The other day I melted plastic in my oven.
Overpowering my shock, I decided work needed to be done I need to figure out how to remove melted plastic from my oven.
If you are facing a similar accident, do not panic. I have you covered.
How to Remove Melted Plastic from Oven?
The first step (after the plastic melts in the oven) is to open the windows and switch on the exhaust for ventilation.
If you have a kitchen-back door, open it up as well.
If there is any food along with melted plastic, do not consume it. Throw the food out immediately.
According to Noelle Eckley Selin, an assistant professor in the department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary science, MIT
When plastic is burned, it releases dangerous chemicals like hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, furans, heavy metals, and particulates. These emissions are known to cause respiratory ailments and stress the human immune system. They are also potentially carcinogenic.
There are two ways to remove the melted plastic from the oven:
- The Cold method and
- The Hot method.
In the cold method, you cool down the melted plastic, making it easy to peel off using a scraping tool.
In the hot method, you heat the melted plastic so it turns warm and gooey, then scrape off the gunk with a wooden spoon.
You can easily opt for either of the two methods depending on the oven you have.
For gas or electric ovens, the cold method would be best. Use the hot method for self-cleaning ovens.
Allow me to elaborate on each of the methods
The Cold Method to Remove Melted Plastic from Oven
This is the method of choice if you have a gas or electric oven.
Things You Would Need
- Freezer/Cooling pads/ziplock bag filled with ice cubes
- A scraper
- A scrub
- Liquid dishwasher
- Magic eraser
- Cotton cloth
Step One- Keep Racks in the Freezer
Remove the racks and put them in the freezer for a few hours. Once plastic hardens, it becomes brittle and is easier to chip off.
For the plastic melted on unremovable parts like the bottom base and coils, place the cooling pads or ice bags over until the ice melts.
You can also place ice cubes over the affected rack if you do not have a freezer large enough for placing the racks inside.
Useful Tip: If the plastic has frozen from the freezer, wait for it to cool down a bit at room temperature. You might end up hurting yourself with the scraper or damaging the rack.
Step Two- Scrape the Plastic
Wear gloves to avoid any accidental harm to your hands.
Take a razor, kitchen knife, or any scraping tool. Make gentle movements along the bottom end of the plastic.
Go slow and build pressure to scrape the gunk off. Continue scraping till all the plastic has scraped off.
Step Three- Scrub and Rinse
Use any dishwashing solution like dawn and a scrubber to remove the tiny bits. You can also apply a thick paste of baking soda and water. Leave for 15 minutes and remove the plastic remnants with a scrubber.
A third alternative would be to use the magic eraser and give it a good rub on the affected areas to remove any leftover debris.
Rinse the racks and the inside of the oven. Wipe clean with a wet cloth and follow up with a dry wipe.
Useful Tip: Put foil or cloth at the bottom to catch the falling plastic pieces. Sweep the shavings at the bottom of the oven into a bowl
The Hot Method to Remove Melted Plastic from Oven
This method is suitable for self-cleaning ovens.
Things You Would Need
- Hair dryer/ empty oven
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Baking soda
- Dishwasher liquid
- Magic eraser
- Cotton cloth
Step One- Heat the Plastic
Empty your oven of everything except the melted plastic racks. Turn the oven to the lowest setting. A temperature of 93-94C (approx 200F).
If you don’t want to use the heating element of your oven, you can also use the hair dryer on the oven rack.
As soon as you smell plastic, switch off the oven. It may take 5-7 minutes with the oven setting and longer with the hair dryer. The idea is to make the plastic gooey and warm from its solid shape.
Heating the melted plastic makes it easier to remove from the oven.
Useful Tip: Open the windows and doors before starting as heating plastic will release offensive smells.
Step Two- Scrape the Heated Plastic
Wear oven mitts to protect your hands from the heat. As soon as the plastic heats up, remove the rack from the oven. Use a wooden spatula or spoon to scrape plastic away from the rack.
Keep a foil, paper, or bowl underneath so it catches the melted plastic bits falling.
Useful Tip: Do not let any part of your body or hands come in direct contact with the heated oven surface. Wear a mask, so you don’t end up inhaling the smells of melted plastic.
Step Three- Scrub and Rinse or Burn the Plastic
If the plastic cools down, reheat the oven again using the minimum heat setting. After using the wooden spoon/spatula, use a scraper to scrape away the plastic.
Make a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply it over the affected parts. Leave for half an hour.
Take a scrubber to scrub the affected surface. Remove all bits by giving it a final wash with dishwasher solution and scrubber. You can also use the magic eraser to remove the leftover plastic particles.
Rinse to remove the soapy solution and wipe the surface clean with a cotton cloth.
If there are still bits of plastic that do not come off, run the self-cleaning cycle to burn the bits away. Make sure to ventilate your kitchen and take your kids and pets outdoors. This will protect your family and pets from the poisonous fumes of burnt plastic.
Useful Tip: The scraper should be metallic. A Plastic scraper will not sit well with heated-up racks.
Here are some frequently asked questions
How to Remove Plastic from the Glass Door of the Oven?
If there is melted plastic on the glass door of your oven, don’t worry. I will tell you how to take care of that as well.
For large globs of melted plastic, Use a razor to scrape the plastic away. You can also apply WD 40 lubricant and wait for 15 minutes before scraping the plastic away.
For small splattered globs of melted plastic, use a thick paste of baking soda and water. Leave for a while.
Take a soft sponge or an old toothbrush to scrub the plastic bits away.
Wash with a dishwasher solution and sponge and wipe the glass dry with a cotton cloth or a kitchen napkin.
How to Remove Melted Plastic from the Heating Element?
Switch on the heating element until the plastic turns semi-solid and gooey. Switch the element off.
Take a wooden spoon and gently scrape away the plastic. After removing the plastic. Switch on the heating element again to burn the leftover plastic residue.
To avoid the toxic fumes of burning plastic, stay in the farthest corner of your home while the heating element burns the plastic away in your kitchen.
If there is melted plastic in your oven, the first step is to open the windows and doors.
Switch on the exhaust for ventilation. Throw the food that is along with the melted plastic.
The next step would be to choose from the hot or cold method depending on your oven type.
Choose to remove the plastic with the cold method for gas and electric ovens.
For self-cleaning ovens, opt for the hot method. I have written in detail about how to remove melted plastic from the oven and have added a dash of helpful tips.
The difficult part is facing a new challenge. Once you have overcome it, it will no longer be a challenge. Life gives you difficulties, so you overcome them and become smarter.
Once you have mastered the art of cleaning up melted plastic in the oven, it will no longer be a cause of panic.
It will make you kinder, as you will be able to help when people face the same situation.
I have passed down the feather in my cap to you. It is your time of glory. Enjoy, and don’t forget to pass on the feather to the others when their time comes!
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