Save Your New Air Fryer From That Awful Plastic Smell With These Simple Tips

Air fryers are having their moment in the sun, and it seems like there's virtually nothing the cooking product can't do. From perfecting your baked salmon recipe to warming up a handful of frozen tater tots, air fryers are an easy way to make food without the effort of traditional cooking. When the food has been served and it's time to clean your air fryer, however, are you met with an awful plastic smell? Is the odor strong and unpleasant, like you've allowed plastic to fester long enough for it to rot inside of your favorite cooking product? If that's the case, you'll want to follow a simple protocol of washing each compartment, priming it with vinegar and lime juice, and wiping it clean.

There are a few reasons why air fryers harbor funky odors, and it's unlikely that you've done something specific to cause it. For starters, air fryers are designed with heat-resistant plastic that's intended to protect users from internal heat if they touch the product from the outside while in use. Additionally, most of an air fryer's adjoining compartments are made of plastic, and they frequently vent their plastic-smelling fumes through the fryer while heating up and cooling down. Over time, these emissions develop an unmissable scent. Luckily, the problem isn't permanent — we've lined up some air fryer cleaning tricks and how to maintain the product moving forward.

How to clean your air fryer

After you've finished using your air dryer, let it cool down for 30 minutes or so. Once the product has lost most of its heat, remove the frying basket and drawer before using a sponge and some dish soap to give each compartment a good wash. Once everything is dry, some experts recommend plugging the air fryer back in and turning it on with no food inside — this will help air out any lingering plastic smell. You may want to avoid conducting this step inside your home, taking it outside or in the garage instead.

While the next step is technically optional, it may help introduce a new and refreshing smell to your air fryer. In a small heat-resistant bowl, create a mixture of 1 tablespoon distilled vinegar and 1 tablespoon lime juice to place inside of the air fryer. Set the timer for three minutes at 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit. After the timer goes off, allow the fryer to cool down completely before opening the basket and removing the mixture. You may complete your efforts by rinsing the air fryer and wiping it dry. By now, you should be met with a fresh fragrance emitting from your air fryer, but be sure to follow our maintenance protocol to ensure your air fryer never smells like plastic again.

How to maintain your air fryer

First and foremost, it's essential to give your air fryer a thorough wash after every use. When the fryer has cooled down just enough, rinse off any grease and oil that's stuck to the basket using soap and warm water. By waiting until the fryer has slightly cooled, the temperature will still be warm enough to help melt off the thick and sticky residue. If you're a regular air fryer user, you may want to consider using an air fryer liner before placing food overtop and allowing it to cook. An air fryer liner can catch any excess grease and oil that would drip onto the fryer basket, so by taking one precaution before cooking, you're saving yourself some cleanup time.

Additionally, remember that vinegar-lime juice recipe we mentioned earlier? Incorporating the solution into your monthly air fryer deep clean can help prevent the smell of plastic in the future. If you're not too keen on coming into contact with a buildup of grease, you may opt to soak the compartments in a solution of warm water and dish soap or distilled vinegar and lime juice before having a go at it. Just be sure to stay consistent — by properly maintaining your air fryer, you'll benefit from better-tasting food and an odorless house.