Why Does My Air Fryer Smell Like Chemicals? How To Get Rid Of Air Fryer Chemical Smell? (Quick fix!)

When your air fryer smells like chemicals, there is no doubt that something could be wrong, but not always. Besides spoiling your food’s flavor, the aftertaste can be unpleasant. As mentioned, the smell could be a sign of a worse problem. So, before you continue cooking, you must figure out the cause. 

Your air fryer smells like chemicals because of factory wrapping material that you left unpeeled. It could also be debris, overheating, a faulty heating element, or a plastic object you forgot in your air fryer. Unrinsed cleaning agents, dirty oil, and smell like chemicals when you cook with your machine. Discover why your air fryer smells like chemicals and ways to eliminate the odor. 

Here are the top most 15 reasons your air fryer oven smell like chemicals:

1. Your Air Fryer Is New

New appliances have unique smells. Some smell like chemicals, while others have a plastic odor. The fact that your air fryer is new can cause the scent the first time you use it. Indeed, those could be the manufacturing components and processes. You can try to clean up your machine and start with a dummy recipe. The process will get rid of the pungent smell. 

2. There Are Food Debris And Grease In Your Air Fryer

When you cook meat and other fatty foods, it is obvious that grease will streak or splatter in the machine. Also, the food debris will remain in the air fryer if you do not cook and clean the unit.

During the next air frying session, you may experience a chemical smell from your air fryer. All you need is to cook and clean your air fryer immediately. That way, all the grease and debris do not find their way into your air fryer’s interior.

3. Your Air Fryer Is Overheating

Overheating is dangerous for your appliance and creates a chemical smell that can cause your food to lose its flavor. Of course, the problem is due to too high temperature in the air fryer. The heat exceeds and begins melting some components, more so the wires and their plastic coatings.

Your air fryer’s heating element, fuse, and thermostat may even blow. The result is a chemical smell. Whenever you smell chemicals from your air fryer, that’s a worrying sign that needs swift action. Unplug your unit. The second step will be to establish why your machine is overheating.

You should never let your air fryer overheat, as there are obvious reasons why that happen. There are almost a dozen causes that you should know;

  • Blocked Vents: Vents in your air fryer enhance airflow in and out of the internal chamber. When you start your cooker, there is a generation and circulation of hot air to cook your food. And the heat generation happens in the heating element. Only the cooking chamber requires this hot air.

The internal functions of your air fryer do not need hot air. In the real sense, they need cooling so as not to overheat. And the cooling will only happen if the vents are open. The opening releases the hot air and lets fresh air into the interior. That’s also a heat dissipation process that facilitates a safe operating temperature for your gadget. So, unblock your air fryer vents to reduce airflow restriction.  

  • Overloading your air fryer: Loading excess food in your air fryer restricts airflow and efficient heat circulation. Besides uneven cooking, an overloaded air fryer can overheat superfast and damage the internal mechanism. You must observe the quantities you want to cook when using your oven.

Even if you anticipate more guests, you can cook in several packs and get better results. Or, you could consider other cooking alternatives, such as using an air fryer griddle combo with a bigger compartment for more food.

  • Cooking at High Temperatures: Cooking at extremely high temperatures can lead to overheating. Observing the recipe requirements is key. For instance, cooking chicken in your air fryer will require a certain F degree, depending on the menu. Do not exceed the temperatures to avoid overcooking.
  • Cooking Extended Periods: Continuous cooking for long durations strains your air fryer functionalities, especially the heating element and the entire electrical system. When the gadget experiences a strain, it overheats and can damage internal functions. Also, the smell is awful. 
  • Defective Thermostat: An inaccurate thermostat cannot regulate your air fryer’s internal temperature. A significant symptom is overheating. If you experience a chemical smell and the device is hot to the exterior, that’s overheating. An expert can check if the source of overheating is a defective thermostat.

Other causes of overheating include a defect in the power system., restricted ventilation, faulty parts like the fan and heating element, and a damaged oven.

Dirt, grease, and cooking under the scorching sun can contribute to overheating. You can prevent overheating by cooking indoors, ensuring proper ventilation, observing adequate cleaning, and maintaining the appliance according to its manufacturer’s instructions.

4. You Forgot A Plastic Or Foreign Object In Your Air Fryer

When you heat the appliance, a plastic or foreign object you forgot inside your air fryer can cause a chemical smell. It could be a plastic measuring cup or a spoon.

Before determining if your air fryer is faulty, inspect the cooking chamber or below the drawer for nylon papers and other objects. They could be the culprit for this awful smell.

5. Unrinsed Cleaning Agents

If you clean your air fryer and don’t rinse it well, it will smell like chemicals. Such agents are not safe when they are left to contaminate your food. Also, when the residues burn, they pollute the air, especially in your kitchen. Rinse your air fryer well and avoid unsafe cleansers with unsafe agents when cleaning. 

6. You haven’t Removed All The Wrapping Material.

Are you sure you unwrapped your air fryer well? You may have left some sticky nylon papers and other wrapping materials. Store price tags and bar codes are also culprits for chemical smells from your unit. Before using your new air fryer or oven, peel off all the wrappings. These not only cause chemical smells but can also cause fires if they burn. 

7. You Are Using Dirty Oil In Your Air Fryer

Old, reused, dirty, and contaminated oil has chemical smells and unpleasant odors. The reason is rancidity. In other words, the oil has oxidized, which produces a bad taste and smell. The scent is even more pronounced when you heat the oil.

Besides a reduced nutritional value, the oil has harmful free radicals. Food containing contaminated oil can cause inflammation and stress in your body due to the depletion of antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Such oil also smokes and is dangerous as it can catch fire. Discard it and use fresh oil.

8. Electrical Issues

The electrical system comprises wires that have insulation. The cords supply various components of the air fryer with power. When there is an error in the system, the wires can overheat, cause short circuits, and burn the insulation. The result is an air fryer smelling like chemicals.

Besides the external cord, your machine’s electrical wiring is in the interior. You must take it apart to access the wires. For you can access the cable and its plug head to ascertain that there is no short circuit. If not, open the machine to access its guts and identify the burning wires.

9. Blown Fuse

One of the characteristics of a blown fuse is a chemical-like smell. Some people say the scent is like plastic. Whatever you smell from your air fryer’s plug head should indicate that all is not well. An intact fuse does not smell.

You can open the head and inspect the fuse. It needs a replacement if it’s brownish or has black smelly powder. Also, your air fryer cannot operate with a blown fuse, so always keep an extra one in your drawer in case the worst happens. 

10. Your Air Fryer Element Is Burning

Your air fryer element stays at the bottom or top portion of the gadget. It consists of a coil whose core has a wound wire for conducting electricity. The tightly wound wire also converts power to heat. The functionality of the coil involves getting how when energy passes through.

It then transfers the heat with the help of the fan to the cooking chamber. So, your food cooks to your liking.

The heating element also comprises a temperature sensor that oversees and regulates the heat in the oven’s cooking compartment. Then there is the thermostat which controls the air fryer temperature. All these components in the heating element can break and cause trouble in your air fryer.

An unusual smell is a close indicator that the heating coil, sensor, or thermostat is not functioning as it should. Most users equate it to a chemical smell. It is a sign that some components are overheating, and your air fryer is unsafe.  

11. You Left Water In The Air Fryer

Mostly, water can get trapped on the floor of your air fryer. That occurs when there is a water spill or if you cleaned your machine with lots of water but didn’t dry it. The water may remain there for days. That’s disastrous as the moisture can cause rust on your air fryer’s bottom surface.

Also, the water has cleaning agent residues. When you plug in your air fryer, it might smell like chemicals. You can remove this odor by removing the drawer and other components. Clean them and wipe them dry. You can reconnect your clean air fryer to a power source for a minute to dry out all the moisture trapped in the air fryer or air fryer components. 

12. Poor Ventilation In Your Kitchen

In a poorly ventilated kitchen, chemicals such as insecticides, dampness, dust, and dirt can cause chemical-like smells. It is not necessarily your air fryer that is smelling. When the gadgets heat up, it also warms the air, which contains contaminants.

The atmosphere in your cooking room smells like chemicals as the residues burn. Also, your air fryer can trap the odors through the vents and contaminate your food. Keep your home clean and free from harmful insecticides that leave residues. 

13. Old Appliances Smell

Have you ever smelt an old appliance like a computer, a phone, or an oven? My decade-old laptop emitted an unbearable smell. I had to dispose of it at a recycling center. Old gadgets smell like chemicals. An air fryer experiencing multiple failures is also likely to smell like chemicals.

The components, including the fan’s motor and the motherboard, develop unresolvable mechanical and technical faults and become obsolete. If you do not dispose of the product well or keep on plugging it to try if it can work, it smells of undefinable chemicals.

The smell can even irritate you if you have allergies. That’s why it is crucial to dispose of old gadgets responsibly.

Do not leave your old appliances in the garage. When they come into contact with moisture, they smell bad and are also a health menace. Call the manufacturer and ask them if they can take the appliance back for recycling. Also, municipal e-collectors can help with this kind of waste.

14. Low-Grade Air Fryer

What is your air fryer brand? Is it a genuine model? Where did you purchase it? Answering a few questions can help determine whether your cooking air fryer is authentic. It may be far from the truth to say you cannot be duped!

Even the most careful person has ever fallen into the hands of cons, especially online dealers. So, you can end up with a low-grade air fryer that smells like chemicals when you cook with it.

Though the machine might look like a twin of the original, it isn’t genuine. Some parts may be missing, and even the programs. Besides the awful smell, such an appliance has health and safety dangers.

So, call the manufacturer if the air fryer is smelly and you aren’t sure if you purchased from the original website or an authentic e-commerce site.

So, how do you know that it is a genuine website where the product belongs? Easy! There are several pointers to an actual website. It must have secure connections and clear product descriptions.

Also, there must be secure payment methods, terms of service, and contact information. An E-commerce website that has no customer reviews, ratings, and experiences might be a dummy one that’s there to dupe unsuspecting buyers.  

15. Factory Faults

Finally, we have the fifteenth reason your air fryer smells like chemicals. Factory faults can cause the smell. Maybe some wires are bare and are getting in contact with each other, or the settings/programs aren’t accurate. Any selection you make is wrong and may cause the air fryer to overheat and smell like plastic or chemical.

The best remedy for a faulty factory appliance is to call the product customer care desk and ask if you can return the machine to them. Operating a defective air fryer is hazardous. It can burst into flames and burn you or raze your home down.

How To Get Rid Of Air Fryer Chemical Smell?

Now that you know the causes of your air fryer smelling like chemicals, how do you eliminate the chemical odor? Try these tricks;

  • Peel off all the wrappings that come with your brand-new air fryer. That includes nylon papers, bar codes, price tags, styro-foam pieces, soft sponges, and other materials.
  • Clean food debris and grease from your air fryer after each cooking session. Ensure that you wipe away all residues from the cleaning agents. After wiping, dry your air fryer with a clean cloth and run it without food for a minute. That ensures all the moisture is dry.
  • To eliminate all air fryer odor due to dirt or strong-smelling foods, use clean water and vinegar solution to wipe it.
  • To ascertain originality, buy your air fryer from recognized stores and authentic e-commerce sites. Avoid buying cooking appliances from hawkers.
  • Stop using your old and obsolete air fryer. Dispose of it at a recycling company or municipal e-waste management center.
  • Keep your air fryer dry, especially under the drawer.
  • Maintain a clean and well-ventilated kitchen.
  • Ask your electrician to inspect and replace a damaged electrical system, blown fuse, heating element, and other components.
  • Stop using an old diary, reused, or contaminated oil, as it is unhealthy and smells like chemicals. Use clean cooking oil.
  • Inspect your appliances for foreign objects and plastics you may have forgotten inside the air fryer. Sweep all the objects and avoid leaving spoons, measuring cups, and other things in the cooking chamber.
  • Call the customer care desk if your air fryer is still new but smells like chemicals. It could be a factory fault or some internal components are melting.
  • Clean the vents to allow good airflow. A soft brush does a perfect job, then wipe with a cloth.
  • Take care not to overheat your appliance by cooking for the right duration and not prolonged periods. Avoid overloading the oven; use the right oil and quantities to cook your food. A well-ventilated kitchen is equal to happy appliances. 
  • Use your kitchen appliance appropriately by cooking the right foods and following the recommended procedures.
  • Follow your air fryer’s directions on the use of the appliance, dos and don’ts. That way, you will eliminate smells from your air fryer and kitchen.

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