<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=996690293685739&ev=PageView&noscript=1" />

How to Remove Melted Plastic on Stainless Steel?

My daughter decided to make popcorn late one night and turned on the wrong burner of the stove (All while not paying attention to what she was doing and talking on the phone). On the back burner sat an empty stainless steel pot that was left with tea bags in it and a very large black plastic spoon. After a few minutes the smoke alarm went off. She realized there was a burning stench of plastic and saw the mistake she had made. The tea bags were history, but the plastic spoon all melted into a puddle at the bottom of the pot. These were a very expensive set of pots and pans that can no longer be replaced, and I would hate to have to throw another pot she destroyed away. I have scrubbed the areas around the burn clean, but the plastic has not budged. I have even tried to scrape it up with a sharp edge, but don't want to run the risk of injuring myself or breaking a knife blade, screw driver and damaging the pot. Can anyone give me any ideas on how to remove the plastic from the bottom of the pot? Any help would be appreciated!

  • Cynthia H
    Cynthia H Pittston, PA
    on Feb 20, 2014

    I had plastic melted onto one of my oven racks. Put it outside for a couple of really cold days, and was able to break it loose. Prior to that, I couldn't even scrape it off. Once the heavy stuff was off, I was able to scrape the rest.

    • Jill
      Jill Riverside, CA
      on Feb 20, 2014

      @Cynthia H Sadly, I live in So. CA and it doesn't get cold enough to do this. But....it does give me the idea of putting the pan in the freezer for a few hours and trying it. Thanks!

  • Janet Smith
    Janet Smith College Station, TX
    on Feb 20, 2014

    You might try heating the pan until the plastic is softened and then scrape with a paint scraper with a new blade in it. Hope you can get that off!!

    • Jill
      Jill Riverside, CA
      on Feb 21, 2014

      @Janet Smith I don't think I would want to try this. Burning plastic lets off toxic gas. The smell lasted in my kitchen for days when she did it, even with the windows open.

  • Kim Diss
    Kim Diss Cambridge, OH
    on Feb 21, 2014

    freezer...

  • Carole
    Carole Australia
    on Feb 21, 2014

    Usually for anything burnt to the bottom of a pan, biological soap powder dissolved in water if left for a day or so will get the burnt stuff off. I don't know if it would work on loosening the plastic though. If all else fails, it might be worth a try??

    • Jill
      Jill Riverside, CA
      on Feb 21, 2014

      @Carole I don't think biological soap powder will not work. It only works on carbon based burnt on food.

  • Carole
    Carole Australia
    on Feb 21, 2014

    This reminds me of one Christmas where a friend tried to steam a Xmas plum pudding in a saucepan and let it boil dry. Result was red plastic bowl, mixed with Xmas pud stuck to the bottom of the pan! I think she threw the pan away!

  • I would suggest heating the pot on the outside BBQ grill then using heavy gloves use a old chisel to scrape the softened material off. You can also use a propane torch to try to burn what is left off. In any case, the pot will always have a stain on the bottom now that is has had this happen. But you should be able to make it serviceable once again.

  • The Elegant Home
    The Elegant Home Eugene, OR
    on Feb 21, 2014

    try putting it in the freezer for 30 minutes ad it might just pop right off...it works for wax!

  • Lori T
    Lori T Davenport, IA
    on Feb 21, 2014

    Have you tried ice?

  • Carmen Carnegie
    Carmen Carnegie New York, NY
    on Feb 21, 2014

    I wonder if oven cleaner would get it off?

    • Jill
      Jill Riverside, CA
      on Feb 25, 2014

      @Megan Hantz To put a stainless steel pot in a self cleaning oven you would have to remove all plastic handles. I don't know if it's safe on the pot or not, but the smell from the plastic the first time around was horrible! Besides, I don't have a self cleaning oven.

  • Pat Dollar
    Pat Dollar Huntingtown, MD
    on Feb 21, 2014

    I just read an article here where oven grates came out beautiful by enclosing them in a plastic bag along with 2/3 cup of ammonia. Perhaps after freezing the pot and removing the bulk of plastic the stain can be removed using the ammonia method. Worth a try.

    • Jill
      Jill Riverside, CA
      on Feb 25, 2014

      @Pat Dollar I read that one too!

  • Angelika
    Angelika Slaughter, LA
    on Feb 22, 2014

    use a heath gun out side and try it that way or fire up the grill and place the pot on it

  • Wanda.ll
    Wanda.ll Conroe, TX
    on Feb 22, 2014

    You might try this. Put come Cream Of Tarter in some water inside bring to a boil put on lid and let sit for a long while. If that doesn't work Oven cleaner is what I use all the time on My Salad Master stainless steel cook ware. Use it on anything stainless steel matter of fact. Also use it on all corning ware glass stuff. Yes I know it is toxic. I cover my nose , spray and run for the hills for about 20 minutes. It works always. I'd also warm not get hot on a low burner to remelt. Maybe set on a heater if you have one. You could also contact maker and ask them.HTH

  • Buster Evans
    Buster Evans Hixson, TN
    on Feb 22, 2014

    Possibly start heating the pan enough to get the plastic to the melting stage (but before the toxic fumes stage) use your range hood fan to help control the smell, then add soapy water and see if it turns loose .. bring the water to a boil even to try to dislodge the plastic... salt is also a good ingredient to soften cooked on problems

  • Linda Weeks
    Linda Weeks Street, MD
    on Feb 22, 2014

    Yeah, I was thinking that you'd have to try some heat to get it back to a soft stage. and then maybe ruin another kitchen item scraping it off... let us know what you have some luck with

  • Eyesdebo
    Eyesdebo Toccoa, GA
    on Feb 22, 2014

    If you try ammonia in a bag, it needs to sit overnight...it's the fumes that cleans...

  • April E
    April E Oklahoma City, OK
    on Feb 22, 2014

    1/4 cup baking soda 1/4 boiling cup white vineger let soak till all bubbles disappear the use a copper scrubby to take it all off

  • Megan Hantz
    Megan Hantz Spokane, WA
    on Feb 22, 2014

    Sometimes people think of cleaning as using some magical mixture of product to remove something hard-to-get-off, but sometimes, you just have to physically remove it. At my cleaning company, I use not only abrasive cleaners like pumice stones and baking soda, but a good old steel wool and my hand held razor blade for scraping. I know you might not want to damage your pan, but if you consider it already damaged unless you can remove the melted plastic, I would suggest using a razor scraping tool to remove the majority, then steel wool, and see what else might melt off with heat as well.

  • Barbara Ahern
    Barbara Ahern Milano, TX
    on Feb 23, 2014

    I have no clue how you would get the burnt plastic off, but I use the powder cleanser for my stainless steel pans, such as Cameo or Bar Keepers Friend...if you ever get the burnt plastic off....I think the Cameo or Bar Keepers friend will take out the stain...lets hope and cross our fingers!! I don't think the handles would last under too much heat, good luck!!

  • Ronda
    Ronda Georgetown, OH
    on Feb 23, 2014

    You could use a heat gun on it to heat up and scrap the pan with a putty knife and if you use a extension cord you could do it outside weather permitting and that way your home will not get many fumes in it, Then after you get as much as you can off the run it in a automatic oven cleaner built into your stove. I have cleaned some stainless steel items in my oven and they came out a little dull in color but I could continue using them for cooking you probably should remove your handle off the pan before you put them in the oven. Good Luck Wish You Well!!

  • Jill
    Jill Riverside, CA
    on Feb 25, 2014

    Well, I tried Cynthia H's idea and put it in my freezer. I added a little water to the pot hoping that when it froze it would freeze in between the plastic and the pot and it worked to almost get it all off. Then I filled the pot with water and let it boil for a while. While this wouldn't have removed all the plastic in the first place, it did help to soften it without the fumes bothering me. I then scraped it off and scoured it with steel wool. There are still a few flakes in the bottom, but I think I can scrape them off as time goes by. Thanks everyone for your ideas!

  • Robin
    Robin Saginaw, MI
    on Oct 20, 2014

    I have done that way too many times! Vinegar and baking soda will work every time! Mix in the pan and let sit for a while-I usually let sit for half an hour to an hour, depending upon the damage I've done. I usually keep a plastic putty knife next to my sink. Does NOT scratch my iron skillets nor my new teflon pans. Use the putty knife to "chip" off the big pieces.

  • Marci N
    Marci N Florence, OR
    on Oct 21, 2014

    Heat will get it off. Have to heat it up to where the plastic starts to get soft then scrap it off with a scraper.

  • Carolscakes1
    Carolscakes1 Westland, MI
    on Jan 13, 2015

    I just had that happen to me. The simplest way to get melted plastic off a fry pan is to put it in hot water with Dawn liquid dishwasher soap. I soaked it for 10 Minutes and the plastic came off with my fingers in one solid piece. No harsh chemicals or anything. So easy. Please try

  • Susanmattison6260
    Susanmattison6260
    on Jan 27, 2016

    Clean melted fabric from stainless steel pot

  • Jacqui Kneeland
    Jacqui Kneeland Cherry Hill, NJ
    on Jul 8, 2016

    I did this when trying to sterilize a pacifier. I found a paint scraper to be the best tool for scratching the plastic out. It worked great. Just don't recommend it for non-stick coating.

  • Michael Stewart
    Michael Stewart
    on Jun 15, 2017

    what about phosphoric acid. It is useful for washing dishes. You can also put the pot on the front porch and yell and scream at it how horrible it is that it and the pot like to stick together.

  • Imlesw
    Imlesw
    on Aug 8, 2017

    I turned on my instant pot pressure cooker with plastic bag left in and tried everything. THE ONLY WAY TO REMOVE IT is to put the burnt pot in a larger pot of boiling water. Add water to the burnt pot - about a quarter of the way up - and add to that about a half cup of Dawn dish detergent. Let boil quite a while. I did for 90 mins to 2 hours. Should slide off easily with gently scraping. Hope this helps!

Answer this Hometalker's question!