you will clean the air fryer’s interior parts with a moist towel and some soap. In the end, you will have to use water to clean the air fryer’s interior surface one more time to remove any remaining soap.

Once all the parts are dried, you can attach them back to the air fryer and use them for cooking!

Set your Air Fryer for Ventilation after Unpacking

Air fryers can emit that new smell of packaging when they are unpacked from the package. This package is used to transport the new product to retailers. Then it will be sent to the end customer with a significant amount of plastic.

You can open your brand new air fryer and set it out on the table for some time before using it. You can do this if you don’t feel like cleaning it right away.

To enable the most area to circulate, it is preferable to remove the draws and any other flexible parts. This would enable your air fryer to remove that plastic odor speedily.

Using an Empty Air Fryer

You can consider using an air fryer with no foodstuff inside. You will do this when you notice that it still smells like plastic after a few weeks or if your air fryer still smells after a thorough cleaning.

A “trial run” would enable the appliance’s full capacity to remove any little particles or coatings. This can eliminate all the debris that is related to the odor without ruining the meal you are preparing.

To reduce the odor inside your house, it is preferable to set your air fryer on a tabletop close to a doorway or ventilation. Also, you must leave the door open while you are doing this. It will remove all the smell from the kitchen as well as from the house.

Using Lemon Juice

Sometimes your air fryer starts releasing a sour smell. This smell can be irritating and disturbing for users. It can also disturb other people in the house. So, you can remove this smell from the air fryer by using a few simple steps.

Here are the procedures you can take to get rid of an air fryer’s sour odor:

  • First of all, you will have to apply the lemon juice on a dish towel to moisten the air fryer’s base. You will have to completely cover the area with lemon juice.
  • Then you will have to wait an hour before rinsing and removing the lemon zest away.
  • After that, you will have to wash the air fryer’s parts as usual and dry them with a cloth. It is important that you completely dry the air fryer with a dry cloth before using it.

Lemon juice’s acetic acid will minimize irritating odors. On the other hand, dishwashing soap will wash away oil from your air fryer. In this way, it will make your air fryer spotless and fragrant.

Whenever you notice the collected food particles or debris on the air fryer, you can use these instructions. It is also helpful to clean your air fryer.

Using Oil

Your air fryer will last longer if you add a flavoring layer to the top of any of the cleaning procedures. How to flavor your air fryer?

All the steps are given below that you can follow:

  • At the start, you will have to remove the separating pan and air fryer bucket.
  • Then you have to clean the separating tray and frying bucket with a clean cloth that has been dipped in ordinary food oil. This food oil will help you to clean the components accurately.
  • After doing that, you will have to reconnect both items and then set the air fryer to 350–400°F for 10–12 minutes.
  • You must remember to turn off your air fryer and let it settle.

After flavoring, you will have two options: wash the divider and bucket or leave them. As the oil helps foodstuff escape, it is preferable not to wash it off. This will keep your air fryer shining and well-maintained for a long.

How can I clean Air Fryer’s Heating Element?

How can I clean Air Fryer’s Heating Element

You can utilize a towel and boiled water to scrub and clean the inside of the air fryer. If needed, food particles that have attached to the heat source can be removed using a delicate to medium wire brush.

You should not use thin steel or a rough bristle brush. It is because they could harm the covering on the heating coil. In this way, it can damage the air fryer.


The oily vapors released by an air fryer are unhealthy. But they are preferable to traditional frying. The accumulation of oily material on the machine can be caused by poor circulation and closed air fryer outlets.

An air fryer uses the convective cooking technique. For those who are unfamiliar, it simply implies that air is moved over your meal as it cooks. A plastic-like odor will produce when the hot air interacts with the plastic covering of the air fryer.

If you are searching for a “healthy” choice, air frying is preferable. You must remember that air frying might generate some acrylamides, which are hazardous to your health. The harmful chemicals in your air fryer can ruin your meals.


In this blog post, I have explained do air fryers smell and how you can eliminate that smell. Also, you will get to know what makes them smell, and whether these odors can harm you, your meals, your air fryer, or your house.

The old air fryers smell like burning meals and the new air fryers have a plastic odor. But both can be easily eliminated by giving your air fryer a thorough cleaning. Also, you can use vinegar within the air fryer.

Have you found all your answers?

Mery kitchen aims

Mery Webber

Mery Webber, the founder of Kitchen Aims, is a passionate home cook with extensive experience in the kitchen appliance industry. Through her blog, she aims to share her knowledge and help readers create the perfect kitchen.

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