Do You Feel or Smell Burning Plastic Inside Your House?

Here's What to Do!

There is no doubt, when you have the smell of plastic burning in your home, such experiences are jaw-dropping. This can range from as simple as a minor problem to as complicated as a severe danger.

This article aims to explain how to follow different steps, what steps to take to solve the problem, and how to avoid the error. So, it is very important to find it quickly in order to avoid the dangers of fire, especially to your house.

Common Causes of a Burning Plastic Smell

Now let’s have a look at the common causes of a burning plastic smell.

Burnt Plastic

It can be due to burnt plastic or any other constructive work which involves using fire. It can occur when utensils or other related items that are made of plastics are exposed to heat. Examples include:

  • A utensil made from plastic, which has been put in the dishwasher.
  • One can think of a frying pan that was left on the stove.
  • An item of hair adornment close to a hot straightener.


Limit the intake of smoke as much as possible and try to clean up the burnt plastic as much as you possibly can.

Read more: Process to Clean Smelly Dishwasher

While for the residue, it is advisable to use warm water combined with distilled white vinegar or a paste made out of baking soda.

Electrical Wiring Issues

Bad wiring is a problem of a great concern. The wires may get burnt due to overheating of insulation and other connectors, which are sometimes not easily visible.


When the smoke and alarm go off, switch the power off. Find out the location, and then arrange to have an electrician check and correct the problem with the cables.

HVAC Systems and Furnaces

Components that emit heat within furnaces or blowers within the HVAC systems or blocked filters results in burning of plastic smell.


Clean the evaporator coils, inspect air filters and replace if they are dirty or clogged. Maintenance of the HVAC systems should be a planned process.

Overheated Appliances

The smoke mainly arises from burning plastic and it is possible for most appliances to develop this smell, especially when they overheat due to dust or clogs.


Wash hobs often and don’t forget to clean other appliances that include self-cleaning options. Empty the lint trap of your dryer after every use.

When to Call a Professional

If you are unable to trace the source of the smell or to repair the problem you should seek professional help right away.

Steps to Take When You Smell Burning Plastic

  1. Identify the Source:

Fast identification of source of odor. Remove any plugs from all the suspicious appliances and then switch off power to the zone using the breaker.

  1. Assess the Risk:

However, if you have no fire concern but the smell lingers on, you should call an emergency electrician.

  1. Professional Help:

If it concerns any HVAC system or appliance, an electrician can assist to decide if the professional repairing or cleaning service is necessary.

How to Remove Lingering Smells

The smell associated with burning of plastic is one, which is rather annoying, but also rather unhealthy.

  1. Remove the Source:

Remove the item or thing that is making the smell in your house.

  1. Ventilate:

Open the windows and the doors, turn on the fans, and bring in air fresheners to clean the air in rooms.

  1. Clean Surfaces:

Finally, clean all the films and surfaces of the rooms by using soapy water to eliminate remaining smell particles.

  1. Be Patient:

Although the lingering smell remains a big issue, but you have to be patient to keep the situation in control.

Tips for Preventing Burning Plastic Smells

  • Regular Cleaning:

Regularly clean appliances to prevent dust buildup.

  • Change Filters:

Clean the air filters as recommended by the user manual or the manufacturer of the air purifier.

  • Avoid Overloading:

Don’t overload electrical outlets. Unplug unnecessary devices.

Image Alter Text: Cleaning-House-Plastic


Q: Does an electrical fire smell like burning plastic?

A: Yes, burning insulation and wiring as a result can generate burnt plastic smell.

Q: If I detect a burning plastic like smell within your house, what should I do?

A: Look for signs of smoke and flames, if you spot any smoke or fire, immediately get out of the room. If you find any, dial for an ambulance service. Otherwise, switch off all appliances connected and contact an electrician.

Q: Is it possible that CO does not smell, but rather has a smell similar to burning plastic?

A: Carbon monoxide, therefore, is an odorless Gas and since it cannot be seen it has no color.


The incident is not very pleasant when you find out that there is smoke smell like burnt plastic in your house. This way you will have easily been able to detect the source and act on it to protect your home and your family.

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