Why Does My Electric Stove Smell Bad?

Food Spills and Residue

Have you noticed an unpleasant odour coming from your electric stove? Cooking should be a delightful experience, and the last thing you want is a bad smell in your kitchen. Fortunately, there are practical solutions to eliminate these smells. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the unpleasant odours and provide tips on how to get rid of them.

Key Takeaways

  • Electric stoves can produce bad smells due to several reasons.
  • Understanding the causes of these smells is crucial in finding appropriate solutions.
  • Cleaning, proper maintenance, and ventilation improvement are practical ways to eliminate unpleasant odours.

Common Causes of Bad Smells from Electric Stoves

Electric stoves are an essential appliance in most homes, but they can sometimes produce bad smells that can be unpleasant and concerning. Understanding the common causes of bad smells from electric stoves is the first step in eliminating them.

Food buildup and spills on the burner

One of the leading causes of bad smells from electric stoves is food residue buildup and spills on the burner. When food is left uncleaned on the burner, it can overheat and burn, causing a lingering unpleasant smell. Additionally, bacteria can grow quickly on food residue and cause a foul odour.

Cleaning your electric stove regularly is essential, especially after cooking. Wipe the burner with a damp cloth to remove any residue and food buildup. If you notice any spills, clean them up immediately to prevent them from becoming difficult to remove.

Grease buildup on the burner

Grease buildup on the burner can also cause bad smells from your electric stove. When grease accumulates on the burner, it can overheat and burn, leading to an unpleasant smell. Additionally, grease buildup can create a fire hazard if left unaddressed.

It’s crucial to clean the burner regularly to remove any grease buildup. Use a degreaser or vinegar to wipe the burner surface thoroughly. If the grease is difficult to remove, you can use a scraper to loosen it before wiping it away.

Worn-out heating elements

Over time, the heating elements on your electric stove can wear out, leading to a burnt smell. Damaged heating elements can produce hot spots, leading to burning and creating an unpleasant odour.

If you notice a burnt smell coming from your electric stove, it’s essential to inspect the heating elements. Check for any visible damage or discoloration. If you notice any issues, you will need to replace the heating element.

Poor ventilation

Poor ventilation can also lead to bad smells from your electric stove. Without proper airflow, smoke, steam, and cooking odours can become trapped in your kitchen, leading to a lingering smell.

Make sure your kitchen has adequate ventilation by using a range hood or opening a window. It’s also crucial to clean your range hood filter regularly to ensure proper airflow.

Identifying the common causes of bad smells from electric stoves is crucial in resolving the issue. By following the solutions provided in this article, you can eliminate unpleasant odours and enjoy a fresh-smelling cooking experience.

Food Spills and Residue

In many cases, unpleasant smells from your electric stove can be attributed to food spills and residue left behind after cooking. As you cook, food may spill onto the stovetop, and if left uncleaned, it can burn and cause a lingering smell. Similarly, the residue from cooking oils and fats can build up over time and also contribute to unwanted odours.

The best way to prevent these issues is to clean your stove after each use. Start by wiping up any spills with a damp cloth or paper towel. For tougher residue, mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar and use a soft cloth to scrub the surface. Avoid using abrasive materials that can scratch or damage the stovetop.

If you have a spill or residue buildup that has already caused an odour, there are a few simple solutions to try. One approach is to sprinkle baking soda on the affected area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it away with a damp cloth. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can help to eliminate the smell. Another option is to place a small bowl of white vinegar on the stovetop while it is cool and let it sit overnight. The vinegar will absorb the odours and leave your stove smelling fresh.

How to Clean Electric Stove Drip Pans

In addition to the stovetop itself, the drip pans on your electric stove can also accumulate food spills and residue. These pans sit under the heating elements and can be easily removed for cleaning.

To clean electric stove drip pans, start by removing them from the stove and wiping away any loose debris with a paper towel. Next, soak the pans in a solution of hot water and dish soap for about 15 minutes. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any remaining residue, and then rinse the pans thoroughly with hot water. Allow the pans to dry completely before placing them back on the stove.

Pro tip: To prevent future spills and residue buildup, try using a splatter screen while cooking and wipe down the stovetop after each use.

Grease buildup: A common cause of unpleasant odours from electric stoves

Grease buildup is a leading cause of bad smells emanating from electric stoves. Over time, grease can accumulate on the stove’s surfaces, burners, and heating elements, creating an unpleasant odour that can fill your kitchen.

Not only does it create a foul smell, but grease buildup can also pose a potential fire hazard. As grease accumulates, it becomes a fuel source and can easily ignite, causing a fire.

Regular cleaning is the best way to prevent grease buildup. When cleaning your electric stove, ensure that you also clean the areas around the burners and the heating elements. Use a clean cloth and a degreaser to remove any grease. Be sure to wipe down the surfaces thoroughly and dry them with a clean cloth.

If you have an extensive grease buildup, you might need to remove the removable parts of your electric stove and clean them with soap and water. Rinse them thoroughly and let them dry before reinstalling them.

Preventing Grease Buildup

There are a few things you can do to prevent grease buildup on your electric stove:

  • Clean up spills and splatters as soon as they happen.
  • Wipe down your electric stove after each use with a damp cloth.
  • Avoid using too much oil or butter when cooking.
  • Use a splatter screen to prevent grease from splattering on the stove’s surface.

By following these cleaning and maintenance tips, you can eliminate unpleasant smells and prevent grease buildup, ensuring a clean and safe cooking environment for your electric stove.

Faulty Wiring or Electrical Issues

Bad smells from an electric stove can be due to faulty wiring or electrical issues. These issues can cause damage to the wiring, resulting in a burning smell. In addition, electrical issues can cause a short circuit or other problems that contribute to bad smells.

If you suspect faulty wiring or electrical problems, it’s crucial to act quickly to avoid potential fire hazards. Here are some steps to take:

  1. Turn off the power to your electric stove immediately.
  2. Unplug the stove from the outlet.
  3. Contact a licensed electrician to inspect your stove and wiring.
  4. Do not attempt to fix electrical issues yourself.

Following these steps will help ensure your safety and prevent further damage to your electric stove.

How to Avoid Electrical Issues

To prevent electrical issues from occurring, you should take the following precautions:

  • Make sure your electric stove is properly grounded.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets.
  • Regularly inspect your stove for signs of damage or wear.
  • Do not attempt to repair stove electrical issues yourself.

By taking these preventative measures and addressing electrical issues promptly, you can avoid bad smells and other potential hazards.

Burnt Food and Damaged Heating Elements

One of the most common reasons why your electric stove may produce bad smells is burnt food or damaged heating elements. Burnt food can stick to your stove’s components and produce a foul odour whenever you use it. On the other hand, damaged heating elements can emit a burning smell that can be dangerous if left unaddressed.

If you notice a burning smell coming from your electric stove, turn it off immediately and inspect the heating elements. Look for signs of damage, such as cracks or breaks. In case of damage, replace the heating element as soon as possible to avoid any potential safety hazards.

If the heating elements appear fine, the bad smell may be due to burnt food sticking to the surface. For this issue, you can use a mixture of baking soda, water, and vinegar to clean the affected area. This mixture is a natural and effective solution for removing burnt food stains and the accompanying bad smells.

Preventative Measures

Preventing burnt food and damage to heating elements is essential for maintaining a clean and odour-free electric stove. One way to prevent burnt food is by using proper cooking techniques, such as monitoring the temperature and using timers. Additionally, regularly cleaning your electric stove can prevent food from sticking to its surface.

It is also important to avoid using rough or abrasive scrubbers when cleaning your electric stove to prevent damage. Instead, use non-abrasive cleaning tools, such as a soft cloth or sponge, and avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the heating elements.

By taking preventative measures and properly maintaining your electric stove, you can prevent bad smells caused by burnt food or damaged heating elements and ensure a pleasant cooking experience.

Poor Ventilation and Airflow

Poor ventilation and restricted airflow can cause lingering smells in your kitchen, making it uncomfortable to prepare meals and entertain guests. Inadequate ventilation also poses health risks, as it can lead to indoor air pollution and respiratory problems. Therefore, it’s important to understand how to improve ventilation and ensure proper airflow for your electric stove.

One way to improve ventilation is by installing a range hood above your electric stove. A range hood helps to capture and vent smoke, steam, and odours outside your home. When selecting a range hood, choose one that matches the size of your electric stove and has sufficient power to extract the volume of air in your kitchen. Also, ensure that the range hood is installed at the correct height and location, so it effectively captures fumes and smoke from your cooking range.

Another way to improve ventilation is by opening windows and doors when cooking, especially when using high-heat cooking methods, like frying and searing. This allows fresh air to circulate and replace stale air that’s laden with smoke and cooking odours.

Lastly, it’s important to ensure that your kitchen’s built-in airflow system, including vents and ducts, is free from obstructions and regularly maintained. This helps to ensure maximum airflow and minimizes the buildup of smoke and cooking odours. Regular cleaning of filters and ducts is necessary to maintain good air quality and proper ventilation.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips to Eliminate Odours

Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential in preventing and eliminating bad smells from your electric stove. Here are some tips to help you keep your electric stove in excellent condition:

  • Clean your electric stove after each use: Wipe down your stove after each use with a damp cloth to remove food spills and prevent residue buildup. This will also help eliminate odours before they become a problem.
  • Deep clean your electric stove once a week: Once a week, give your electric stove a deep clean to remove any grease or grime buildup. Use a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth to avoid damaging the surface of your stove.
  • Keep your electric stove well-ventilated: Proper ventilation is crucial in preventing odours from accumulating in your kitchen. Ensure that your stove’s hood vent and any windows or doors are open while cooking.
  • Inspect your heating elements: Regularly check your heating elements for any signs of damage or burnt food buildup. If you notice any issues, promptly clean or replace them to prevent unpleasant smells from occurring.
  • Use odour-absorbing materials: Place a box of baking soda near your stove to absorb any unwanted smells. Alternatively, you can use a natural odour-absorbing material such as activated charcoal.
  • Check for faulty wiring: If you notice a persistent, burning smell coming from your electric stove, it may be due to faulty wiring. In this case, it is crucial to call a professional electrician to fix the issue immediately.

Pro tip:

Always unplug your electric stove before cleaning or inspecting any components to avoid electrocution.

“Keeping your electric stove clean and well-maintained is key in eliminating bad smells from your kitchen.”


Eliminating bad smells from your electric stove may seem daunting, but it is achievable with the right approach. By understanding the common causes of these odours, you can take the necessary steps to address them effectively.

Cleaning and Maintenance

A crucial step in eliminating bad odours from your electric stove is regular cleaning and maintenance. Wipe down surfaces after each use with soap and water or an appropriate cleaner. Deep cleaning once a week can also go a long way in preventing build-up and unpleasant smells. Remember to clean any removable parts, such as drip pans and grates, regularly.


Preventing bad smells from your electric stove is just as important as cleaning them up. Avoid spilling food and liquids on the stove when cooking. Use appropriate cooking tools and utensils to reduce the chances of damaging the heating elements. Regularly check and clean out the vents to ensure proper airflow and ventilation.

Professional Help

If you have tried cleaning and preventing bad smells from your electric stove without success, it may be time to seek professional help. An electrician can inspect your stove to identify any electrical issues that may be contributing to the odours. A professional cleaning service can also deep clean your stove to eliminate stubborn smells.

Remember, eliminating bad smells from your electric stove is not only about creating a pleasant cooking environment but also about maintaining safety and preventing potential hazards. By taking the necessary steps to address the causes of the odours, you can enjoy a fresh-smelling and safe cooking experience.

Max Appliance Repair

Written by Max | An appliance repair technician with more than 15 years experience in appliance repair services in Toronto and the GTA.

Disclaimer: This post "Why Does My Electric Stove Smell Bad?" is for information purposes only. If you need specific help, please contact Max Appliance Repair at https://www.maxappliancerepair.ca/contact/.