How to Remove the Plastic Film From an Appliance and Trim

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Be gentle when removing plastic film from an appliance.
Image Credit: hikesterson/iStock/GettyImages

It's not difficult to remove the plastic film from an appliance and trim, but pulling and tugging on the thin coating can lead to scratches or marks on the façade of the appliance.


If the delivery team doesn't remove the film from the front and sides of the appliance, it is up to you to pull this protective layer off of the surface of the refrigerator, oven, dishwasher or small appliance.

Purpose of Protective Film

The film and tape that hold drawers and shelves within an appliance may be annoying and definitely not attractive, but it does serve a purpose. It protects the finish from the time it leaves the factory to the time it is delivered to your home.


When an appliance is transported, the protective film keeps it from rubbing against other objects, cardboard or getting knocked around during delivery and installation.

The thick protective tape makes sure that the sliding drawers and glass shelving stay firmly in place, according to IPS Packaging and Automation. Moving around during transit can break the fragile sliders or crack glass shelving.

Remove Plastic Protective Film

Gently slip a plastic putty knife or the edge of a razor blade under an edge or corner of the plastic film. Look for a bubble or other space that has popped up along the edges of the protective film if the corners are firmly slicked back against the surface of the appliance.


Wiggle the corner or side of the plastic film until it gradually loosens its grip on the slick surface. Work slowly at an angle to lift the sheet from the appliance. If it tears, it can be more difficult to remove. However, if you lose your grip or it rips before it is completely off of the façade, simply start over. Just be careful not to scratch the finish when you push a razor blade or even plastic edge under the film to lift it.

The film around the appliance may also be attached by thick bands of protective tape. Lift the tape with the same methods that you used for the large sheet of clear plastic. Tape can often leave behind globs of gunk. Don't scrape this off. Push against it with your finger and roll it up into itself until you can pluck it free from the surface of the appliance.


Cleaning After Removing Appliance Film

The film is there to protect but once removed, the front of the appliance and the trim needs a quick clean to remove any residue or static cling that remains and can attract dust and dirt. A quick swipe with a clean rag dipped in rubbing alcohol will wick away the fine bits of residue from the plastic film. The alcohol will also evaporate quickly and not leave behind any streaks.

GE Appliances recommends using Goo Gone for stubborn adhesive that is reluctant to give up its purchase on the appliance surface. This can be particularly useful with the glue left behind from thick tape inside of refrigerators and dishwashers.



Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at

View Work