Recover your culinary contentment
We are all familiar with the sense of dread that comes along with the scent of burning plastic permeating your beautiful kitchen. The kitchen is supposed to be an area that reminds you of the many delicious desserts and comforting creations that have graced the countertops. The harsh smell of melting plastic will bring an immediate feeling of distaste and discomfort. Let's take a look at what steps you should take to efficiently, and safely fix the melted problem. If these steps solve your problem, check out the rest of our cleaning tips on our exhaustive list The Ultimate Guide to Naturally Cleaning Your Kitchen.
This scent is often accompanied by a sense of panic, an inherent need to locate exactly where the source of this offensive odor is coming from. The toaster oven is the biggest offender when it comes to kitchen appliances that tend to accidentally assault the safety of a kitchen's comforting environment. Keeping a plastic bread bag, grocery bag, or even plastic plastic tableware near your toaster oven should be a strict no.
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Protect yourself, before your appliance
You know what to expect when the accident happens, the smell is awful and the plastic just won't come off no matter the method that you may try. The plastic just won't pry off of your toaster oven, in fact - if the oven is still hot it'll become progressively worse as time goes on... Time can be of the essence, but your personal lung health should come first. Turn off the toaster oven, or simply just unplug it and let the room air out before you try to remedy the issue.
WECF (Women Engage for a Common Future) posted an article detailing the harmful effects of inhaling plastic fumes, which you should read before you give in to the temptation of cleaning the toaster oven too soon, which is before the room has been aired out of the toxic plastic fumes. Dangerous Health Effects of Burning Plastic
The first step to cleaning the melted plastic off of your toaster oven should be to scrape off as much as you can after its cooled down. You can use a wooden spatula, or a wooden spoon to prevent damage. You don't want to use a metal utensil, as that has the potential to scrape up the exterior of the toaster oven in the process. After the toaster oven has cooled down, you want to sprinkle some baking soda on a damp sponge, and lightly scour the area to exfoliate the surface and remove the leftover melted plastic bits.
Baking soda works especially well when you want to clean up household accidents in an environmentally friendly, non-toxic way. When you use baking soda to clean, it works for you in two different manners. Primarily in this situation, it acts a mild abrasive when you apply a small amount to a damp sponge to scrub off the remaining plastic residue. This prevents any potential marking of the surface, unlike what would happen if you were to haphazardly hack away at the residue with a metal spatula.
Why does baking soda work so well?
Baking soda is useful in a multitude of methods, and while we're at it - let's learn why it's such an effective environmentally safe cleaning product. Baking soda is a mild alkali, which causes dirt, grease, and other grime to lift up off of the surface and dissolve easier for the ease of pickup with your everyday kitchen sponge. It's an effective cleaning product to use on anything that might need a sensitive touch; such as, glass, chrome, stainless steel, and even plastic. It is completely non-toxic, deodorizing, and in a pinch it can be used as an effective method for extinguishing small fires.