Razor Blades: Not Just For Shaving, Great for Melted Plastic Removal

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!

Sincerely,
Messy Meltdown

how to clean plastic out of oven

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

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!

how to clean appliances

Click the picture for more tips!

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?

Good luck!

Send your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.



10 Comments

  1. Janean Schoo on December 30, 2010 at 8:51 am

    You made several good points there. I did a search on the issue and found a good number of folks will agree with your blog.

  2. Tim C on September 10, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Also, you can use a putty knife with a dull, but thin edge. That would cause less scratches. You can pick them up fairly cheap, and are useful for other things too.

  3. Andrew on June 9, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Another option is to just replace the oven bottom. Most have removeable bottoms that can be replaced. Check your model # at http://www.appliancepartspros.com to see if your model has a removeable bottom.

    -Andrew

  4. Rosemary on April 21, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I don’t know if this will work but I would try to heat the oven up a little, not real hot. Just enough to soften the plastic. Get on your long oven mitts and take a razor and start scraping. This might work; just don’t get burned. Safety first.

    Rosemary
    http://her-home-blog.com

  5. Melinda on February 20, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Aside from random placement, those who have clutter issues (aka hoarding) sometimes store things in the stove because there is no where else to put it. I know my parents used to put dirty pots and pans there. My solution? Get rid of the extra pots and pans and wash what you do have.

    Be careful. Hoarding is a serious issue.

    Hugs,
    Melinda

  6. Kendra on February 19, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    I totally get the random placement. I couldn’t find my shoes one hectic morning running around trying to rangle kids and make sure they had full bellies. I just threw on my house slippers to take them to school. I later found my shoes when taking out a frozen roast for dinner. They were hanging out next to the pork chops.

  7. Ohkay on February 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    I store pots and pans in my oven because our kitchen isn’t very big on cabinet space. However, I have a metal strainer. Something for Messy to think about, now.

  8. Badbadivy on February 19, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I could think of a couple of reasons. Have you ever put something totally random in someplace it doesn’t belong? Like yesterday I returned the cheese to the freezer instead of the refrigerator.

    The other thing I thought of is random kid placement. My kid’s never opened the oven (thank goodness!) but I’ve found quite a few Spiderman action figures in my refrigerator.

  9. Zeolite on February 19, 2008 at 5:53 am

    I did wonder that myself….

    Just wanted to add be very careful, please make sure all plastic is removed before reusing the oven. Plastic when heated especially at oven temperatures releases all sorts of nasty dioxins which you certainly don’t want to be eating.

    Best of luck.

  10. K on February 18, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Not judging at all…but why would someone put a plastic strainer in an oven ?

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