Why Does My Oven Smell Like Burning Plastic?

It is difficult to imagine a worse experience while eating than the unpleasant odor of burnt plastic that some ovens can produce, which has been described as the smell of “burning chemicals,” “burning rubber,” or “burnt plastic.”

If you are currently encountering the unpleasant odor of burning plastic in your oven, it is understandable that you would want to eliminate it promptly. Fortunately, you have arrived at the appropriate location for assistance.

Here’s what I know.

Have you ever wondered why your oven smells like burning plastic? It could be due to the presence of plastic in the oven.

  • The chemicals that protect the oven during manufacturing are undergoing combustion.
  • During the initial uses of the oven, the insulation may be subjected to high temperatures.
  • The inserts were secured with zip-ties during transit, but they have not been taken off.
  • An electrical malfunction is occurring in your oven
  • One possible cause for the smell of burning plastic in your oven is faulty wiring that can lead to the melting of wire insulation.
  • The stove has been sanitized with powerful cleaning agents.

During my time in the kitchen, I have encountered this issue countless times. The occurrence of a burning plastic smell is not limited to ovens but extends to most kitchen appliances that generate heat.

Upon initial use of the oven, it is expected that any chemicals present will be burned off, however, this may not always occur and users may have to endure the odor multiple times before it dissipates.

Most of the time, the electric smell coming from your oven is caused by this reason, which happens 7 out of 10 times. Nevertheless, if your oven is not new, there could be other factors contributing to the smell.

What Causes a New Oven To Smell Like Burning Plastic?

Although I have personal experience and gather information from others through forums and communities, it is advisable to obtain information directly from the manufacturer for accurate details on the topic of why an oven may emit a burning plastic smell.

This is what they say:

The primary and most common source of the smell is the insulation around the oven cavity that releases odors when it is exposed to the high temperatures inside the oven, as Samsung explains.

Bosch-home has noted on their website that a burning plastic smell is common with new ovens due to the insulation around the oven cavity being exposed to extreme heat for the first time. To resolve this issue, they suggest “burning in” your oven.

Another notification has been issued by Kitchenaid regarding recently installed ovens.

It is common to experience odors, smells, and smoke when using a newly installed range or oven. This can be attributed to the manufacturing process and is considered normal. The smell and smoke will eventually disappear after a few uses.

It is a widely known problem with new kitchen appliances that the zip-ties used to secure inserts during transit must be removed before using the oven, although this information may not be explicitly stated by manufacturers and can likely be found in the user manual.

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Otherwise, if heated, these zip ties can begin to burn and emit a scent that resembles the chemical coating’s odor.

However, the odor resembling burning plastic that emanates from ovens is not limited to newly installed ones; it can also be encountered while cooking in an aged oven, and although it may seem sudden, there is a logical reason behind it.

If you notice an unexpected burning plastic smell coming from your oven, there may be a specific reason for it.

  • Strong chemicals have been used to clean the oven
  • If your oven is electric, and it smells like burning plastic, it is likely malfunctioning, and you should turn it off immediately and have it checked.
  • If your oven smells like burning plastic, it could be due to using an accessory that is not heat-resistant or has oil residue from the manufacturing process that needs to be burned off.
  • If you notice a burning smell in your oven, it could be due to a loose connection causing the wiring to heat up and burn. To fix this issue, carefully inspect all connections, including those of the heating element, and secure them individually.

How Do I Get Burning Plastic Smell Out of My Oven?

Burning plastic is certainly one of the most disagreeable odors, in my opinion. Not only is the smell awful, but it also spreads rapidly and can easily fill an entire house. Its uniqueness sets it apart from other scents that you encounter on a daily basis, making it difficult to ignore.

The sensation can be compared to being hit in the abdomen but through your nostrils.

The primary objective is to eliminate the odor as soon as possible, and it may be necessary to repeat the procedure several times before the scent of burnt plastic diminishes.

There are various methods to address the issue, and the procedures may vary depending on whether your oven is new or has been used frequently before the burning plastic odor arises.

Brand new stoves require a burn-in period, while older models should be cleaned.

This Is How You Burn-In Your New Oven To Get Rid Of Chemical Smell

  • Upon receiving the oven, it is recommended to immediately remove any zip-ties or plastic components that were used during shipping.
  • After taking them out of the oven, clean the inside of the oven (including the racks) by wiping it with a washcloth, warm water, and soap.
  • To eliminate the smell of burning plastic in your oven, it is recommended to activate the fan in the ventilation hood and open windows in close proximity while performing the burn-in process.
  • Preferably set the oven temperature to 400-550 degrees Fahrenheit (204-288 Celsius) and let it heat up.
  • After the desired temperature is achieved, allow the oven to operate for a duration of 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Continue the procedure until the odor diminishes.
  • After allowing the oven to cool, use a washcloth soaked in warm water and soap to give it a final wipe down.
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If you have lemons available, it is suggested to extract the juice from two lemons and pour it into an oven-safe container. Add water to the dish and place it in the oven at 230 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. The remaining mixture can be used to clean the inside of the oven, which will help prevent any unpleasant smells from lingering.

Assuming your oven has been used extensively and the protective chemicals have already burned off, resulting in the recurrence of the unpleasant odor, what steps should you take?

  • It is advisable to reach out to customer support as the cause of the burning plastic smell in your oven can differ depending on the situation, and it could be a recurring problem with that particular model; this will help you determine if it is a matter of concern or not.

Once you have eliminated the possibility of an electrical malfunction, you can move forward.

  • To get rid of the burning plastic smell in your oven, it is important to thoroughly clean the inside of the oven using warm water, soap, and a washcloth, ensuring that you wipe down all surfaces including the racks.
  • Put a dish that is safe for the oven with lemon juice and distilled vinegar inside the oven.
  • Program the oven to operate at a temperature of 230 degrees Fahrenheit for a duration of 15 to 30 minutes.
  • After taking out the dish, operate the oven for an additional 15-30 minutes at 230 degrees using a water-filled oven-safe container to eliminate the scent of vinegar.
  • Check if the odor of melted plastic has diminished by opening the oven.
  • Repeat if needed.

Is It Dangerous To Smell Burning Plastic in a New Oven?

To provide a clear answer to the question of why your oven smells like burning plastic, certain aspects must be clarified; otherwise, the response would be vague and inconclusive.

Inhaling fumes from burnt plastic is hazardous, without a doubt. However, the smell that a new oven is giving off may not be burning plastic, it could just be the protective coating that’s being cooked off. The smell of burnt plastic coming from a fresh oven is, thus, not dangerous unless it truly is plastic that’s burning.

Before using the oven, refer to the user manual for guidance. The manual should indicate the likelihood of an unusual odor emerging. It is typical for a new oven, and there is no need to be concerned; it may occur during the initial few uses.

However, imagine a situation where the odor and/or vapors you are detecting originate from the combustion of plastic. Under such circumstances, it is possible that inhaling them could pose a hazard.

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When plastic begins to melt and produce smoke, it emits vapors from the materials that were initially utilized in its production. Here are some of the prevalent ones.

  • sulfur dioxide
  • heavy metals
  • Chemicals that easily evaporate into the air
  • hydrochloric acid
  • furans
  • carbon monoxide
  • particulates
  • dioxins

The burning plastic smell coming from your oven can be quite irritating to your lungs and may contain toxins that could be detrimental to your health, as outlined in this article on Hunker.com. If you have a pet bird, it is important to keep it away from any fumes coming from the kitchen as some of them may be deadly for our feathered friends.

When your oven emits fumes, it’s crucial to eliminate them promptly before addressing the odor since they contain harmful substances. Although the scent may persist, there are various techniques to eradicate it.

If you detect the odor of burning plastic emanating from your oven, it is advisable to open your windows, activate ceiling fans, and ensure that the air flows out of your residence as swiftly as feasible.

If you want to eliminate the odor from your house, follow the method suggested in the Hunker.com article that is linked above, which involves using white vinegar – my preferred product for neutralizing or disguising smells.

How Long Should a New Oven Smell?

Typically, the odor of a new oven will diminish after the initial “burn-in” process and eventually dissipate entirely, although it may require several attempts to eliminate the smell entirely.

However, if you continue to encounter the same unpleasant odor even after multiple attempts, it is possible that there is a problem with your oven and it would be advisable to reach out to customer support for assistance.

If your oven has a self-cleaning capability, you should begin by initiating a cycle. Most self-cleaning cycles operate at very high temperatures, which will cause the chemicals and any remaining residue from the production process to be burned off. This will then lead to the smell being reduced.

Can You Cook in a Brand New Oven Right Away?

Most manufacturers suggest preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking in it, which helps eliminate any residual odors from the inside of the oven. After completing this process and ensuring that the smell has dissipated, you can proceed with using your oven for cooking purposes.

As previously mentioned, eliminating the odor may require multiple attempts. It is advisable to eliminate the smell before using the oven for cooking to prevent any unusual taste in the food.

You can also check this video about “Why Does My Oven Smell Like Burning Plastic?”

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