Thursday, March 28, 2013

Simple Tip: How To Remove Melted Plastic From an Oven Rack

One of my bad habits is putting plastic containers and such in the oven to store them or dry them.  Sooner or later I forget to remove the plastic before I preheat the oven, and the results are predictably disastrous.  In the past, I have tried to remove plastic that I melted in my oven by reheating the plastic and scraping it off.  But this releases more fumes, some of which are probably toxic.  Chemical oven cleaner is another potentially toxic method of cleaning, and there is no guarantee that it would work on plastic, especially on a thick, hardened layer of goo.

I finally discovered better method of rescuing an oven rack. The first step is to cool the melted plastic so that it becomes brittle.  In colder climates, all this requires is stepping outside.  Or you can try fitting your oven rack into a deep freezer.  Once the plastic is cold, you can use a hammer to break apart the plastic.

To avoid warping the metal too much, you can use a wrench or another hard flat metal surface to brace the other side.

Then use the hammer claw to scrape off the bits of remaining plastic.  Voila!  No more plastic on your oven rack.

Have you ever accidentally melted plastic in your oven? How did you deal with it?