Why Does My Oven Smell Like Burning Plastic

Why Does My Oven Smell Like Burning Plastic? Resolved

Last Updated on March 23, 2024 by Lori Walker

If you find yourself in the culinary world, you might come across a scenario where you notice an unfamiliar smell coming from your oven – the scent of melted plastic.

So why does your oven smell like burning plastic?

Let’s explore the reasons behind this odor and learn how to get rid of it, so your kitchen can be a fragrant haven again.

What Could Be Causing The Smell Of Burning Plastic In My Oven?

Oven on a Kitchen Countertop

If you’re encountering the smell of burning plastic [1] in your oven, it’s possible that a small piece of plastic, such as packaging or utensils, has inadvertently found its way into the oven and is melting when exposed to the heat. 

“The kitchen oven is reliable, but it’s made us lazy.”

– Jamie Oliver, Restaurateur

Alternatively, if you’ve recently replaced or installed new heating elements, they emit a temporary odor as they adjust to the initial use. 

But what causes your bread to smell weird?

Is The Burning Plastic Smell Dangerous Or Harmful?

In most cases, a transient burning odor from plastic in the oven is more of an annoyance than a direct threat to your safety. However, addressing the issue promptly is crucial to prevent any potential hazards. 

If the smell persists or becomes solid and persistent, it is advisable to investigate further and take preventive measures.

Ventilate the area, turn off the oven, and consult a professional. Safety should always be our top priority in the culinary realm.

Find out if you can put silicone mold in the oven here.

How Can I Get Rid Of The Burning Plastic Smell?

Baking chiffon cake using electric oven
  1. Identify the source: Carefully inspect the oven for any visible plastic or debris causing the smell. Remove these items using tongs or other suitable tools to avoid burns.
  2. Clean the oven: Prepare a mixture of mild soap and warm water. Dip a non-abrasive cloth or sponge into the solution and wipe down the interior surfaces of the oven, including the walls, racks, and heating elements. Pay extra attention to areas where the plastic may have melted.
  3. Natural odour absorbers: Place a bowl of baking soda [2] or a mixture of vinegar and water inside the oven. These natural odour absorbers can help neutralise the smell. Please leave them in the oven for several hours or overnight.
  4. Ventilate the kitchen: Open windows or turn on fans to promote air circulation and remove the lingering odour. This will help fresh air circulate and dissipate any remaining smell.
  5. Run a cleaning cycle: If your oven has a self-cleaning function, you can run a cleaning cycle to help eliminate the odour. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific oven model.

Check out these ways to remove burnt sugar from the oven here.

Other Reasons For The Burning Plastic Smell In My Oven

  1. Food debris and grease: Accumulated food debris or grease inside the oven can emit a similar burning plastic smell when exposed to high temperatures. Regularly cleaning the oven and removing any residue can help prevent this odour.
  2. Malfunctioning components: In some cases, malfunctioning components within the oven, such as wiring or insulation, can cause unusual odours. If you suspect this to be the case, contacting a professional technician for inspection and repairs is recommended.
  3. Improper oven use: Incorrect use of oven-safe cookware or utensils made of materials that are not suitable for high temperatures can lead to them emitting a burning plastic-like smell when exposed to heat. Ensure that you are using oven-safe items to avoid such odours.
  4. Residue from oven cleaner: If you recently used an oven cleaning product, residue might be left behind that can emit a burning odour during subsequent use. Thoroughly rinse the oven and follow the instructions on the cleaning product to remove any remaining residue.
  5. Electrical issues: In rare cases, electrical issues within the oven can cause an unusual smell. If you suspect an electrical problem, it is best to consult a technician to assess and address it.

“In the world of cooking, a mysterious odour may arise as our ovens emit the smell of burning plastic. But fear not, for together we shall uncover the secrets behind this culinary riddle, banishing the unwelcome aroma and restoring harmony to our kitchen realm.”

Leonelli Bakery

Also Read: Is It Okay To Put Aluminum Foil In The Oven Without A Pan?


What to do when your oven smells like burning plastic?

When your oven smells like burning plastic, identify and remove any visible plastic or debris, clean the oven thoroughly, ventilate the kitchen, and consider using natural odor absorbers.

If the smell persists or there are other signs, consult a professional technician. But how long will it take for an oven to cool down?

How to prevent the burning plastic smell from recurring in my oven?

To prevent the burning plastic smell from recurring in your oven, use oven-safe cookware, clean the oven regularly, avoid spills and drips, ensure proper ventilation, and be mindful of oven cleaners.

But what are the best oven cleaners to remove aluminum foil?

In Conclusion

The smell of burning plastic emanating from your oven can be attributed to various factors. 

It may be due to plastic or debris inadvertently left inside the oven, the “breaking in” period of new heating elements, or the accumulation of food debris and grease. 

While it is usually not a direct threat to your safety, prompt action is necessary to address the issue and prevent potential hazards. 

By identifying the source, cleaning the oven, practising proper ventilation, and being mindful of the materials used, you can alleviate the burning plastic smell and enjoy a fresh and aromatic cooking experience. 


Lori Walker

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