A moment of misplaced focus can turn into a mess when plastic errantly finds its way onto the surface of a small kitchen appliance, such as a heating oven or hot coffee pot plate. Whether you have inadvertently or unwisely left a plastic container or bag on the top of a toaster oven or other small appliance that generates heat, the item can be salvaged from its melted mess. There are a few dos and don'ts to consider when using a handy toaster oven or small heated appliance.
A toaster oven rack that has burned plastic attached to the metal grates can be popped into the freezer once the fixture is cool to the touch.
First Steps to Remove Plastic
It's usually the harsh and acrid odor that moves you to start removing the plastic from the top of the toaster oven. However, it can be dangerous to remove a melting or smoking bag that is adhering to the top of a scorching small appliance.
Before attempting to handle or remove burnt-on or melted plastic on the top of a toaster oven, make sure that the small appliance is unplugged. Allow the appliance to cool down to the point where it won't burn your hands or cause a safety issue when you begin the cleaning and removal process. Before it becomes completely cool and hardens, begin to work the plastic off of the surface.
If the plastic is still warm, soft and malleable, use a wooden spoon or spatula to carefully lift and pull the melted mass from the surface of the toaster oven. At the initial scent of burning plastic, You've Got Maids recommends that you open the windows and wear a mask so that your exposure to harmful plastic fumes is reduced. The fumes from burning plastic can be overwhelming and unhealthy.
Hardened Plastic on Toaster Ovens
Plastic that has hardened and adhered to the surface of the toaster oven needs to be handled with care so that you don't ruin the finish of the top of the toaster oven. This can eventually compromise the structure and working of the small appliance. Place a sealed plastic bag filled with ice cubes over the hardened plastic mass.
Once the hardened plastic is frozen, use a plastic scraper to lift it from the surface. If there are leftover bits of plastic stuck to the surface of the toaster oven, then make a paste of one part baking soda and one part water to apply to the globs. Let it sit for a few minutes and up to an hour before scouring off and rinsing dry.
To remove more stubborn burned-on plastic globs, All Area Appliance Service recommends sprinkling baking soda over the area and then adding vinegar a few drops at a time until you make a paste. Scrub this into the surface and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing and washing.
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 www.vegaswriter.com.