Oven Cleaning

Why Does My Oven Smell Bad?

Have you ever wanted to cook a delicious dinner, but that desire disappeared as soon as you opened your cooker? Instead, you ask yourself “Why does my oven smell so bad?” and “If my oven smells this bad should I cook in it?”.

Maybe it smells like burnt food, plastic or even chemicals.

Yes, ovens sometimes stink and there can be many reasons for that. In this article, we’ll cover different oven smells, their causes and how to get rid of them.

Table of Contents:

Oven smells like burning food

Unfortunately, the most common reason ovens smell is the lack of proper cleaning. Since most food contains some amount of fat, grime and food debris steadily build up inside the oven after each use. When preheating, this fat melts and turns into grease, which covers all the ovens interior. 

Learn how to remove melted cheese from your toaster with our helpful guide.

Some deposits on the glass surfaces, for example, are obvious and easy to clean. But burnt food and greasy residue can often get trapped between oven racks and trays. That’s why the oven smells when turned on and can be a fire hazard.

The best way to get the burnt smell out of your oven is to remove all accessories like racks, trays and pans, and thoroughly clean all the grease off it.

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Oven smells like chemicals after cleaning

Cleaning an oven with the wrong products and following the wrong method can lead to a cooker coated with cleaning residue. Avoid the usage of ammonia or bleach-based products, as they leave behind chemical residue, which may reach the insulation. Once this happens, the oven can smell like chemicals when turned on. 

It’s best not to take any risks with inappropriate cleaners and methods, but leave the chore in the hands of our professional oven cleaners. However, if you have used the wrong cleaning product and now your oven smells like chemicals when turned on, don’t worry! There are ways to naturally deodorize your oven and get rid of the bad oven smells.

  • Bet on orange
  • It may seem too easy, but the citrus smell is fragrant. Cut the fruit into slices and bake it for 10-15 minutes on the lowest temperature. This technique quickly removes the oven cleaner smell and emits a pleasant aroma, even when the oven has been turned off.

  • Deodorize with vanilla
  • Fill an oven-proof bowl with water and add one teaspoon of vanilla extract.
    Preheat the oven to 120 degrees Celsius and place the bowl in the oven for an hour. Check it every 15 minutes and add more water if needed, as there will be evaporation going on. This method will not only deodorize your oven, but the whole house and will last all day.

The good news is that these methods are also useful and handy when cooking fish and you want to get rid of the fishy smell in the oven.

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Oven smells like gas

If your oven smells like gas, that could pose a danger, and you need to take action. Contact your local oven repair engineer to benefit from a swift and professional consultation. However, not all smells are alarming. When we turn on the oven, it’s normal to detect a strange smell, which is caused by the combustion of gas at the burner and will go away within minutes. 

Let’s clarify that the natural gas is odourless and colourless, but manufacturers add a specific chemical in, so it smells like a rotten egg. This kind of gas smell differs completely from the burned gas odour and can be dangerous.

If you catch your oven smelling like a rotten egg, there is a leak. You should leave your home without touching any electrical switches or extinguishing an open flame. Call 911 or your gas company, as they can send someone to check for leaks.

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New oven smells like burning plastic

You bought yourself an oven but when turned on it smells like burning plastic or chemiclas? That’s because of the insulation surrounding the oven cavity, and it’s first exposure to the heat. Also, this odour and the light oven smoke that may appear can be from the protective oil that manufacturers use in production. 

If your new oven smells like burning plastic when turned on, wipe down all the surfaces with the help of soapy water and a rag. Then run a proper burn-in cycle on the highest heat for 30 minutes. 

If the odour remains after the cycle, repeat the method a few more times.


  • The most common reason ovens smell is the lack of proper cleaning.
  • If your oven smells like gas, that could pose a danger, and you need to take action.
  • Avoid the usage of ammonia or bleach-based products, as they leave behind chemical residue.


Does your oven smell bad? How did you take care of the problem? Jump in the comments below to let us know!

Image source: shutterstock / brizmaker 

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