Short answer: The new oven plastic smell is typically harmless, caused by manufacturing or packaging residues. It can be reduced with proper ventilation and an initial burn-off.

The presence of a new oven plastic smell is a common experience when bringing home a brand-new oven. This distinct odor can sometimes be perplexing and even concerning to homeowners, raising questions about its origins, potential health implications, and how to address it. Understanding the reasons behind this plastic smell and knowing how to effectively manage it is essential for ensuring a pleasant and safe cooking environment. In this discussion, I will explore the causes of the new oven plastic smell, safety considerations, and practical tips for mitigating this odor, allowing homeowners to enjoy their ovens without worry.

Why New Oven Gives Off Plastic Smell?

New oven smell
New oven plastic smell

A new oven can give off a plastic smell for several reasons:

  1. Residual Manufacturing Materials: During the manufacturing process, various components of the oven may come into contact with synthetic materials or chemicals. Some of these substances can leave behind residues or emit odors when the oven is first heated.
  2. Packaging Materials: Ovens are often packed and transported using plastic materials or protective coatings. These packaging materials can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when exposed to heat, leading to a plastic-like odor when the oven is used for the first time.
  3. Burn-Off Period: New ovens may require a “burn-off” period where they are heated to a high temperature to eliminate any residual manufacturing or packaging odors. Failure to perform this initial heating can result in the persistence of the plastic smell.
  4. Interior Components: Certain interior components of ovens, such as racks, trays, or insulation materials, may contain plastic elements that emit odors when exposed to heat initially.
  5. Ventilation: Poor ventilation in the kitchen area can trap odors, making the plastic smell more noticeable. Adequate ventilation is essential to dissipate odors.
  6. Cleaning: Sometimes, cleaning the interior of a new oven thoroughly can help remove any lingering residues or odors from manufacturing or packaging materials.
  7. Chemical Reactions: The high temperatures inside the oven during its first few uses can cause chemical reactions between residues, coatings, or components, resulting in the release of odorous gases.

Is The Plastic Smell From The New Oven Dangerous?

The plastic smell from a new oven is generally not dangerous to your health. It is typically a result of residual materials from the manufacturing process, packaging, or components inside the oven, and these odors are usually temporary. Here are some important points to consider:

  1. Temporary Odor: The plastic smell in a new oven is usually a short-term issue and tends to dissipate over time with regular use and proper ventilation.
  2. Low Health Risk: While the odor can be unpleasant, it is typically not harmful at the levels emitted by a new oven. The odors are often the result of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals that can evaporate into the air. In most cases, the concentrations of VOCs are not at levels that would pose a significant health risk.
  3. Proper Ventilation: To minimize any potential exposure to odors, it’s important to ensure good ventilation in your kitchen while using the oven. Open windows or use exhaust fans to help dissipate any odors.
  4. Burn-Off: Performing a burn-off, as recommended by the manufacturer, can help eliminate or reduce the plastic smell faster. This process involves heating the oven to a high temperature for a specified period without food inside.
  5. Consult the Manufacturer: If you have concerns about the plastic smell or if it persists for an extended period, it’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer for guidance or to rule out any defects in the oven.

Do You Need To Do A Burn-Off For A New Oven?

Setting high temperature on oven
Setting oven temperature

Yes, performing a burn-off for a new oven is often recommended. This process involves heating the oven to a high temperature, typically around 400-500°F (200-260°C), for a specified period, usually about 30 minutes to an hour, without any food inside. The purpose of this burn-off is to eliminate any residual manufacturing, packaging, or adhesive odors and substances that may be present in the oven due to the production and shipping processes.

Here are the reasons why you should consider doing a burn-off for a new oven:

  1. Odor Elimination: It helps to remove any unpleasant plastic or chemical smells that may be present in the oven, providing a more enjoyable cooking experience.
  2. Safety: Some substances used in manufacturing or packaging may emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when exposed to high heat. A burn-off helps ensure that these substances are safely removed before cooking food in the oven.
  3. Prevent Contamination: It prevents the possibility of these residues contaminating your food during the first few uses of the oven.
  4. Improved Taste: Removing any residual odors or contaminants can prevent them from affecting the taste of your dishes.
  5. Efficiency: A burn-off can also improve the overall energy efficiency of the oven by removing insulating materials or residues that might hinder heat distribution.

Cleaning Tips Before The First Use Of Oven

Cleaning your oven before its first use is essential to remove any residues, dust, or manufacturing oils that may be present. Here are some cleaning tips to ensure your oven is ready for safe and effective use:

Step 1: Gather Supplies:

    • Soft cloth or sponge
    • Mild dish soap
    • Warm water
    • Oven-safe bowl or container
    • Baking soda (optional)
    • Vinegar (optional)

Step 2: Read the Manual: Review the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning recommendations and any cautions related to your oven model.

Step 3: Remove Accessories: Take out any oven racks, trays, or other removable components. Clean them separately in your sink with warm, soapy water.

Step 4: Wipe Interior Surfaces: Use a soft cloth or sponge dampened with warm, soapy water to wipe down the oven’s interior surfaces, including the walls, ceiling, and floor. Pay attention to any visible residues, spills, or markings, and make sure to remove them.

Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the interior thoroughly with a clean, damp cloth or sponge to remove any soap residue. Ensure that no cleaning solution or water is left behind.

Step 6: Perform a Burn-Off: Heat the oven to a high temperature (as per the manufacturer’s instructions) for a specified period without any food inside.

Step 7: Clean the Oven Window: If your oven has a window, clean it with a glass cleaner or a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar for a streak-free finish.

Step 8: Address Persistent Odors: If you still notice odors after cleaning, you can place an open bowl or container of baking soda in the oven and leave it overnight to absorb any lingering smells. Alternatively, you can wipe the interior with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to help neutralize odors.

Step 9: Replace Accessories: Once the oven interior is clean and any optional odor treatments are complete, reinsert the oven racks and any other accessories.

Step 10: Preheat Empty Oven: Before cooking any food, preheat your oven to the recommended temperature without any food inside for about 15-20 minutes to ensure that any remaining residues are burned off.

Preheating oven
Preheating oven before use


Is the new oven smell dangerous?

No, the new oven smell is typically not dangerous. It’s often caused by residual materials and should dissipate with time and proper ventilation.

Can you use a new oven right away?

It’s recommended to perform a burn-off (heating the oven empty at a high temperature) as per the manufacturer’s instructions before using a new oven to eliminate any potential residual odors or contaminants.

What does an oven gas leak smell like?

An oven gas leak can smell like rotten eggs or sulfur due to the presence of mercaptan, an odorant added to natural gas to make leaks easier to detect.

Why does my oven smell like ammonia?

An ammonia-like smell in your oven can be caused by cleaning products or residues. Ensure your oven is thoroughly cleaned and ventilated to eliminate this odor.

How long should a new oven smell?

The duration of a new oven smell varies but typically lasts for a few initial uses. Proper ventilation and cleaning can help shorten the duration.

Will a new oven smell make me sick?

The new oven smell is usually not harmful at the levels emitted by a new oven. It may be unpleasant but is unlikely to make you sick.


The new oven plastic smell, though often off-putting, is generally not a cause for significant concern in terms of health or safety. This odor typically arises from residual materials used in manufacturing or packaging and can be mitigated through proper ventilation, cleaning, and performing a burn-off as recommended by the manufacturer. While it may persist for a few initial uses, it is temporary, and the benefits of having a clean and odor-free oven for future cooking endeavors make these initial steps worthwhile. If any concerns persist or worsen, seeking guidance from the manufacturer or a professional technician is always advisable for peace of mind and to ensure the appliance is functioning as intended.

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