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We have a glass/ceramic electric cooktop (standard, not induction). A couple nights ago one of us bumped the knob and turned it on without noticing. This caused a plastic bag touching the electric burner to melt onto it. I scraped off most of the plastic, but some is still stuck to it.

What's the best way to remove the rest of the plastic so that I can use that burner again?

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    If you have a cooktop that has a knob where ‘off’ and ‘medium’ look the same, paint one side of the knob. (My mom picked up a hot plate by accident when I was a kid, and had to spend weeks with her hands bandages due to the burns)
    – Joe
    Aug 30, 2022 at 23:27
  • Joe: thanks! That's not the problem with our stove; our issue is just that the knobs move way too easily, so you can turn the stove on just brushing then with your hip. Our solution is that we're saving for a new stove.
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 31, 2022 at 17:35
  • oh, one of those. My controls are in back, so I have to reach across hot things to adjust temps. I’m not sure which is worse design-wise. I’d love to see a stove with controls on back but an emergency off on the front (that triggers if a small child tries climbing up)
    – Joe
    Sep 1, 2022 at 6:45
  • I wonder if a similar solution to desoldering could be used. With solder alloy the solution is usually to melt it again and then either pump it out or suck it into a braid. Sep 1, 2022 at 14:53
  • I would try ironing a piece of cotton cloth into it and hope that there's enough surface tension to get it all off, but I'm way too easygoing and wouldn't recommend others to do it. Sep 1, 2022 at 15:02

2 Answers 2

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Been there done that…

First, make sure that the cook top is cold, this will solidify the plastic again and make it come off easier.

Then use a scraper for glass cooktops - the kind with the razor blade. (I always have a pack of old fashioned razor blades in the kitchen, but the scraper thingy is a bit easier to grab and use.)

And finally polish away any potential remaining bits with an abrasive cleaner, there are some that can be used for glass ceramic cook tops.

You should be good to go after that, although you may get a hint of a “burnt plastic” smell the first time you use that burner again. But it should be really minute.

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    They now sell ‘plastic razor blades’ at hardware stores which won’t accidentally scratch up surfaces, but I find there are a few companies making them and not all are great. (The black ones I got recently seem to be softer than the yellow ones I had gotten the first time, which had a better edge).
    – Joe
    Aug 30, 2022 at 23:26
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    @Joe I love the plastic blades for iron cookware, but I find on a glass cooktop they go fuzzy and dull almost immediately. The trick with a razor blade is just to keep it flat and go slow; it’s the corners that gouge the glass so make sure not to put pressure there.
    – Sneftel
    Aug 31, 2022 at 7:02
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    @Peter-ReinstateMonica Ugh, pleeeease don't do that, unless you have a knife you want to ruin quickly... razor blades or scrapers are built for the purpose, flat, straight, and easy to replace. Kitchen knives are none of the above, unless you're talking the ones from Walmart that probably are less sharp than a $0.99 razor blade anyway...
    – Joe M
    Aug 31, 2022 at 15:36
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    Hmmm, not sure which answer to pick here, because I ended up using a paint scraper AND acetone. The scraper alone wouldn't have worked.
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 31, 2022 at 17:31
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    An old expired credit/debit card, sliced in half at an angle, makes a good scraper for this sort of thing. Yeah, they get messed up after enough use, but you can't beat the price, since most banks give you new cards every couple years or so, and each card can produce 2 scrapers. Aug 31, 2022 at 17:32
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Depending on the type of plastic, acetone (nail polish remover) may do the trick. Worked great for me on a bread bag melted to the side of my toaster.

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    Note: not all nail polish removers contain acetone, and some only contain a little. Read the label. If it smells like angry chemicals, that's the stuff.
    – tylisirn
    Aug 31, 2022 at 17:45
  • @tylisirn in particular if the nail polish remover smells sweet, like pear drops (sweets), it's based on ethyl acetate which is a much less useful solvent. However most food plastic bags are polyethylene which is about as resistant to acetone as to ethyl acetate. Thin layers will soften a bit, and that might be all you need
    – Chris H
    Sep 1, 2022 at 14:12
  • Chris: that was what I needed.
    – FuzzyChef
    Sep 1, 2022 at 23:02

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