How to Remove Melted Plastic From Metal or Glass? (Easy and Fast Ways)

How to Remove Melted Plastic From Metal or Glass? (Easy and Fast Ways)

Some of us have had to deal with melted plastic on different surfaces and can tell how frustrating it is to try removing it. Even when you manage to catch it on time, you may be unable to scrape everything off before it dries. So, how do you remove melted plastic from metal or glass?

Heat typically warps plastic and makes it unusable in some cases. And if the temperature is too high, it will completely melt the plastic if it is close enough. In other words, it does not take much to melt plastic, especially if there is enough heat.

However, removing the melted one is not so difficult if you know what to do. This article lists and explains different steps that allow you to remove melted plastic. You will also learn what to do if you have a significant amount of melted plastic in your house to protect your health.

Removing Melted Plastic from Metal

Many home and kitchen appliances are made of metal or have stainless steel finish. Refrigerators, ovens, and stovetops are some examples of ranges and appliances in this category. So, it is not strange to have melted plastic on them.

The problem usually lies in removing the plastic without damaging the finish or marring the metal. Since this damage can affect how the appliance or item performs, you may leave the melted plastic on it. But there are a few steps to help you remove it.

1. Use Cold Temperatures

When you put the affected item in a place with extremely cold temperatures, the cold air freezes the melted plastic, making it easy to separate it from the item. So, put the item in a freezer and leave it there for about an hour, depending on the set temperature and running time.

However, it is not always possible to insert the affected item in a freezer to freeze off the melted plastic. For example, you may find that a Ziploc plastic bag or a plastic chopping board has melted on the stovetop. How do you insert the entire stovetop into your freezer?

The answer is you cannot, but you can use a bag of ice to freeze the plastic on such an appliance. An ice pack will serve the same purpose of solidifying the plastic and making it easy to scrape it off the stovetop. The same applies to any other surface with this problem.

2. Remove the Melted Plastic

The next step is to scrape off the hardened plastic from the surface. To do this, you will need a wooden spoon, plastic scraper, or butter knife, but it must not be too hard so that it does not damage the appliance or surface. Gently but firmly scrape the plastic off the surface; you may have to work slowly to preserve the item.

If the scraping job seems difficult, it may be because the plastic did not harden enough. If that is the case, put the item back into the freezer or place another ice pack on the affected area. Wait for some time until the plastic is hard enough before scraping again.

You can use a plastic or wooden scraper but do not apply too much force. If you have to use force, it means the plastic needs more freezing. Therefore, repeat the process of freezing and scraping until you can smoothly and easily lift the plastic off the item.

3. Apply Baking Soda

Sometimes, freezing the plastic is not enough to remove it from the affected item or surface. In such a case, you may find there are leftover pieces of melted plastic on the surface after removing a large chunk of it. This is where baking soda comes into the picture.

Make a paste out of baking soda using water, ensuring it is abrasive enough to work as a scraper. It should not be too coarse to scrape off the surface but abrasive enough to strip off the remaining plastic. You may need a sponge to work on the plastic, along with the soda paste.

If the melted plastic is in a pot or kettle, you will need a generous amount of baking soda and only a little water. Pour the soda into the pot or kettle, add a little water, and heat the mixture until it simmers for a few minutes. Then, scour the affected part until you remove the melted plastic.

Removing Melted Plastic from a Glass Surface

Removing Melted Plastic from a Glass Surface

One of the most challenging surfaces from which to remove melted plastic is glass. The primary reason it is difficult is that glass is typically fragile, and applying any force can crack or break it.

Fortunately, there are a few methods to employ to solve this problem, but first things first. If you notice the problem immediately after the plastic melts, lower the temperature as much as possible and use a scraper to remove as much of it as possible.

Doing this reduces the amount of plastic you have to remove when it dries and hardens. Then, you can use a cleaning agent with a chemical base, such as acetone or nail polish remover, to soften and clean the remaining one on the glass surface.

You can also use a dull knife or wooden spatula to scrape it off if you can soften it. Note that you must check how the cleaners affect the glass before using it.

1. Apply WD-40

Get a container of WD-40 and spray a light coat of it on the affected glass surface area. Wait about five minutes or more before scraping the melted plastic off the surface using a razor blade. Ensure you position the blade at a 45-degree angle for the best result.

Do not apply the chemical on a hot surface. For example, if the melted plastic is on a glass stovetop, you must allow it to cool properly before applying the cleaning agent. Also, wipe any excess fluid with a paper towel or rag before scraping with a razor blade and rinse any residue afterward.

2. Apply Baking Soda

As with a metal surface, you can use baking soda to remove the plastic from a glass surface. Mix a good amount of baking soda with a little water to form a paste. Then, apply the paste to the plastic on the glass surface to act as an abrasive. Use only a soft sponge to scrub the area.

You may have to allow the paste to soak into the plastic, so give it a few minutes before scrubbing it. Repeat the process as often as necessary until you remove every piece of melted plastic from the surface. Clean any mess from the surface afterward.

Baking soda and vinegar also have the same effect on the plastic as a mixture of water and baking soda. However, baking soda and vinegar may form the glue that can pull off the plastic, but you must use it carefully.

Quickly scrape it off the glass surface before it hardens on it. You may have to warm the surface before using this mixture; it is easier if it is on a stovetop.

3. Apply Boiling Water

Boil a small amount of water and pour some of it on the melted plastic. Wait several minutes for the water to soak into the plastic before scraping it.  Also, adding a little dish soap can hasten the process and weaken the plastic.

You can use a scraper or spoon, although a sponge or soft cloth may work if the plastic softens enough. Repeat the process of applying boiling water and dish soap until all the plastic melts.

What to Do With Excessive Burned Plastic Fumes

What to Do With Excessive Burned Plastic Fumes

If you accidentally burn too much plastic or burn it on a glass cooktop, you will notice a fume that makes you choke. Burnt plastic fumes are dangerous to health, and you must take steps to protect yourself in the event of inhaling them.

These fumes may contain dioxin, which may cause dizziness, shortness of breath, and intense coughing. Inhaling the fumes over a long period may cause cancer or a respiratory tract illness.

If this happens in your home, the first step is to turn off the heat source to slow the burning of plastic. Next, open doors and windows to create enough ventilation and reduce the fumes in the house.

You can also spread baking soda on the floor in rooms where the smell is worst and leave it overnight. Alternatively, use bowls of white vinegar in those rooms to absorb the fumes or light incense and scented candles. Deodorizers also work, although the smell can mix with the fumes and create an unpleasant smell.

Bottom Line

There are several ways to remove melted plastic from metal or glass, and this article explains how to use each method. You can employ baking soda and water or vinegar. Another method is to use the freezing method, where you harden the plastic so you can easily scrape it off.

However, you must carefully and gently work on these surfaces, especially if it has a stainless steel finish or if the surface is glass. You may ruin the finish or break the glass, which may be damaged beyond repair. Additionally, follow safety steps to prevent excessive plastic fume inhalation.

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