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How To Remove Melted Plastic From Dishwasher Heat Coils

Man Repairing A Dishwasher With Tools

Dishwashers make housework much easier, but not when a plastic fork or spoon melts. So, if you’re also scratching your head about what to do next or how to clean your heating coils, grab a towel or some soapy water because we’ll show you how to remove melted plastic from heating coils.


When the plastic melts, you don’t need to replace the heating coils or your dishwasher. Instead, all you need is a little assistance on how you can remove the plastic. And before beginning, make sure the plastic stuck on the heating coil is cooled.

Then, turn the circuit breaker or fuse for the home, or unplug the dishwasher to save yourself from any electrical issues. Next, you must wipe the food remains from the coils with a towel dipped in dish soap, detergent, and water solution.

Besides this, you can also scrape the food residues with a non-metallic instrument like a wooden spoon.

However, you must carefully wipe the plastic from the heating coils. After removing it, you can easily use the heating coils again. To avoid burns, use heat-resistant mitts or gloves when trying to pry molten plastic off the heating coil.

Let’s get straight to the cleaning part. But before beginning, you must ensure that your dishwasher is turned off.

If the dishwasher is already in the middle of a wash cycle, it will interfere with everything you’ve programmed. And wait for approximately 20 minutes to let everything return to room temperature.

Things You’ll Need

Dishwasher Machine Repair Process

You’ll need a few items to get the melted plastic out of your dishwasher and the awful odor under control.

  • A zipper bag and an ice pack. Since an ice pack is necessary to harden the melted plastic so it may be scared off easily.
  • Razor blade for scrapping the plastic.
  • Baking soda to get rid of the odor.
  • Non-metal instrument to scrape the melted plastic.
  • Hair dryer.
  • Clothes for cleaning.
  • Dish soap.

3 Methods To Remove Melted Plastic From Heating Coils

Here are three easy ways to remove the plastic and bad odors from your dishwasher:

Method #1: With the Help of a Razor Blade

Closeup On An Old Razor Blade

Before beginning, ensure the dishwasher is turned off and the plastic is cool enough to touch with bare hands, or you can also use gloves. After this, follow the steps mentioned below to remove the melted plastic.

  1. Remove the dishwasher’s racks and holders for cutlery and other items.
  2. Then, use a pair of steel thongs to pry off as much plastic as possible without damaging the heating coils. After the heating coils have completely cooled down, removing the larger chunks of melted plastic is simple. Therefore, patience is the key.
  3. To remove the last bits of plastic from the heating coils, carefully scrape it off with a razor blade.
  4. When it’s completely off the heating coils, make a thick mixture of baking soda and water, and use steel wool to clean the plastic.
  5. At last, wash the coils with warm water, dish soap, and lemon to eliminate any lingering odor.

Method #2: With the Help of a Hair Dryer

Modern Hairdryer

Here’s how you can remove the melted plastic from your dishwasher’s heating coils with a hair dryer:

  1. Open all the windows and the kitchen exhaust and let the plastic odor escape.
  2. Turn off the dishwasher and wait to cool the heating coil.
  3. Remove the racks and holders from your dishwasher.
  4. Connect your hair dryer to an available electrical outlet and run it on high speed to melt the plastic covering the heating coil.
  5. Remove as much of the softened plastic as possible using a wooden scraper.
  6. Scrub the remaining plastic with a steel wood brush dipped in baking soda.
  7. Fill the bottom of your dishwasher with lemon juice and run the hot medium cycle. In addition to removing calcium deposits from your dishwasher, the lemon will help to prevent any or part of the leftover plastic odor.

Method #3: With the Help of Ice Cubes

Melted Ice Cubes With Drops

Ice cubes are great for hardening plastic. Therefore, here’s how you can use ice cubes to remove melted plastic:

  1. Remove the racks and holders after bringing the dishwasher to room temperature.
  2. Collect some ice cubes and place them in a ziplock bag.
  3. After cooling the coils, place the plastic bag directly over it and leave it here for 20 minutes.
  4. After twenty minutes, take the bag off and examine the molten plastic to see if it has become brittle enough to be broken easily. If not, leave the bag in place once more for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a razor blade to scrape the solidified plastic. Take care to avoid harming the heating coil with the razor.
  6. Place a cloth dipped in nail remover over the heating source for 7-8 minutes. As a result, the plastic will disintegrate, making the removal easier.
  7. Scrub the heating coils with a moist towel and cover them with baking soda.
  8. Rinse the baking soda with warm water to remove the odor.

How To Prevent Melting Plastic in a Dishwasher

Melted Tupperware Rice Spoon

The arrangement of your plastic cutlery and drinkware is the main cause of the melted plastic in the dishwasher. However, be not too alarmed. Even the finest of us also experiences it.

We must, nevertheless, take time to learn from our errors.

If you want to know how to properly put your dishes and silverware in your dishwasher, you should consult the instruction manual. The handles of each of your spoons, forks, and knives should be facing up inside the cutlery basket.

This will protect your silverware from being dislodged by the spray arms and deposited in the path of the dishwasher’s heating components.

It would be best if you used the “spike” guides to stack plastic plates at the bottom of the dishwasher. Put one spike in each dish and at least two between each pair of dishes or bowls. Shake the upper and lower shelves ever so slightly to ensure proper stacking.

Besides this, your utensils and dishes shouldn’t move from one place to another during the cleaning cycle.


Refrain from filling your dishwasher with small items, such as plastic lids or covers. They easily slide down and land on the heating coil’s base. When loading the dishwasher, position the top rack with all the plastic items to prevent it from melting.


Repairing The Damaged Dishwasher

One of the greatest drawbacks of dishwashers is the melting of plastic cutlery in them. So, the appliance teacher made it easy for you to take the plastic off the heating coils and gave tips on keeping the plastic from melting.

All you need to do for this is to bring your dishwasher to room temperature and then scrape off the melted plastic from the heating coils.

Other than this, if your dishwasher still smells like burnt plastic even after cleaning, dip a cloth in baking soda or lemon juice and rub the heating coils with it. This will help to remove the foul odor.

If you are still confused about what to do, it is acceptable to seek the expert’s advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Melting Plastic in the Dishwasher Catch Fire?

No, melted plastic in the dishwasher rarely catches fire. However, you must immediately turn off your dishwasher if you smell burning plastic to save yourself from damage.

Does Melted Plastic Release Harmful Chemicals?

Yes, melted plastic threatens the environment and nearby people. Burning plastic releases extremely dangerous pollutants that greatly raise the risk of respiratory diseases, cancers, and birth problems. Additionally, it might seriously harm the hormonal system and internal organs.

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