How to Remove Burn Marks from Plastic


Julie asked: How do I remove burn marks from white upvc? We have burn marks from cigarette ash that landed on our window sill from the flat above. We need to remove the marks. The window sill is white, plastic upvc. Thanks.

Burnt plastic not only makes a dreadful smell, it can leave a lasting mark. When determining how to fix it, the first thing to look at is how deep the burn goes. Are there bubbles on the surface of the plastic at the burn site or do the scorch marks just discolor the surface? Once you’ve determined the extent of the damage, you can choose the appropriate method to fix it. As a last resort, use one of our ideas to cover up the area as best as possible.

Removing Scorch Marks from the Surface

You Will Need:

  • Choose a cleaner:
    • Bar Keeper’s Friend
    • Zud
    • White toothpaste
    • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
    • Baking soda/water paste
    • Soft Scrub with bleach
  • Water
  • Mild soap
  • Sponges or soft cloths
  • Scrub brush or old toothbrush

Steps to Remove the Scorch Mark:

  1. Begin by using the soft cloth and mild soap to remove as much of the scorch mark as possible.
  2. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  3. To remove the remaining discoloration,
  4. Apply a layer of the chosen cleaning product to the scorched area. If using the Magic Eraser, simply wet it and scrub the area gently until the stain is removed.
  5. Allow it to set on the stain for a few minutes.
  6. Scrub the area lightly with either a scrub brush or toothbrush.
  7. Wipe the area clean with a soft cloth and water.
  8. If the stain remains, choose a second cleaner and apply it following the same method as above. Different surfaces may react differently to various cleaners, so it is worth trying several before giving up.
  9. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water after each cleaning, and wipe dry with a soft cloth.
  10. If the mark cannot be removed, the burn may be more severe than just a scorch mark. To remove deeper burns, use the method below.

Removing and Filling in the Burnt Area

You Will Need:

  • Fine sandpaper
  • Razor blade or craft knife
  • Epoxy
  • Paint to match color of plastic
  • Paint brush

Steps to Remove a Deep Burnt Area:

*Shiny surfaces may be slightly dulled using this process.

  1. Begin by cleaning the area using the methods above to remove as much of the burn as possible.
  2. Rinse and dry the area completely.
  3. Next, use the sandpaper to carefully sand the burnt plastic away.
  4. If the burn goes very deep, it may be necessary to cut it out with a razor. Remove as little plastic as necessary to remove the burn mark.
  5. Depending on the size of the removed area, it may be necessary to fill it in with a filler such as epoxy.
  6. Paint over the dried epoxy to blend it in with the rest of the area.

Cover-Up Options

  • Cover the burnt area with white nail polish or paint in a matching color.
  • If the area was black and the burn mark made it white, it may be possible to cover it by coloring over it with a sharpie marker.
  • Sometimes decals can be placed over the area and be cleverly placed as “decorative touches.”

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Alka Seltzer dissolved in water can be applied to burn stains. It has great stain removal power. Moisten a cloth and let it set on top of the stained area.
  • Scouring powders and cleaners appear to be the most successful in removing scorch marks. It is recommended to try them first and then move on to other options.
  • It may also work to moisten a cloth with hydrogen peroxide and set it on the stain. This method  may require several applications to remove the stain completely.


  1. Pae says:

    Alka-Seltzer as a cleaning agent? Seriously? It’s baking soda and aspirin. Don’t pay extra for the dissolving tablet and aspirin when you only want the cleaning power, just get the baking soda and mix it with water. For a nifty science experiment, mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide!

  2. Anthony says:

    Thank you veryyyyyy much! You saved my life. Thank you, thank you, thank yoooou!

  3. Mohak says:

    I got a black laptop body and I got burn kind of marks on it. I used some nail paint remover; it worked, but there are now outlines remaining. Can u help?

  4. Midnite says:

    I have a similar problem as the person above me. I have a tablet that has a burn/scortch mark on the upper corner. It’s annoying and it’s all I see when I look at it. I can’t remove any parts, so using water or cleaners aren’t really safe, I’m guessing. I tried using a small file for sanding it a little, but it’s not really working. If anyone knows what I could do, or has any ideas, I’d appreciate it very much!!

  5. Kristi says:

    Does anyone have a suggestion for burn marks on a wood composite deck?

  6. Sabz says:

    Hi. How do I remove a tiny cigarette burn on my toilet seat? I sprayed bleach and fairy liquid, scrubbed with a sponge, but it’s not coming off. I used many sprays, but it still doesn’t work.

  7. Melanie says:

    Try one of the cleaners suggested in the first section of the article. Most of them are a very fine abrasive (scouring powder – the toothpaste included), which can help to remove the mark better than scrubbing alone. If the mark is deep, you may need to use the method in the second section of the article: Removing and Filling In the Burnt Area.

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