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Why Does Your Electric Oven Smell Like Plastic and How to Fix It?

There is hardly anything more unpleasant than experiencing horrid odours, while cooking your delicious roast meal, especially the smell of burning plastic. In this guide, we will look at why your electric oven smells like burning plastic, and discuss ways to get rid of the odour as soon as possible. 

So if you:

  • Want to get rid of the smell of burning plastic from your oven
  • Wonder what causes your oven to smell of burning plastic
  • Want to learn how to maintain your oven and keep it clean

This post is for you!

Table of Contents:

Why does your oven smell like plastic?

More often than not, the smell of burning plastic is typical for brand new electric ovens. When they are used for the first time, the protective chemicals used during manufacturing to make the insulation of the oven’s chamber should burn off immediately, however, this is not always the case. In some instances, it might take several uses before the smell starts fading away. 

Some common reasons why you might be experiencing foul plastic odours:

  • The chemical solutions used during manufacturing are burning off;
  • Your oven is experiencing an electrical malfunction;
  • The zip ties used during transportation have not been removed;
  • The oven’s insulation is being exposed to high temperatures for the first time;
  • Bad wiring, which has begun to melt the insulation of the wires.

Why does my new oven smell like burning plastic?

According to big companies like Samsung the burning smell, coming from a new oven, is a result of the insulation surrounding the oven cavity, emitting odours the first few times it is exposed to heat. Moreover, if you fail to remove any of the zip ties used for securing the inserts during the transportation process, they will melt when the oven is used and emit the smell of plastic.

On the other hand, appliance maker Belling states that the smell and light smoke, you may experience during your first few uses, is caused from the protective coating of oil, used during manufacturing. 

How to remove the burning plastic smell from your oven

There are many ways to get rid of the overpowering odour of burning plastic. How exactly will depend on whether your oven is brand new or has been used for a while. New ovens need to be allowed time to “burn-in” while used ovens need a good clean.

Brand new ovens:

  1. Wipe the inside of your oven, including the racks, using a washcloth, warm water, and soap. This will get rid of any oil residue left during manufacturing. 
  2. Before turning on your oven, open a nearby window and turn on the fan in the ventilation hood. Heat up the oven between 250-300 degrees Celsius (400-550 F.) and let it run for up to an hour.  
  3. Should the smell still be there, repeat the process until it is faded away. 
  4. After the oven has cooled off, wipe it clean one last time using the washcloth. 

Used ovens:

So, your stove has been used hundreds of times, yet the same foul smell is still present. Since this can be very case-specific, the first thing we recommend is to get in contact with the manufacturer, as it might be an issue with that specific model. 

Once that is ruled out, you can proceed to inspect whether your oven is experiencing an electrical malfunction. 

  1. Firstly, make sure it is safely disconnected from the electricity network before carefully inspecting it for any signs of burned cable insulation. 
  2. If you notice any electrical damage, it is best to consult a technician as soon as possible. 
  3. Should none of the above be present, the most likely cause for the bad smell is melted plastic.

Removing melted plastic from your oven

Putting plastic in the stove might be more common than you would think and unfortunately, the two do not mix well, when the oven is on. However, there is no need to panic, the smell of the plastic is a lot worse than the actual clean up process. 

There are two main methods you can use to clean the melted plastic from your oven – the cold method or the warm method.

  • With the cold method, leave the oven to cool off until the plastic hardens, making it easier to peel off. You can also use some ice to speed up the process. Then, by using a knife or a scraping tool, you can remove the plastic from the oven. 
  • With the warm method, use heat to remelt the plastic again. Turn up your oven and wait till the plastic has softened up, before scraping it with a wooden spoon. 

Need help? Call the professionals!

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If you have any trouble with cleaning your oven, do not hesitate to book our services. Our expert oven cleaning team can assist you by professionally deep cleaning your oven. The specialists we work with use strong detergents that not only remove any melted plastic and carbon residue but also kill bacteria.

Takeaways: 

  • In many cases, the burning plastic smell coming out of a brand new oven is caused by the insulation, surrounding the oven cavity, and is only present the first few times you use your appliance.
  • Used ovens that emit a plastic odour usually do so due to melted plastic or some electrical fault with the wiring.
  • Cleaning melted plastic from the inside of your oven can either be done using heat or ice cubes.
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