How to Clean Burnt Plastic from a Glass Cooktop

burnt-stovetop

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
  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Razor blades
  • Soft cloth
  • Water
  • Mild soap

Steps to Remove the Plastic:

  1. 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.
  2. When the burner and plastic have cooled completely, peel away as much of the plastic as possible.
  3. 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.
  4. Spray the remaining plastic with WD-40 and let it set for a few minutes.
  5. Use the razor blade 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!
  6. Repeat as necessary until most of the plastic is removed.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Scrub with a plastic or other glass safe scrubber in a circular motion to remove the last bits.
  10. 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.

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.
  • No WD-40? Try laundry stain spray, kitchen cleaner, Windex or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser instead.
  • 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.

Comments

  1. Diane says:

    Thanks so much for this helpful hint. We had a similar duh moment with our Toaster Oven. We got most of the plastic off, but the ghost of the writing from the bread wrapper is still there, so I will definitely try the acetone/WD-40 idea!

  2. LB says:

    I wonder if regular acetone (like in paint thinner) would work as well?

  3. Gary says:

    Regular acetone is basically the same as nail polish that contains acetone. It will work fine. Some nail polish remover doesn’t contain acetone. Some uses Ethyl acetate. If you know the smell of acetone, you will know if it has acetone in it. The other differences could be that some nail polish remover has gel agents in it to slow evaporation and keep it on the surface longer. Some also have scents in them.

  4. Deborah says:

    I had a plastic plate on the burner and it left huge gouges in the cooktop. I only used my fingernails to peel the hardened plastic off. Is it still Ok to use the burner?

  5. Christi says:

    Worked like a charm!! Thank you so much; thought I was never going to get it off! I followed each step exactly! Thanks!!!!

  6. John says:

    The WD-40 worked great. Looks better than it did before I stupidly cooked my beloved Bialita coffee maker. I was ready to get the acetone out of the garage, but didn’t need it. And yes, acetone from the garage with gloves on would be better than nail polish for this reason: no one has any reason to keep acetone-based nail polish around the house. Why would you paint your nails once a week with something known to be that toxic? It causes liver damage and cancer.

  7. Loretta says:

    I had a loaf in my microwave and thought I was turning on the timer, but instead turned on the microwave. I had flames coming from the microwave because the bread caught on fire. Is this toxic?

  8. Susan says:

    I did this just tonight and it all came off and without a scratch! I used the razor blade for the whole thing and it was wonderful. Thank you so much.

  9. Laurene says:

    My hubby was cooking breakfast, and accidentally put a whipped butter tub on one of the burners. He removed quite a bit of the mess with a plastic spatula, but I could still see the label on the burner. I looked on this site and came up with something even easier: Goo Gone! Let the stove cool off, and put on the air vents. Spread a little on with a paper towel; I let it sit for about 3 minutes and it was peeling off in some places. The rest I used my finger nails to remove, and cleaned it off with cook top cleaner, then buffed it shiny clean. It looks better than when we moved into this apartment!

  10. Barbara says:

    Thank you so much. I had a huge mess on my hands and your advice helped to completely clean it up. The cooktop looks great.

  11. Andre says:

    The WD-40 worked like a charm! Thanks.

  12. Mollie says:

    The WD-40 and razor blade worked like a charm! Thanks so much! A little Magic Eraser action cleaned off the remaining color film. Very well done!

  13. Michele says:

    The WD40 worked very well!

  14. Reecie says:

    Check those directions again guys! I’m pretty sure it says, “nail polish REMOVER.” Better now? ;-)

  15. Holly says:

    I have found that metal frames last longer than the plastic ones. My current frames (metal) are six years old. Plastic ones break after two years. In my opinion, the metals are more comfortable than the plastic ones. I don’t have young kids, but I do have two cats and they have played with my glasses. They have not broken. As for lenses, get plastic. Glass lenses break and scratch easily – plastic ones don’t. They also put special coatings on them so they are not easily scratched nor broken. If you have a heavy prescription, especially if it’s for only one eye (like me), plastic lenses are better. Otherwise your glasses will be heavy and uncomfortable.

  16. Angie says:

    Thank you so much. It worked perfectly!

  17. Forrest says:

    WD-40 and a razor blade do the trick. Hold the razor blade flat to the surface…

  18. Corinna says:

    Thank you… that worked wonders. Didn’t even need the nail polish remover; the WD-40 did the trick all alone.

  19. Stan says:

    Divorce avoided; WD-40 and razor blade worked like a charm. Smell gone and plastic gone before my wife got home. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  20. Mira says:

    Thanks so much! Garden gnomes or fairies turned on a burner with a plastic bag of cereal siting on top. Fortunately, we found it before the flames started–it was just smoldering–but the plastic had melted in a 5″ x 6″ spot. We substituted olive oil for the WD-40 and were successful with just a dull knife (we didn’t have a razor blade or WD-40 on hand). We cleaned carefully with dish soap afterward to make sure the flammable olive oil was gone. A million thanks again!

  21. Ken says:

    Your tips rocked. WD-40, patience and the razor blade, followed by a thorough dish soap wash took care of all of it. I am sincerely grateful for this post and your advice!

  22. Lary says:

    I just put ice on the plastic and after it cooled, took a straight razor blade and the plastic came right off.

  23. Brandie says:

    We just had bread wrappers melt to the top of glass top stove. We did not wait for it to cool completely, just long enough to be cool enough to touch. We took rubbing alcohol and a hard spatula and wipe and scraped, repeating over and over. Every bit is gone. This will save your glass top from possibly getting scraped up with a razor.

  24. Arlene says:

    Thank you. WD-40 and a single edge razor took off the melted scraper I used to clean the top. Burner wasn’t cooled enough and the scraper melted!

  25. Claire says:

    My 13-year-old melted a plastic washing basket on our glass top hob. House full of smoke/fumes, a basket full of ruined clothing, a burnt hand and I honestly thought my cooker was a goner, however this worked perfectly. (Although I’m a little nervous about using the hob). Now I just need to cheer up a blistered and miserable daughter.

  26. John says:

    I’m usually very skeptical when it comes to cleaning solutions to save things that I’ve found on the internet. But this totally worked!! Thank you…

  27. Pregnancy Brain says:

    Thank you! Saved my stove after I inadvertently melted my laptop to it.

  28. Messy Cook says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! Saved my stove!

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