Toaster Smells Like Burning Plastic (5 Possible Causes)

You recently added a new toaster to the list of appliances in your kitchen, and you can’t wait to start using it. There’s always excitement when a new device comes on board. 

Surprisingly, you turned on the new toaster, and boom, it started smelling like burning plastic. The smell is irritating and makes you wonder if the bread you’re toasting would be safe for consumption. 

Does this sound like something you’re experiencing right now? If your answer is yes, you’re not alone. Most people have complained about perceiving burning plastic from their new toaster, and the smell is always irritating. 

We all know that plastic isn’t a material that should mix with one’s food. It’s not safe. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the reason your new toaster smells like plastic is burning. After reading, you should know what the cause is and what you can do in this regard. 

Keep scrolling down!

Why Does My New Toaster Smell Like Burning Plastic?

Whenever I bought a new toaster, I always ended up throwing away a few loaves of toasted bread. Why? I had this awkward idea that the smelling plastic might have gotten into my bread. 

You cannot blame anyone who thinks this way. With the rate at which people are getting sick with cancer and other life-threatening ailments, one has to be extremely careful about what goes into the stomach. 

So, firstly, don’t panic if your new toaster starts giving off a burning plastic smell. Why? It’s not harmful.  

Several things are responsible for the plastic smell coming from the toaster. And you’re highly likely to perceive such an odor when you turn on a new toaster for the first time. Over time, the smell should wear off. 

Here are some reasons toaster smells like burning plastic material:

1. Chemical used to protect the appliance’s surface

You don’t expect manufacturers to keep the surface of their new toasters bare. They have to protect it. Otherwise, it might lose its shine before a consumer buys it. 

So, manufacturers use chemicals to protect the toaster’s surface. And they expect users to plug the appliance for a while so the chemical can wear off before using the toaster.

Manufacturers also use oils to coat the toaster’s surface. Thus, when turned on, the oil burns off. The burning oil gives off a plastic smell, a reason you’re worried right now. 

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A Handy Tip: Plug your toaster oven, and allow it some time to burn off these protective chemicals. Don’t throw a piece of bread in yet. 

Please, have in mind that some toasters’ plastic smell wears off after turning them on for the first time. Some brands of toasters may require two or more tests. 

The bottom line is to plug and turn on the toaster empty until you no longer perceive the burning plastic smell.  

2. The toaster’s cavity

Now, let’s blame it on the toaster’s cavity! But then, it’s just adjusting to the heat. So, expect the plastic smell to take over your cooking space for a while. 

It’s the toaster cavity’s first time receiving heat since you bought the appliance. So, it has to adjust to the new system to deliver better performances. 

Please note that the plastic smell caused by the toaster’s cavity should wear off in about 10 to 20 minutes or, perhaps, after two or three uses. 

Just don’t panic! That’s the point we’re trying to put forward here. In no time, the plastic smell would wear off. 

3. Electrical wiring

Most times, even old toasters give off a plastic smell. Why? An internal problem or electrical fault might be responsible. 

The wiring must have been unknowingly tampered with, or an electrical component has moved out of position. Considering how most people enjoy moving their toasters from one place to another, anything is possible. 

Just wait for a few minutes for your new toaster to work and pay attention to the smell. Something needs fixing if the plastic smell doesn’t go away after a few minutes or a couple of uses. 

4. The toaster’s packing material could be responsible

If your toaster produces plastic odors, don’t limit your suspicion to the coating chemical or electrical wiring. Other things could be responsible. 

One could be removing the appliance pack and mistakenly dropping plastic material into the toaster. Such appliances will produce a plastic smell when turned on. 

If the plastic smell continues after several usages, there’s cause for alarm!

Check the inside of the toasting slots for a piece of plastic material. If there’s none, something else could be the reason for your appliance’s plastic smell.

5. Cleaning agent used

You probably would have perceived some form of plastic smell from your old toaster and wondered why it often happens, especially after a thorough cleanup. 

Well, it’s a thorough cleanup on your part. But the issue is, the chemical used hasn’t gotten off the surface of the toaster, despite several rinses. 

So, when you plug such toasters into a power supply and turn the appliance on, the heat would expel the chemicals, and you may start smelling burning plastic in your kitchen. 

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A toaster that has been unused for an extended period might also produce a burning plastic smell. It must have accumulated some dirt and crumbs from past uses. These can create a burning plastic smell when you turn the toast on. 

A Handy Tip: Toasters have coils, and when turned on for the first time, the burning coil can produce a form of plastic odor. 

Should a Toaster Smell Like Plastic?

Well, the proper response is, no! But if it does, that doesn’t mean the toaster isn’t safe. It’s only unsafe if the burning plastic smell continues for an extended period. 

Most new toasters would smell like plastic when plugged into the electricity supply for the first time. But the smell should clear off after several toasting cycles or a few minutes. 

So, if your toaster smells like plastic, don’t panic yet. Please turn it on with nothing in the toasting slot, and leave it that way for some minutes. In no time, the smell should clear off. 

A Handy Tip: Most cheap toasters are not very well-made. So, they might produce a plastic smell when turned on. But if that continues for an extended period, something is wrong. And consider the appliance unsafe. 

What Should You Do If The Toaster Smells Like Burning Plastic?

Observe the toaster for a while. Don’t start assuming that it’s faulty when you don’t know the reason for the plastic smell. 

Several factors could be responsible. Like we said earlier, if it’s a new toaster, first-time usage could be the reason for the burning plastic smell. 

The components, such as wiring, coil, and cavity, are adjusting to the new operation. 

There’s a chance a piece of plastic from the pack in the toaster is responsible for the burning plastic smell. 

So, keep an open mind, as anything is possible. But please, don’t start assuming that the appliance is unsafe or faulty, and start seeking a refund. 

Observe the appliance to know where the problem is emanating from. 

How To Stop My Toaster From Smelling Like Plastic?

You can fix the problem. Let’s discuss what you have to do to eliminate the burning plastic smell. 

1. New toasters

Many new toasters produce a burning plastic smell when used the first time. And fixing such a smell can be a breeze, depending on the cause. 

If it’s a new toaster, plug it into the electricity supply and turn it on. Allow it to work for some minutes with nothing in. 

Some manufacturers would advise you to set the toaster to 7 and allow it to work for a while. After this process, you shouldn’t smell burning plastic the next time you turn on the toaster.  

However, if the smell continues, something else is the problem. There’s a chance that a piece from the pack may have fallen into the toasting slot. 

If this is the case, you may have to remove the plastic in the toasting compartment. Otherwise, it would continue smelling like burning plastic.

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Another thing that can cause the toaster to give off a burning plastic smell is the cavity and coil. Both components are adjusting to the appliance’s new mode of operation

In these cases, the plastic smell should go away after several uses. But if it doesn’t, something else is responsible. 

You might have dropped the toaster awkwardly on a platform, causing some internal components to move out of position. It might not be your fault but the dealer’s fault. You never know. 

If the fault is internal, you won’t have much to do. You need a professional’s help to put the displaced components in their rightful places. 

2. Old toasters

Several things can make an old toaster give off a burning plastic smell. It could be the chemical used in cleaning it or crumbs from the appliance

If the issue is the chemical used, all you have to do is plug the toaster into the electricity supply and allow it to run for some minutes. 

In no time, the plastic odor should clear off the toaster oven, so you can start toasting bread without fear of plastic getting into your food. 

On the other hand, crumbs from previous toasts or dust could be the culprits. In this case, cleaning will help restore your appliance’s normal function. 

Just remove the crumb tray, empty and clean it up. 

A Handy Tip: Endeavor to unplug your toaster oven before removing the crumb tray, cleaning, or checking to know if a piece of plastic fell into the toasting slot. 

Can I Still Use a Toaster If It Smells Like Plastic?

Of course, you can. But it would be best to give the plastic smell some time to clear off. 

But please, give the plastic time to wear off before you start toasting bread. You can turn the appliance on and let the toasting slot remain empty (you may decide to put pieces of bread in the slot) while running. 

If you no longer perceive plastic smell, you can continue using the appliance. But if you tried all you could and the odor still lingers, something else is wrong. 

The bottom line is to wait for the plastic smell to wear off before using the appliance. 

Conclusion: Why does my new toaster smell like burning plastic?

Why does my new toaster smell like burning plastic? You can check out the various reasons we gave. Several things could be responsible for your new toaster’s plastic smell. 

However, it is essential to know that such smells aren’t a cause for concern. It is customary in most appliances when plugged in for the first time. 

So, if your new toaster oven starts smelling like burning plastic, observe the appliance. Your focus should be to know where the smell is coming from.

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)