How to Get Rid of New Air Fryer Smell (Burning Plastic or Chemical Odors)

Did you get a fancy new air fryer? Rush to get it out of the box and throw in some sweet, sweet snacks? Turn it on for the first time and get hit with a pretty powerful smell that reminded you of burning plastic, burning wires, or toxic chemicals that were definitely not very appetizing? Want to know how to get rid of new air fryer smells?

If this is you, you’re in the right place!

In my research, I learned that this smell is quite common with new appliances, especially air fryers, as they might have residual materials or chemicals from the manufacturing process. Luckily, there are some proven methods to effectively remove the bothersome odor and have your air fryer ready for cooking tasty dishes.

Let’s take a look at the most practical way to get rid of this burning plastic smell from an air fryer so that you can get to the business of preparing delicious (and easy) meals!

What does a new air fryer smell like?

Like any appliance, air fryers use metal and plastic components that have been produced in an industrial setting and assembled without any special cleaning before being shipped to your door.

As a natural part of the production process, components in your air fryers will likely be coated in a thin layer of machine oils, varnish, or other chemical compounds commonly used for this type of application.

Generally, these things will produce two kinds of smells if you heat them: burning plastic or chemicals.

how to get rid of a plastic smell in new air fryer

Plastic smell

When I first got my new air fryer, I noticed a distinct plastic smell emanating from it. Unfortunately, this is pretty common as some residual plastic odors may remain from the manufacturing process. While these odors will eventually dissipate with use, it is best to clean and remove the offending substances to avoid mixing these fumes in with your food!


Chemical smell

In addition to the plastic smell, I also noticed a faint chemical smell in my new air fryer. This, too, is not uncommon and can result from various materials and coatings used in the air fryer’s construction. While disconcerting, this odor should also diminish over time as the air fryer is used.

How to get rid of the new air fryer smell – plastic and chemicals

So, what’s the best way to get rid of the odor on a new air fryer?

Unboxing and inspection

When you first unpack your new air fryer, you should always inspect it carefully for any plastic wrap or packaging materials that might be left inside or stuck to the outside of the air fryer.

In my particular case, there were also some rubber nubs that were holding the drip pans in place inside the basket. I almost left them in place but realized that these were NOT supposed to be inside the basket during use!

Washing the components

Before using your air fryer, make sure that all removable parts, such as the basket and tray, are washed thoroughly. I use warm, soapy water to clean the components, making sure to reach every corner and crevice. This helps get rid of any lingering factory smells or residues, which can cause odors during the first use.

using an air fryer to cook french fries

Here are a few steps that I follow to properly clean my air fryer components:

  1. Fill a sink or basin with hot, soapy water. The hotter the water, the better it will loosen oils.
  2. Place the removable components in the water and let them soak for 10-15 minutes to loosen up any oils, grease, or residue.
  3. Use a soft brush or sponge to scrub away any dirt, grease, or manufacturing residues.
  4. Rinse the parts in clean water.

While a quick soak and scrub in soapy water will usually suffice, here are three other methods to consider for heavy-duty cleaning needs:

Vinegar Solution

One way to clean an air fryer is by using a vinegar solution:

  1. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a container.
  2. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the solution.
  3. Wipe down the interior and all removable components of the air fryer.
  4. Allow it to air dry before using the air fryer.

Vinegar is a natural degreaser and deodorizer that I found to be very effective in eliminating unpleasant smells.

using vinegar to clean an air fryer

Lemon or Lime Juice

Another method that I tried and found to be successful in getting rid of the new air fryer smell is using lemon or lime juice. To do this:

  1. Cut a fresh lemon or lime in half.
  2. Squeeze the juice into a container or directly onto a soft cloth or sponge.
  3. Wipe down the interior and all removable components of the air fryer.
  4. Allow it to air dry before using the air fryer.

Lemon or lime juice is an effective cleaning agent due to its high citric acid content, which helps break down odor-causing substances.

using lemon juice to clean an air fryer

Baking Soda

The last method I recommend for cleaning a new air fryer is using baking soda:

  1. Make a paste by mixing baking soda and water.
  2. Apply the paste to a soft cloth or sponge.
  3. Gently rub it on the interior and removable components of the air fryer.
  4. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and allow it to air dry before using the air fryer.

Baking soda acts as a natural abrasive and deodorizer, helping to eliminate any lingering odors and chemical residues.

using baking soda to clean an air fryer

I hope these methods can help you effectively clean your new air fryer and get rid of any unpleasant smells before using it.

Drying Properly

Once I’ve finished washing the air fryer components, I make sure they are properly dried to avoid any moisture-related issues.

Here’s how I handle drying:

  • I use a clean cloth or kitchen towel to carefully dry each piece.
  • I lay the parts on a dish rack or a dry surface to air dry for a little while.
  • I ensure that the basket, tray, and any other accessories are completely dry before reassembling my air fryer.

Following these simple steps helps me get rid of the new air fryer smell and ensures a fresh and odor-free cooking experience.

How to season a new air fryer

Once the initial cleaning process is done, it makes sense to take a couple of extra steps to both protect your air fryer and potentially improve the flavor of your food.

We’re talking about ‘seasoning’ your air fryer!

No, not adding salt and pepper – for this job we’re going to coat the components in oil and bake it in!

Use olive oil to coat the basket and pan

To get the seasoning process started, I coated the inside of the basket and pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Olive oil not only helps to eliminate the smells but also prevents food from sticking to the air fryer during cooking.

using olive oil to season an air fryer

Heating Cycle

After seasoning the air fryer with olive oil, I ran it through a heating cycle to further remove any lingering odors. To do this, I set the temperature to 400 degrees and let it run for about 5 minutes. It’s important to do this without any food inside, as it will help to release any fumes and eliminate any lingering plastic or chemical smells.

In some cases, it’s necessary to repeat the heating cycle process several times. I followed these steps:

  1. Set the air fryer to 400 degrees and let it run for 5 minutes without food
  2. Allow the air fryer to cool for 15 minutes
  3. Repeat the process 3-4 more times

By following this method of seasoning and running a heating cycle, I successfully removed any unpleasant odors from my new air fryer. Now I can enjoy cooking with it without worrying about any unwanted smells.

Additional Air Fryer Maintenance Tips and Tricks

As someone who loves using my air fryer, I have gathered some useful tips and tricks in order to keep it clean and well-maintained:

  • Clean your Air Fryer after every use to avoid the buildup of grease and food particles.
  • Soak any parts with stuck-on food in hot water and dish detergent to loosen the food before cleaning.
  • Use a wooden skewer or toothpick to poke out any food that may be stuck in the basket.
  • Preheat your Air Fryer before cooking to ensure even cooking.
  • Adjust cooking time when using non-air fryer recipes, as air fryers tend to cook foods faster than conventional ovens or deep fryers.
  • Check your Air Fryer’s user manual for specific cleaning instructions and whether it can be placed in the dishwasher.

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