Dear Home Ec 101,
My husband nearly burnt our house down recently because he turned the oven on and forgot to take our plastic strainer out of it. The plastic is everywhere, now hard and stuck. I’m not exactly kitchen-smart, especially when it comes to the stove. (I’ve been known to mess up cup-a-soups by forgetting water.) The kitchen is mostly my husband’s domain, but he’s not even sure about what to do. We’ve thought about over cleaners, but aren’t sure how it would affect the chemicals in the plastic. We cannot use our oven at all until we figure out what to do, and I’m not sure how much fried food, microwaved food, and take-out we can have before we completely go insane. Please help!
Oh, man. That’s seriously terrible. The good news is, we can most likely help you clean it up.
You need to get a bag of ice and a window scraper with a razor blade in it [see the picture]. Put the ice on the plastic area for several minutes. Ice makes the plastic brittle and easier to scrape off. Then get your window scraper and gently scrape the plastic off.
If you have an outdoor fire pit, you can take the racks out there and burn the plastic off. I’m not going to lie and say this is going to be an easy process, because it’s not. The problem is being gentle enough not to damage the bottom plate of your oven, but scraping hard enough to get the plastic off. It’s going to take patience, but I have faith in you, you can do it!
Just be careful, you don’t want to hurt yourself or put scrapes on the bottom plate of your oven. There’s a chance you still may end up having to buy a new bottom plate, but that’s certainly better than having to buy a whole new oven, huh?
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