Burnt Plastic Smell On Dishes? Baking Soda’s Your Friend

Dear Home Ec 101,

I started my dishwasher the other night and went on with my evening.  Later I smelled smoke and discovered that my darling daughter’s sippy cup lid was melted to the heating element in the dishwasher.  It smelled so bad, you know that burnt plastic smell?  Yuck!

I pulled the lid off the hot element and closed the door to let it cool off.  After it was cool my husband scraped off the rest of the plastic from the heating element.  All the dishes smelled like burnt plastic, so I ran it again.  They still smelled bad, so I ran it again.  And they still smell SO bad!  I tried washing some by hand too with no luck.  Is there anyway that I can get that burnt plastic smell off of the dishes and dish washer or do I need to start shopping for new dishes?


Dishy Dilemma

Ivy says:

I don’t think you need to start shopping for new dishes, unless you’re looking for an excuse to buy new! (There’s a dish set at Target I want in the worst way, but I can’t justify the cost since we don’t need new dishes, ha!)

I would try soaking the dishes for awhile (maybe an hour or so?) in hot water and baking soda. I’d make the water mixture fairly heavy on the baking soda- I’d use at least a cup, possibly more. Then hand wash them again and see what happens.

If your dishwasher is still smelling like burnt plastic, put baking soda in the soap compartments as you would with dishwasher detergent and run it a few times until the smell comes out. This is one of those things that takes time, but the smell will eventually go away!

Have a question? Submit it to helpme@home-ec101.com.

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