Short answer: A gas stove smelling like burning plastic may result from residue or foreign objects. Safeguard against it with regular cleaning and caution.

The smell of burning plastic emanating from a gas stove can be an alarming and perplexing experience for anyone in the kitchen. This unusual odor raises immediate concerns about safety, potential hazards, and the overall condition of the appliance. Understanding why your gas stove might emit such a smell is crucial to ensure the well-being of your household and prevent any damage to the appliance itself. In this guide, I will explore the common reasons behind a gas stove emitting a burning plastic smell, offering insights into the possible causes and providing practical tips on how to address this issue effectively. By gaining a deeper understanding of this problem, you can take the necessary steps to eliminate the odor and maintain the safe and efficient operation of your gas stove.

What Causes A Gas Stove To Smell Like Burning Plastic?

Plastic stuck on oven
Burnt plastic stuck on oven bottom

A gas stove smelling like burning plastic can be attributed to several potential factors:

Residue from Manufacturing:

During the manufacturing process, some gas stoves may have an oil-based protective coating applied to prevent rust or damage during shipping and storage. When you first use the stove, this coating can burn off, producing a plastic-like odor and possibly some smoke.

New Components:

New stoves may contain various components like burners, grates, or knobs made from plastic or other materials. When these components heat up for the first time, they may emit odors that resemble burning plastic.

Packaging Materials:

Sometimes, packaging materials, such as plastic wraps or foam, can accidentally get lodged near or under the burners or other heating elements. When the stove is turned on, these materials can melt and create a burning plastic smell.

Gas Burner Issues:

In some cases, the smell might not actually be from burning plastic but rather from the combustion of natural gas or propane. If there’s an issue with the gas burner, it might not burn the gas cleanly, leading to an odor that resembles plastic or burning rubber.

How To Get Burning Smell Of Plastic Out Of Gas Stoves?

Getting the burning smell of plastic out of a gas stove can be challenging, but it’s important to address it to ensure safety and eliminate the odor. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Turn Off the Gas Stove: Ensure that the gas stove is completely turned off to eliminate any potential safety hazards.
  2. Ventilate the Area: Open windows and doors in the kitchen to allow fresh air to circulate. Use fans to help dissipate the odor.
  3. Remove Burned Plastic: If you can see melted plastic inside the stove, wait for it to cool down, and then carefully remove the plastic. Use a non-abrasive spatula or plastic scraper to gently lift off the melted plastic. Be cautious not to scratch the stove’s surfaces.
  4. Clean the Stove: Clean the interior of the gas stove thoroughly to remove any remaining plastic residue and odor. You can use a mixture of baking soda and water or a commercial oven cleaner. Follow the product’s instructions for the best results. Wipe down all surfaces, including burner grates, oven walls, and any removable parts like burner caps and drip pans.
  5. Boil Water and Vinegar: Fill a large pot with equal parts water and white vinegar. Place it on a burner and heat it until it boils. Let it simmer for a few minutes. The vinegar’s steam can help neutralize odors. Alternatively, you can also add lemon slices or a few drops of lemon juice to the boiling water for a pleasant citrus scent.
  6. Run the Stove: Turn on the gas stove to a low to medium heat setting for about 20-30 minutes. This will help further dissipate the odor and allow any remaining traces of plastic to burn off. Ensure that the kitchen is well-ventilated during this process.
  7. Use Odor Absorbers: Place bowls of baking soda, activated charcoal, or coffee grounds inside the oven and on top of the stove when it’s not in use. These materials can help absorb lingering odors.
  8. Repeat as Needed: Depending on the severity of the plastic odor, you may need to repeat the cleaning and heating process multiple times until the smell is completely gone.
  9. Check Ventilation: Ensure that the ventilation system above the stove is functioning correctly. Clean any filters or vents if necessary.
  10. Professional Inspection: If the smell persists, or if you suspect there might be an issue with the gas burners or other components of the stove, it’s crucial to have a professional technician or appliance repair specialist inspect and service the gas stove to ensure it’s safe to use.

How To Prevent Burning Plastic Smell From Gas Stoves?

Preventing a burning plastic smell from your gas stove involves proactive measures and regular maintenance to ensure the stove operates safely and efficiently. Here are some steps to help prevent such odors:

Keep the Stove Clean: Regularly clean your gas stove, including burners, burner caps, grates, and the oven interior. Remove any food debris, grease, or spills that can cause burning odors when heated.

Avoid Placing Plastic Items on the Burners: Be mindful of where you place plastic utensils, containers, or other items when cooking. Ensure they are not inadvertently placed on hot burners where they can melt.

Check for Residual Packaging Materials: Before using new cookware or bakeware, inspect it to make sure no packaging materials or stickers are attached. Remove any such materials before placing the cookware in the oven.

Use Appropriate Cookware: Use cookware and utensils that are suitable for high-temperature cooking. Avoid using plastic utensils or containers in direct contact with hot surfaces.

unappreciated tray
Damaged cookware

Regular Maintenance: Schedule periodic maintenance for your gas stove with a qualified technician. This includes checking for loose or damaged components, ensuring proper gas flow, and addressing any issues promptly.

Proper Ventilation: Use the stove’s ventilation system, such as an exhaust fan or hood, when cooking to help remove cooking odors and fumes. Ensure that the ventilation system is clean and functioning correctly.

Preheat the Oven: When using the oven, preheat it to the desired temperature with the oven door closed before placing food inside. This helps burn off any residual odors or substances.

Use Cookware Lids: When cooking on the stovetop, use lids on pots and pans to contain splatters and odors. This can help prevent odors from permeating the kitchen.

Regularly Replace Burner Components: If you notice any damage or wear on burner components, such as burner caps or igniters, replace them promptly to ensure even heating and prevent unusual odors.

Educate Household Members: Teach all members of your household about safe cooking practices and the importance of being vigilant to prevent plastic or other materials from inadvertently coming into contact with hot surfaces.


Is some gas smell normal when you turn on the gas?

A faint odor of gas when you initially turn on a gas appliance, such as a gas stove, can be normal. However, a distinct odorant called mercaptan is added to natural gas to make it easily detectable in case of leaks. If the smell is very strong or persistent, it could indicate a gas leak, and you should immediately turn off the gas supply.

Is melted plastic smell harmful?

Inhaling the smell of melted plastic can be harmful to your health. Burning plastic releases toxic fumes, including potentially harmful chemicals like dioxins and furans. Prolonged exposure to these fumes can lead to respiratory issues and other health problems.

What does burnt plastic smell like?

The smell of burnt plastic is often described as acrid, sharp, and unpleasant. It’s a distinct odor that can be easily recognized. The smell may vary in intensity depending on the type of plastic and the extent of the burning.

Is it safe to cook in a brand-new oven right away?

Setting oven time
Preheating the oven

It is generally safe to cook in a brand-new oven right away, but it’s recommended to perform an initial “burn-off” process. New ovens may have residual manufacturing oils or coatings that can produce odors when heated. To remove these residues, preheat the oven to around 400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 204 degrees Celsius) and let it run empty for 30 to 45 minutes. This process helps burn off any remaining substances and prepares the oven for safe cooking.

How long should a new oven smell?

The duration of the new oven smell can vary depending on the oven’s make and model. Typically, the odor should dissipate after the initial burn-off process and a few uses.


A gas stove emitting a burning plastic smell can be a source of concern for homeowners, but it is essential to understand the underlying causes and take appropriate steps to address the issue. While a faint gas odor upon ignition is normal due to odorants added for safety, the smell of melted plastic is harmful and should be promptly investigated. The distinct acrid scent of burning plastic is recognizable and should not be ignored. When dealing with a brand-new oven, it is generally safe to use after an initial burn-off process, which helps eliminate any manufacturing residues. The duration of the new oven smell may vary but should dissipate with time and proper ventilation. Ensuring the safety and functionality of gas stoves is paramount, and homeowners should seek professional assistance if the odor persists or raises concerns about their appliance’s safety.

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