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What Should I Use to Remove the Odor in the Air Fryer?

  Air fryers are excellent appliances due to their compact design, versatility, and ability to cook food quickly and healthily. They utilize convection heating, which circulates hot air around the...


Air fryers are excellent appliances due to their compact design, versatility, and ability to cook food quickly and healthily. They utilize convection heating, which circulates hot air around the food to ensure it's evenly cooked and crisply without needing much oil.


However, when we use an air fryer for cooking, a frustrating issue is that the food smells or tastes like plastic or burnt grease. A freshly baked cake might taste like a fried chicken steak. Just as you need to remove odors from an oven, you also need to remove odors from your air fryer. Of course, we usually wipe the interior and clean the racks, drawers, and baskets to prevent the accumulation of grease and food particles that could make our food taste strange. But sometimes, we also need to remove stronger odors. If you are a strict health enthusiast, you might not want to use chemicals or cleaning agents to remove the odors from your air fryer. HYSapientia can offer some items already available in your kitchen to clean the air fryer odors without the need for "professional" cleaning agents.


Vinegar Steam Cleaning


The acetic acid in vinegar is highly volatile and effective at neutralizing odorous molecules in the air. When heated, vinegar releases steam that can penetrate into the air fryer’s small spaces, neutralizing lingering odor molecules from decomposed oils or burnt food.



  • Pour about a bowl of vinegar into the air fryer.
  • Set the air fryer to medium heat and run it for 3-5 minutes to allow the vinegar steam to circulate.
  • Turn off the air fryer and let it cool naturally.
  • Open the fryer and thoroughly wipe the interior with a clean, damp cloth.



Ensure the area is well-ventilated during this process as vinegar's acidic steam can be irritating to the eyes and respiratory system.


Lemon Water Deodorizing

Principle: Lemons contain citric acid and natural fragrances that can help neutralize and mask odors. Hot water helps release citric acid and fragrances from the lemon, effectively covering and eliminating any residual food odors. We have detailed instructions on how to clean an air fryer with lemons in a previous blog post.



  • Slice a few fresh lemons.
  • Place the lemon slices in the air fryer basket.
  • Add enough water to cover the bottom of the basket.
  • Set the air fryer to medium and run it for about 5-10 minutes.
  • After turning off the appliance, let it cool down, remove the lemon slices, and wipe down the interior with a damp cloth.



 Ensure not to heat the air fryer with just lemon slices and no water, as this might lead to the slices burning and potentially producing new odors.



Activated Charcoal Odor Absorption


Activated charcoal is a porous carbon material with a high adsorption capacity. It can trap organic compounds, odors, and pollutants from the air, thanks to its extensive surface area. This makes it excellent for capturing and fixing odor molecules, thus cleaning the environment of unpleasant smells.



  • Choose fragrance-free, household-grade activated charcoal packs.
  • Place the charcoal packs inside the air fryer, preferably when not in use.
  • Allow the charcoal to sit in the air fryer for at least 24 hours to maximize odor absorption.
  • After use, remove the charcoal packs and air them out in a well-ventilated area; they can be reused multiple times.


Ensure the charcoal is fresh or reactivated to maintain its effectiveness. Regularly replace the charcoal packs to keep them fresh and active.


Coffee Grounds for Odor Absorption


If you prefer not to use activated charcoal, coffee grounds are an excellent alternative. Coffee grounds contain natural oils and a strong aroma that can neutralize and absorb odors from the air. The oils and aromatic compounds in coffee grounds help mask and eliminate residual smells in the air fryer.



  • Collect dry coffee grounds; avoid wet grounds as they can mold.
  • Place the dry grounds in an open container, such as a small bowl or cloth bag.
  • Position the container inside the air fryer, keeping the appliance turned off.
  • Leave the coffee grounds in the air fryer overnight to neutralize odors.
  • Dispose of the coffee grounds the next day.


Promptly remove the coffee grounds after use to prevent them from creating new odors or becoming damp. Ensure the grounds are dry to prevent mold growth inside the air fryer.



Removing odors from an air fryer is crucial for maintaining a fresh kitchen environment and ensuring food tastes its best. The methods provided here utilize common household materials that are environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and easy to implement. Vinegar neutralizes bad odors through its acidity; lemon water not only neutralizes odors but also leaves a fresh citrus scent; activated charcoal uses its adsorptive power to remove airborne odors, and coffee grounds use their natural aroma and oils to cover up bad smells. These methods can be used alone or in combination, depending on the intensity and type of odor, to achieve the best deodorizing effect. Regular cleaning and deodorizing of your air fryer will help extend its lifespan and ensure the quality and taste of your food. Choose the method that best fits your needs to keep your air fryer in optimal condition, ensuring satisfactory cooking results every time.


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