How to Dissolve Plastics

Plastics are a recyclable material used not only for household applications but also in building. Plastic sheathing is used as a vapor barrier over insulation, and some plastics are used to board up windows. Plastic will not dissolve if placed in water, but when other chemicals such as acetone are involved, dissolving plastic takes a few minutes and will not harm the environment.

Anything made of plastic can dissolve in acetone.

Step 1

Set a large beaker on a flat surface. Set paper towels under the beaker and over the table in case there are any spills in the dissolving process. Open a bottle of acetone and fill the beaker nearly halfway.

Step 2

Set the piece of plastic into the beaker, being careful that your skin does not come into contact with the acetone. Grip the plastic with a pair of tongs, if necessary, to set it in the acetone.

Step 3

Flip the plastic around if it does not all fit into the beaker and wait as it dissolves in the acetone. Watch as the plastic slowly breaks down and turns into a glob of goo.

Step 4

Move the glob around with the tongs and stir it until all the plastic has completely dissolved in the acetone.

Step 5

Set the acetone beaker outdoors overnight, out of the reach of animals and children. Let it dissolve overnight and throw away the skin in the bottom of the bowl the next day.