Nowadays, plastic kitchenware can be found in almost any kitchen and has become a part of everyday life. However, with that, a problem has arisen – the misplacement of such flammable kitchenware in or on top of running ovens. It should go without saying that burning plastic is neither good for you nor your cooker, but what’s even worse is the melted residue it leaves behind. In this guide, we have covered several ways on how to clean melted plastic from your oven and hopefully, they will work for you.
So if you:
- Accidentally forgot a plastic tray in your oven while it was on.
- Are wondering how to remove melted plastic off your hob.
- Misplaced a plastic bag on top of a wood-burning stove.
Then keep on reading!
Cleaning melted plastic from inside the oven
It might sound a bit bizarre, but people forget plastic objects inside their ovens more often than you think. The aftermath of this is usually a splatter of melted plastic inside the oven, accompanied by a putrid burnt smell. This completely destroys the taste of any future cooked food if not cleaned on time.
When cleaning melted plastic from an oven, you can rely on either the cold or the warm method.
- Cold method – Use cold temperatures to freeze the plastic. This makes it more brittle and easier to break off with a knife or a scraping tool.
- Warm method – Use heat from the oven to melt the plastic and then scrape it off with a wooden spoon when it has softened up a bit.
Electric and gas ovens
When removing melted plastic from the inside of an electric or gas oven, it’s preferable to go with the cold method. Start off by placing an ice bag on top of the plastic and let it sit until the ice melts. Once the residue becomes hard, use a scraping tool to remove as much of it as possible. With this particular method, it’s usually fairly easy to remove big chunks of plastic with minimum effort.
When you remove all of the residue, clean the inside of the oven using some detergent.
Before going ahead and cooking, run the oven on high heat to make sure no plastic was left behind after the clean.
Self-cleaning ovens tend to be a bit trickier, as you can’t really use the cold method here since it might damage the coating of the oven. Therefore, your safest option is to go with the warm way. Before you start the procedure, crack a window open and switch on the extractor hood. Now with that out of the way, turn the oven to the lowest setting.
Wait for the plastic residue to soften up a bit and then use a wooden spoon to scrape all of it off. Try to avoid using tools that can end up damaging the oven and getting in need of oven repair service. Once you’re done with removing most of the plastic, run the self-cleaning cycle of the oven to burn any small remaining residue.
To get melted plastic off an oven heating element, you can follow the instructions below:
- Turn the extractor on (you can also use a fan).
- Turn the surface unit on, on the lowest setting.
- Once the plastic softens a bit, use a wooden spoon to scrape as much of it off, as gently as possible.
- Turn the unit on the highest setting, to burn whatever remains of the plastic.
The best way to clean melted plastic off oven racks is through the cold approach.
- Take the racks out of the oven.
- Place them in the freezer or inside a tub between two ice bags.
- Wait for 30 minutes for the icy temperature to harden the plastic.
- Once it’s nice and frozen, scrape it off gently with a knife (be careful not to scratch the metal racks).
Ceramic and glass stove tops
Getting melted plastic off a ceramic or glass hob can be quite troublesome, especially when you’re trying so hard not to damage the glass surface. However, if you don’t remove the plastic and just leave it be, it will render your oven top completely useless.
A great way to approach the cleaning of the hob is through a tweaked version of the warm method. Fill a pot with boiling hot water and using a tablespoon, apply the water onto the plastic. This will loosen it enough for you to scrape it off easily using a putty knife.
Cover whatever remains of the plastic with some baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a microfibre cloth to scrub off the remaining residue off. You might need to repeat this process a couple of times depending on how much plastic is still left on the hob. After all of the residue is gone, clean the top using some soapy water and wipe it off with a microfibre cloth.
Gas and electric stove burners
To remove melted plastic from coil and disk burners, you will first need to get some degreasing detergent (something like WD-40 will do the trick). This will make all the nooks and crannies of the hob easier to clean in one go.
First, make sure the oven is switched off. Then apply the degreasing detergent on top of the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a scraping tool to remove all of the plastic.
Removing melted plastic from a wood-burning stove
Ironically, wood-burning stoves make for great shelves, however, that doesn’t mean you should use them as such. Yet, if on the off chance you forgot some plastic items on the hot cast iron stove and are now left with a patch of gooey plastic, don’t fret, it’s treatable. All you will need is a putty knife, oven cleaning solvent, detergent and a microfibre cloth.
- Place a fan in close proximity to the wood burning stove.
- Start the stove and wait for the plastic to loosen up a bit.
- Use the putty knife to carefully scrape the melted plastic off the warm surface, without damaging the surface.
- Stop the stove and wait for it to cool down.
- Treat the affected area with an oven-cleaning solvent to dissolve the remaining plastic residue.
- Clean the hot cast iron stove with a soapy detergent and then wipe it off with the microfibre cloth.
Remember that leaving your oven unattended after plastic has melted on or in it can prove to be detrimental to your health. Aside from the horrible smell it emits, the plastic also produces toxic fumes that can mix in with your food which could, in turn, lead to food poisoning.
Therefore, it’s essential that you clean the residue off the oven as soon and as thoroughly as possible. This way, you can get back on track with cooking and enjoying your tasty homemade meals before you even know it.