How to Repair Melted Plastic

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Things You'll Need

  • Liquid laundry detergent

  • Toothbrush

  • Utility knife

  • 120-grit sandpaper

  • 220-grit sandpaper

  • Clean rags

  • Two part epoxy filler

  • Painter's masking tape

  • Spray paint (optional)

The plastic handles on this garlic press can melt if left near a hot stove.

Plastic is an extremely strong material used for everything from windows to children's toys. You can easily form and paint it, making it ideal for automotive and home appliance parts. Its biggest downside is its low melting point: The majority of all plastics melt at approximately 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Since many kitchen appliances are made with plastic parts, melting can become a problem. Use a few simple techniques and tools to repair melted plastic parts rather than replacing them.

Plastic kitchen utensils suffer the most damage in the kitchen due to melting.

Clean the melted area. Melted plastic leaves a residue of soot that can form a barrier between the plastic and any product used to repair it, such as epoxy filler. Mix 3 tsp. of liquid laundry detergent with 8 oz. of hot water. Wash the melted area thoroughly, using a toothbrush to clean any hard-to-reach spots. Allow the plastic to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Plastic parts often melt over time due to their proximity to an appliance's heat source.

Sand the distorted areas around the damage by hand. As the plastic becomes hot, it starts to expand. When it melts, it often leaves large distorted areas that do not follow the original contours of the part. With large distortion, use a utility knife to trim off some of the excess plastic. Once you have removed the majority of the distortion, switch over to 120-grit sandpaper to remove the remainder of the excess material. Finish sanding with 220-grit sandpaper, and wash off any debris left from sanding with soapy water (see Step 1). Dry the area with a rag, and proceed to Step 3.

Apply a two-part epoxy to any depressions in the melted area. When plastic melts, it often leaves depressions that reduce the part's overall strength. Mix a small amount of two-part epoxy together, and fill in the depressions. After the epoxy dries, sand the filled in area with 220-grit sandpaper until you have rendered it level with the surrounding area. Wash off any sanding debris, and dry the sanded area.

Paint the repaired area—an optional step. If the damaged area is not visible, painting is not necessary. If the damaged area is visible, painting will cover up the repairs. Spray paint will give a professional appearance. Create a 2-inch border with painter's masking tape around the damaged area. Use old newspapers, taped to the part, to keep the paint from spraying onto to surfaces that do not need painting. Allow 24 hours' drying time.


Hugh Patterson

Hugh Patterson started writing poetry in 1978. He started writing fiction and non fiction in 2003. His work has appeared in "The Nervous Breakdown" magazine and a number of other literary journals. He also writes online book reviews. He studied chemistry and design at Ventura College and had a California Math and Science Teacher's Fellowship through the University of California Santa Barbara.