Effective Guide to Eliminating New Air Fryer Odors Skip to content

How to Remove the Plastic Smell from a New Air Fryer

If you have recently purchased a new air fryer and are eager to start cooking with it, you might notice an unpleasant plastic smell in your kitchen or in your food....

If you have recently purchased a new air fryer and are eager to start cooking with it, you might notice an unpleasant plastic smell in your kitchen or in your food. This can occur if the air fryer is not properly cleaned before use, which may lead to a plastic taste in your food. Residual oils and food particles can also produce unpleasant odors and may damage your air fryer over time. This is a common issue with new air fryers, but don't worry, it is usually harmless and not permanent. HYSapientia has tested various new air fryers and compiled comprehensive methods to address the odor issue in air fryers. Here, we explain why new air fryers sometimes emit a plastic smell and how to quickly and easily remove it.


Why Does a New Air Fryer Smell Like Plastic?


The shell and internal drawer of an air fryer are made of plastic, and the pan and frying basket are coated with PTFE. When the appliance is used for the first time, these parts may emit some odors because the air fryer reaches very high temperatures (up to 200°C). Most parts of the air fryer, from the shell to the internal components, are made of heat-resistant plastic. Heat-resistant plastics are ideal for insulation, keeping the heat inside the air fryer while the exterior remains cool enough to touch and handle without burning your skin. Most components of the air fryer are plastic injection molded parts that need to off-gas plastic fumes over time as they heat and cool. Unfortunately, most air fryer manufacturing facilities do not have the time to heat and cool the plastics multiple times to eliminate the plastic smell, so the odor gradually spreads during the initial uses.


Additionally, electronic components inside the air fryer, such as fans and heating elements, also have a short break-in period. Bearings in the fan may emit unpleasant odors until they are properly broken in, and the soldering of heating elements may emit similar odors until everything settles into place. Last but not least, the non-stick coating also releases fumes during the first few uses, similar to a cast iron pan, removing unpleasant odors and improving surface smoothness.


How to Remove the Plastic Smell from an Air Fryer


Step 1: Thorough Cleaning of the Basket and Grease Separator Tray


Before starting to use the air fryer, first thoroughly remove any plastic particles, grease, and dirt on the new basket and grease separator tray using dish soap with strong degreasing properties. Be careful to avoid using abrasive cleaning tools, such as the green side of scrubbing pads, as this could damage the non-stick coating. It is recommended to gently wipe with the sponge side to ensure thorough cleaning without damaging the equipment. Since the cleanliness of the basket during manufacturing is unknown, thorough cleaning and complete air drying are crucial.


Step 2: Initial Use and Break-in of the Air Fryer


To remove any chemical odors or plastic fumes that may have been left during the manufacturing process, it is strongly recommended to run the air fryer for several cycles without food before its first use. This process involves setting the air fryer between 350-400 degrees and letting the machine run empty for 40 minutes to help heat and cool the internal and external plastic parts, thus releasing any residual plastic fumes. After completing a cycle, let the equipment cool for 15 minutes and repeat this process 3-4 times. This helps speed up the release of fumes and eliminate any plastic smell as quickly as possible. If the appliance smells strongly, it is recommended to perform these steps in an open space or a well-ventilated area, such as outdoors or in a garage.


Step 3: Maintenance and Grease Handling of the Air Fryer Basket


After the break-in process, it is recommended to perform simple maintenance on the air fryer basket and grease separator tray. Take a moderate amount of ordinary cooking oil and evenly apply it to the inner surface of the basket and grease separator with a paper towel soaked in cooking oil to form a protective layer. Then, set the air fryer temperature to 350-400 degrees and let it run for 10 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes, remove the tray, and wipe dry. This process not only helps form a protective layer but also further removes any remaining odors. After completing this step, remove excess grease from the basket, thoroughly wash with mild dish soap, and fully air dry.


Step 4: Long-term Cleaning and Maintenance of the Air Fryer


Maintaining the cleanliness of the air fryer in the long term is crucial. We recommend thoroughly washing or wiping the air fryer after each use, especially after cooking foods with a lot of grease. This not only prevents grease from accumulating and becoming difficult to remove in a high-temperature environment but also prevents old grease from accumulating in the basket, thus avoiding the growth of bacteria and mold. Regularly keeping it clean ensures the safety and health of your family.


Additional Tips


Stainless Steel Air Fryer Oven Rolling Grill Basket


This clever trick not only allows food to heat evenly, but it also keeps your air fryer tidy and clean, and helps extend the life of your basket's non-stick coating. We use a rolling bamboo grill basket to cover the bottom of the basket, capturing all the excess grease, melted cheese, and who knows what else drips from the food. This air fryer accessory makes it easier to completely remove cooked food and grease from the basket. Voila—this way, your air fryer won't get dirty.


How to Keep Your Air Fryer Smelling Fresh


Although the next step is technically optional, acetic orange juice may help introduce a new, refreshing smell to your air fryer. In a heat-resistant small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar and 1 tablespoon of citric acid, and place it in the air fryer. Set the timer to 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit and continue for three minutes. After the timer goes off, let the fryer cool completely, then open the basket and remove the mixture. You can complete your task by rinsing the air fryer and wiping it dry. Now, you should smell a fresh fragrance emitted by your air fryer.


After completing the above steps, when you start cooking in your new air fryer, there should be no plastic smell or taste. We recommend washing the basket after each cooking session to prevent grease buildup and bacterial growth, which could contaminate your food and make you sick. Also, wipe the inside of the air fryer with a damp cloth after each use. Last but not least, perform a vinegar and citric acid steam bath monthly to keep your air fryer clean and odor-free for life.


Other Tips for Odor-free Cooking


  • Avoid continuously cooking strongly scented food without cleaning the air fryer.
  • Use baking soda or vinegar to eliminate residual odors.
  • If the plastic smell persists after multiple uses, contact the manufacturer for help.
  • By following these steps, being extra careful, and implementing these additional tips, you can enjoy the benefits of your air fryer without worrying about any lingering odors.


Problems with Burnt Smells During Cooking with an Air Fryer


If you notice a burnt smell while cooking with your air fryer, don't worry, HYSapientia has also thoughtfully compiled solutions for you.


  • Plastic Debris: Make sure that when you open the packaging of your new air fryer basket and model, you check the inside of the air fryer to ensure that you have removed any loose debris, otherwise you will smell plastic fumes from your air fryer. This is usually because a small piece of plastic part or component is left inside the air fryer, usually near the heating element, which will burn when you cook crispy food. Remember, there are hundreds of plastic parts and removable components in your air fryer.
  • Protective Coating: Before your air fryer was shipped to you, the manufacturer usually sprays a protective coating inside the air fryer. When you start using the air fryer, you will notice that the smell disappears after a while.
  • Power Cord: Sometimes during transportation, manufacturing, or opening the packaging, you may notice that the power cord is damaged, or you have a damaged power cord. This should be returned as soon as possible, as it does indeed pose a fire hazard.
  • Improper Cleaning: Although you may have seen many videos on TikTok about cleaning air fryers, the fact is that you really only need to use hot water, lemon juice, and some detergent for normal, proper cleaning. I strongly recommend that you wash your air fryer basket after each use. And remember to scrub the inner walls with a damp cloth or sponge.


How to Maintain Your Air Fryer


First and foremost, it is essential to thoroughly wash your air fryer after each use. After the fryer has cooled down enough, rinse off the grease and oil that have stuck to the frying basket with soap and warm water. Wait until the fryer has cooled down slightly, but the temperature is still warm enough to help melt the thick sticky residue. If you are a regular user of an air fryer, you may need to consider using an air fryer liner before placing food on it and letting it cook. An air fryer liner can absorb excess grease and oil that would otherwise drip onto the frying basket, so taking this precaution before cooking can save some cleaning time.


Also, remember the vinegar and citric acid solution we mentioned earlier? Incorporating this solution into your monthly air fryer deep cleaning helps prevent future plastic smells. If you are not fond of dealing with grease buildup, you can choose to soak the compartments in a solution of warm water and dish soap or distilled vinegar and citric acid, and then give it a try. Just make sure to be consistent—by properly maintaining your air fryer, you will benefit from more delicious food and an odor-free kitchen.


Are You Looking for an Odorless Air Fryer?


The plastic components of air fryers can also emit odors, especially when they are exposed to high temperatures. To avoid any unpleasant smells or health risks, be sure to use air fryers made from high-quality heat-resistant plastics. When looking for a safe-to-use air fryer, avoid those containing harmful substances such as polytetrafluoroethylene or perfluorooctanoic acid. Instead, consider options made from stainless steel, ceramic, or cast iron.


Extra attention: Be extra careful with plastic parts that contain BPA or BPS. Check for BPA-free options and safety certifications before purchasing. Ensure that the product you choose does not contain lead or other hazardous materials.


Science Popularization


What is Bisphenol A?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical commonly used in the production of plastics. BPA can leach into food, especially when the plastic is heated. Fortunately, most air fryers do not contain BPA, but it is best to check product specifications to ensure safety. Choosing a BPA-free air fryer ensures that you can enjoy your food without worrying about potential chemical exposure.


Check out our redesigned HYSapientia 24L Digital Large Air Fryer Oven 10-In-1 Toaster Oven. We have done all the hard work regarding odor handling for users, so you don't have to go through the trouble of removing air fryer odors. Our redesigned air fryer is made from high-quality heat-resistant plastic and stainless steel, ready to use right out of the box, odor-free! Visit our official website to shop now!


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