Air Fryer Smells Like Plastic? The Causes and Tips to Avoid it

Air fryers are a great way to make delicious, healthy meals quickly and easily.

But what do you do if your air fryer smells like plastic?

Don’t worry – there are steps you can take to get rid of the air fryer smell and ensure your air fryer is working correctly.

Let’s take a look at what you should do if your air fryer smells like plastic and what is causing the air fryer plastic smell.


What to Do if My Air Fryer Smells Like Plastic?

Here are some tips to follow if your air fryer smells like plastic:

1. Clean the Parts of Your Air Fryer 

The first step in dealing with a smelly air fryer is to make sure it’s clean. If you’ve been using your air fryer for a while, it might be time for a good cleaning.

  • Start by taking apart all of the removable parts, such as the basket and lid, and give them a thorough wash in warm soapy water.
  • Once they’re dry, put them back into place before turning on the machine. 

2. Check the Heating Element 

Another possible cause of why your air fryer smells like plastic could be an issue with the heating element of your air fryer.

If this is the case, then unplugging and inspecting the heating element may help resolve the problem.

Be sure to check that all wires are securely connected and that there are no signs of burning or damage on any part of the heating element or other components inside your air fryer.

If everything looks okay, plug it back in and let it heat up again before using it again.   

3. Run Vinegar Through The System 

If neither of these methods works, then try running vinegar through your air fryer system to get rid of any remaining odors from food residue or buildup inside the machine.

  • To do this, mix one cup of white vinegar with two cups of cold water in a bowl and pour this mixture into the reservoir tank located at the bottom of your air fryer.
  • Turn on your machine for about 15 minutes until all of the vinegar has been used up by the system before turning it off again and letting it cool down completely before washing off any remaining residue from inside with warm soapy water.      

How Long Will My Air Fryer Smell Like Plastic?

Depending on the severity of the smell, it may take a few attempts at cleaning and running vinegar through your air fryer system before the smell is completely gone.

a woman pulling out the air fryer basket containing fries - air fryer smells like plastic

If the air fryer smells like plastic even if you’ve tried all of these tips, then it may be time to take your air fryer in for servicing.

Is There an Air Fryer That Doesn’t Smell Like Burning Plastic?

While there may not be a completely smell-free air fryer on the market right now, there are some models available that have minimized odors so you don’t have to deal with that burning plastic smell every time you use your air fryer. 

1. Odor Reduction Technology:

The first step to looking for an air fryer with minimal odors is seeking out ones that have odor reduction technology built in.

This type of technology helps to reduce smells by trapping and containing them within the air fryer itself instead of allowing them to escape into your kitchen or living space.

Some models even have filters designed specifically for this purpose, which can help keep things smelling fresh and clean while still getting maximum flavor from your food. 

2. Materials Used 

The materials used in the construction of the air fryer can also play a role in how much the air fryer smells like plastic when it’s in use.

For example, some models are made with stainless steel or other metals that don’t emit as much odor as plastics or other materials do when heated up.

It’s important to look for an air fryer made with materials that won’t produce strong odors when heated so you don’t have to worry about any unpleasant smells coming from your appliance. 

3. Temperature Settings 

Another factor to consider is the temperature settings on your air fryer.

If it gets too hot, then it can cause smells similar to burning plastic due to overheating or improper cooking temperatures.

To avoid this issue, look for an air fryer with adjustable temperature settings so you can dial in just the right amount of heat for whatever dish you’re making.

This will help ensure that everything cooks evenly and nothing is burned or overcooked, which can both lead to unwanted odors. 

Do All Air Fryers Smell Like Plastic?

No, not all air fryers smell like plastic when they’re in use.

If you take the time to look for an air fryer with odor-reduction technology and materials that won’t produce strong odors when heated, then you should be able to find one that doesn’t leave your kitchen smelling unpleasant every time you use it.

What Can I Do if the Air Fryer Plastic Smell Does Not Fade?

If you’re wondering what you can do to get rid of that annoying plastic smell from your air fryer, then read on for helpful tips! 

  • First, the most important thing is to make sure your air fryer is clean and free of any debris or residue. This includes removing any food particles or crumbs left behind after use.
  • Make sure that all components of the air fryer are completely dry before using them again. Also, be sure to wipe down the outside and inside with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any grease or dirt. 
  • Next, try running a few cycles without any food in the basket. This will help heat up the appliance and break down any lingering odors from the plastic casing.
  • Once you’ve completed this step, add some water to the bottom of your air fryer and run it on its highest setting for about 15 minutes. This will help further rid your appliance of any residual smells. 

If these steps don’t seem to do the trick, try adding a few drops of essential oil into the water before running another cycle in the air fryer.

The oils may help further neutralize those odors coming from within your appliance.

You could also place a bowl with vinegar inside your unit while running a cycle – this will help absorb bad smells as well!

Is Air Fryer Plastic Smell Safe?

Yes, the air fryer plastic smell is generally considered safe.

However, if you notice a strong and persistent odor coming from your appliance that won’t go away, it might be a sign that something isn’t working properly or needs to be serviced.

In this case, you should contact the manufacturer for further advice and assistance. 

How to Avoid a Smelly Air Fryer?

Here are some bonus tips to avoid a smelly air fryer:

1. Allow Your Air Fryer to Breathe After Unboxing:

If you just purchased a new air fryer, it’s important to allow it to breathe for at least 24 hours before using it for the first time.

This will help dissipate any odors that may have been present due to manufacturing processes or packaging materials used during shipping and handling. 

2. Use Your Air Fryer Without Food 

It may sound odd, but running your air fryer without food is another way to help reduce odors that can build up over time.

Turn on your air fryer for 5-10 minutes at medium heat and let it run empty; this will help burn off any lingering food particles which could be causing odors in your kitchen. 

Make sure not to leave your air fryer unattended while it is running without food inside!  

3. Contact the Manufacturer / Buy a Replacement Air Fryer  

If none of these methods seem to work, then it might be time to contact the manufacturer or look into buying a replacement unit altogether.

In many cases, manufacturers will offer replacements or repairs under warranty if you are having issues with odors coming from your air fryer model.  

What Causes the Air Fryer Plastic Smell? 

The plastic smell that is sometimes associated with air fryers is typically caused by overheating plastic parts located inside the appliance.

This can occur if an air fryer is used excessively or if it’s placed too close to another heat source, such as an oven or a stove.

It’s important to note that this smell should not be confused with burnt food, which has a distinctly different odor. 

Is the Air Fryer Plastic Smell Dangerous? 

The good news is that the air fryer plastic smell isn’t generally considered to be dangerous or toxic.

However, it can still be a cause for concern because of its potential to irritate sensitive individuals and exacerbate existing respiratory issues like asthma and allergies.

Additionally, inhaling large amounts of this type of odor over long periods of time could lead to headaches, dizziness, and nausea in some individuals. 


Nobody wants their delicious fried foods to taste like plastic!

Fortunately, you don’t have to throw out your beloved air fryer if it starts smelling like plastic – there are steps you can take to remedy this issue easily.

Cleaning all parts thoroughly (including removing any food residue) as well as checking and inspecting its heating element should help get rid of any odors coming from your device quickly.

By following these simple steps – cleaning out all debris and residue, heating up the machine with no food in it, and adding essential oils or vinegar – you should be able to successfully remove any unpleasant odors coming from within your appliance in no time at all!

So if you’re wondering what you can do if the air fryer plastic smell does not fade, now you know! Happy cooking!

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About the author

Natalie is a food enthusiast who spends all of her time trying out new recipes, testing out new appliances, and making her kitchen as awesome as possible. She is a professional writer and blogs here about her love of food & kitchen.

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