Why does my oven smell when turned on?

Emma Marks
by Emma Marks

Hi all,

Lately, my oven emits an unpleasant smell whenever I turn it on. The kitchen then smells and the foul odor lingers, it's very frustrating.

I'm sure I'm not alone in experiencing this, so I'm reaching out to all of you for some collective wisdom.

Have any of you encountered a similar problem with your ovens? What do you think might be causing these unpleasant smells? And most importantly, I'd love to hear your tips and tricks for preventing bad odors from the oven.

Thank you

Oven smells when turned on

  14 answers
  • My first thought is it needs cleaning. Anything that has spilled over will cause a smell.

  • Seth Seth on Aug 07, 2023

    I Agee with Ann. If it smells only when it heats up, then there is probably something on the bottom.

  • Janice Janice on Aug 07, 2023

    I agree with Ann & Seth. Try placing a glass bowl with about 1 cup of ammonia in your oven overnight. DO NOT HEAT THE OVEN. Remove the bowl of ammonia and the oven should be easily cleaned with hot soapy water. See if the oven continues to smell when heated.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 07, 2023

    If it was a spill, it should have baked off by now, I would look for a critter in and around the oven.

  • Dee Dee on Aug 07, 2023

    Has something dripped or burned in the oven? Have you used Easy Off and not wiped it totally clean?

    The insulation within the oven's cavity may emit this odor when it's initially turned on and should quickly dissipate. If your oven is not new and suddenly smells like burning plastic, it's likely due to a wiring malfunction or melted plastic. Leftover cleaning residue can leave a strong plastic burning smell that lingers long after the cleaning took place.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 08, 2023

    You most likely have a small piece of plastic that has melted in the oven. Hopefully, you didn't have an oven liner down because they seem to be causing a lot of issues.

    I would take everything out and look over every inch of the walls to see if you can find even a tiny bit of plastic. I had that happen once in my dishwasher and I thought my house was burning down.

  • I wonder if something got burnt inside the oven and needs to be cleaned out. Or, it's possible a critter got indoors and within the stove. I hope the latter is not the case. Try cleaning the oven interior really well and hopefully that does the job.

  • It's possible you have a grease build up. Sometimes it's on the door or on the shelves or the heating element itself. I'd start with a good cleaning and see if that solves the problem.

  • Rhonda Garrison Rhonda Garrison on Aug 23, 2023

    We had mice when I was growing up. They could get in our oven. And every time we turned the oven on we got a really bad smell. We finally figured out that it was the droppings burning when the oven was on. I obviously don’t know if this is why you are getting an odor. But it’s worth checking into.

    Good Luck.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Aug 23, 2023

    Does your oven have a deep clean setting? If it doesn't I would set it to broil at the highest temp it can go and let it just be hot for a couple of hours. During this time its really going to stink but it should eventually burn out whatever is causing the problem.

  • Hey there, Emma! When you first start the oven, it is normal to detect an unusual odor. This is caused by the combustion of gas at the burner and will go away within a minute or two. The odor of the unburned gas can be compared to the smell of rotten eggs. It is not normal to smell unburned gas in your kitchen.

  • Emma Marks Emma Marks on Aug 28, 2023

    Great advice, thank you

  • Mogie Mogie on Oct 21, 2023

    When you heat up the oven you could be smelling something similar from rancid oils if it is an old oven, or from factory oils if it is a new oven.

  • Betsy Betsy on Oct 21, 2023

    Hi Emma: I'd hate to think that a mouse got in there and passed away :( That happened to my brother's stove. The bottom should lift up and out so that you can see if anything spilled, and you should also be able to remove the broiler, if you have an oven with a bottom broiler.