My grandmother used to store fruit, bread, and other assorted foods in her oven. I’m not sure why, I guess she just decided to use the space. When she would bake, she’d carefully remove everything from her oven, making sure that not one thing was left behind. I tried to do the same thing to use my oven space, but I soon rejected the idea when a store-bought, plastic container of fudge- which was black in color- got left behind when I baked in the oven. I can’t describe the mess, it was awful. Recently, I stuck a plastic container full of chicken bones in the oven out of the reach of my felines. And when I preheated the oven to bake Crescents for supper that night, the container remained hidden inside the oven. It’s times like this that you need to know how to remove melted plastic from your oven.
Depending on the type of plastic that’s involved, you can begin to clean your oven while it’s still warm and the plastic is still pliable. Sometimes, though, the plastic is so runny that it’s near impossible to effectively clean it up. So, other times, it’s best to let the plastic cool down until it’s hard again. In my case, the latter was the best choice.
There are two real good ways to remove this type of mess from your oven. Remove the racks first. Then, use a plastic spatula or flat scraper to carefully remove any blops of plastic that are stuck to the bottom of your oven. If that doesn’t work, then you’ll need to turn your oven on and set it at a low one hundred to one-hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Wait a few minutes and allow the heat to soften the plastic up some. Then, the plastic should scrape off easily. Wipe up any residue with a soft damp cloth.
Next, replace the oven racks and allow the low heat to soften up the melted plastic that’s on them. Then, remove the racks and pull the plastic off with your fingers. Wipe any remaining plastic off with a damp cloth. If there’s still some plastic residue on the racks, moisten a Brillo™ soap pad and run it up and down the rungs. If that still doesn’t do the trick, use a copper scratcher to remove the melted plastic.
Another way to remove melted plastic from your oven, is to take the racks outside. Build a fire in a barbecue pit and lay the racks across the top. Make sure the racks are close enough to the heat so the plastic will melt off. After the plastic is pretty much gone, remove the racks from the fire. Again, remove any melted plastic residue with a Brillo pad or a copper scratcher.
I opted to use a third way to remove the melted plastic from my oven racks. I used a hacksaw to cut it off. You read that right- I used a hacksaw. Once the plastic hardened up again, it was rock hard. I didn’t want to take the time to put the racks in the oven and soften the plastic up. And I sure didn’t want to go outside in the snow and build a fire, even though that sounds like the fastest method to me. So I grabbed my hacksaw. It has a small-toothed blade on it that I figured would work well.
Note: To use this method to remove melted plastic from an oven rack, take the racks outside. The saw will make a plastic dust mess.
As you can see from the pictures, the plastic container was melted to the oven racks. So, I carefully placed the blade of my hacksaw in between the two items. As I sawed the plastic, I made sure not to cut into the oven rack. After several cuts, the container became free from the rack. But there were still thick globs of hard plastic wrapped around the rungs at several locations. So, I used my hacksaw to carefully cut the blobs apart so I could pull them off with my fingers. I then finished the task by cleaning the rungs with a Brillo pad. The pad effectively removed the plastic residue. I then rinsed the oven rack clean with tap water, wiped it dry, and placed it back in my oven.