The smell of home baking and roasting – it’s such a nice, homely smell. But your oven doesn’t always give off nice smells, old and new ovens can smell bad and put you off cooking.
So here’s what to do if your oven is giving off a nasty chemical (and others, we’ll cover).
Is Your Oven New?
Brand new ovens are notorious for producing unpleasant chemical smells when first used or during their first few uses. During the manufacturing process, there are rubbers and plastic used, and when packaged, these smells are locked in. Also, paints and other substances are used to finish the oven before packing.
These smells are very common, some people call it the smell of “newness” and quite like the smell of a new appliance in the kitchen, However, with cookers and ovens, these smells are amplified and can smell very bad.
For owners of brand new ovens, we recommend two or three mock cooking runs or 30 – 60 minutes each, to burn off and blow out lingering smells with the assistance of fan ovens. When doing these cooking runs, switch the oven on to a high setting, and run for around 30 minutes with the kitchen window open and extractor fan on.
Check for Bunt on Foods
If you have an aged oven that’s started to smell, it could be food debris or splashes of sauce and grease on the heating element, or walls of the oven. They are burned further every time the oven is heated – and thus cause unpleasant smells, even smoke. The difficulty: Dirt behind the heating elements, which are often difficult to access, cannot be easily removed. Food residues that have already burnt themselves in and cannot be removed with normal cleaning are also problematic.
Fulling inspects the walls, roof, base, heating elements, racks, and trays for incrusted foods or sauces. Remove and thoroughly clean the interior of the oven.
Cleaning Chemical Residue
You may have left behind some cleaning chemicals. If there are residues of cleaning agents in the oven, they can also cause a smell in the kitchen as soon as the oven is switched on. In this case, it is advisable to switch off the oven immediately, let it cool down, and clean it again until all residues have been removed.
Cleaning sponges can lose tiny plastic particles when cleaning the oven, which burns when the oven is used and cause an acrid smell. Here you have no choice but to burn out the oven again to get rid of any residue.
We recommend cleaning your oven without chemical oven cleaner, using all-natural ingredients.
Get Rid of Odours; Recap
Depending on what caused the unpleasant odours from your oven, different approaches will apply.
If a brand new oven smells bad, run the oven without food to burn off odours. If older ovens stink because food or cleaning residues have accumulated, thorough cleaning using natural ingredients will help.
If plastic particles, for example from cleaning sponges, are the cause of the unpleasant smell, you should burn out the oven. Burning out works in the same way as burning in, but describes the process in an oven that is no longer new.
New Oven Smell Removal
Every new oven should be heated without food before you cook food in it for the first time. This is how you do it:
Important: first take a look at the instructions for use for your oven. There should be a first steps guide which may differ from ours, so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions first.
- Remove all baking trays and grids from the device.
- Wipe the oven clean with a damp microfiber cloth.
- Let the device run for 30 minutes at 250 degrees top / bottom heat.
- Use fan assist if you oven has one.
- Set the temperature controller to zero and let the circulating air continue to run.
- Open the oven door and kitchen window and leave the room.
- Once the oven has cooled down, wipe it thoroughly with lemon water (five tablespoons of lemon juice to one cup of water)
Remove Smell Through Cleaning
Have leftovers stuck or grease splashes behind the heating elements? Then it’s time to roll your sleeve up and get cleaning.
Home remedy paste for burnt ovens:
- Mix a sachet of baking soda with three tablespoons of water.
- Apply the paste to the crust and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Remove the dirt and paste with plain water.
- Get rid of dirt with steam cleaners
- Mix two large cups of water with ten tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Put the lemon water in a large baking dish.
- Place the baking dish on the lowest rail of the oven and let the lemon water evaporate for 15 minutes at 200 degrees.
- Let the oven cool down, wipe it with a damp cloth to remove any remaining debris.
- Use the oven spray correctly
- Open the kitchen window.
Spray the inside of the oven with oven spray. Attention: Avoid the grille of the circulating air fan on the rear wall and the heating rods on the top! Leave the remedy on for 30 minutes.
Wipe the oven with a damp cloth to remove any debris.
Automatic Oven Cleaning with Pyrolysis
Pyrolysis is a self-cleaning program found in some advanced ovens: It heats the interior to around 500 degrees and cremated dirt into ash. This can then simply be swept off the bottom of the oven. Experience has shown that dirt can sometimes remain on the glass plate of the door.
Important to know: accessories such as grids, trays, or pull-out rails are usually not able to withstand the extreme temperatures and must be removed before the program starts.
It’s worth noting, that this feature should be used sparingly, as power consumption will increase and wear on the oven parts.
Heating Element Cleaning
The heating elements are usually located on the top of the oven. Check first if they pull out or fold to the side. It is best to take a look at the operating instructions. Whether and how the heating elements can be removed is different for each manufacturer of ovens.
If removal is possible, subsequent cleaning is very easy. Just proceed exactly as in the following instructions – with the exception that you can simply clean the heating elements in the sink.
If you cannot remove the elements, it is a little more complex:
- Use a wide brush to apply cleaning gel or paste to the heating rods. (Especially for oven cleaning, available from the oven manufacturer.)
- Leave the remedy on overnight. (If the times are different, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.)
- The next day, thoroughly remove the gel and dirt with a damp microfiber cloth.
- Don’t leave any detergent residue in the oven, as this can add new stink. Wipe it out thoroughly with clean water.
Related Article: Choosing Between Gas or Electric Oven?
Summery of Oven Chemical Smells
If your oven smells of chemicals as soon as you turn it on, the first thing to do is to find out why. Either the device is new and has not been burned in, or food scraps or residues from cleaning agents have settled and are causing the stench.
If the device is brand new, it will likely need to be burned in. If there is leftover food or cleaning agent residues inside the oven, a thorough cleaning will usually ensure that the stench disappears. You can use both speciality chemicals and home remedies for this.