Deb asked: “I accidentally laid a loaf of bread on one of my glasstop stove burners. I removed most of the burnt plastic but there is still some black residue. I have scrubbed with a stove cleaner. Any ideas??”
There are a thousand different renditions of this story. Whether it’s a bread bag, Ziploc, plastic lid or a container, they all end with the plastic and glass cook top quickly becoming one. Before you can blink, you are left with a hard rock of molten plastic that seems to be permanently fused to the burner. Most manufacturers consider this irreversible damage, but there are some methods you can take to remove the melted, burnt plastic. It will take some time and hard work, but in comparison to purchasing a new stove top, it’s well worth it.
You Will Need:
- Spoon or dull knife
- WD-40 (or olive oil)
- Acetone nail polish remover
- Razor blades (or plastic scraper)
- Baking soda
- Soft cloth
- Mild soap
Steps to Remove the Plastic:
- Start by allowing the burner to cool completely before attempting to remove anything. Trying to clean a hot burner is dangerous and invites further burns and problems. Burning plastic produces a horrendous smell – open all the windows and ventilate the area well.
- When the burner and plastic have cooled completely, peel away as much of the plastic as possible.
- Use the spoon or dull knife, such as a butter knife to gently scrape away the plastic. Use caution not to scratch the glass surface of the stove.
- Spray the remaining plastic with WD-40 and let it set for a few minutes. One site user (Thanks Mira!) used olive oil instead of WD-40 and had success.
- Now there are two choices of what you can do:
- Use a razor blade or plastic scraper like a spatula to carefully scrape the plastic off. Keeping the razor as flat as possible, gently push it into the plastic. Be careful not to scratch the surface!
- If you’re not comfortable using a scraper, one of our site users (Thanks!) suggests sprinkling baking soda over the WD-40, letting it sit for a few minutes, then using a cloth to scrub off the plastic. The baking soda acts as a mild abrasive, allowing you to scrub more efficiently.
- Repeat as necessary until most of the plastic is removed.
- When a majority of the plastic is removed (and there are no longer edges for the razor blade to catch on), you may want to try nail polish remover to get rid of the last layer.
- Use a cotton ball or soft cloth to apply the acetone nail polish remover. This evaporates quickly so you will need to reapply often to keep the area well moistened.
- Scrub with a plastic or other glass safe scrubber in a circular motion to remove the last bits.
- When all of the plastic is removed, clean the area with mild soap and warm water to remove any remaining cleaning fluids from the cook top. This is especially important due to the flammibility of WD-40.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- Always use caution when working with razor blades and WD-40. While the spray helps to loosen the burnt plastic, it can also make a slippery work surface!
- There are special cleaning creams designed for cleaning cooked on messes from glass stovetops. They are available at most department and home improvement stores.
- Don’t have the above materials? Try laundry stain spray, kitchen cleaner, Windex or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser instead. Keep in mind that you should never combine any cleaning chemicals though. To try more than one, rinse the area thoroughly first and wash it with some mild soap.
- If you’re hesitant to use any chemicals, try placing an ice cube on the plastic to make it brittle and then scrape it off with razor blade. This works well for minor cases.
- If the area smells of the burnt plastic, use the guide How to Remove Burnt Plastic Odors.