Cleaning a dishwasher after melted plastic can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
Melted plastic residue can cause damage to the inside of your dishwasher and reduce its efficiency if not cleaned properly.
With the right products and techniques, you’ll be able to clean up any melted plastic debris in your dishwasher quickly and easily.
In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to clean a dishwasher after melted plastic, as well as tips for preventing future messes.
What Causes Melted Plastic in a Dishwasher?
Melted plastic is one of the most common cleaning issues for dishwashers, often caused by dishes or utensils being too close to the heating element.
As you can guess, when plastic comes in contact with a high-temperature source for an extended period of time, it can cause the molecules of the material to break down and fuse together.
This creates a melted mess that can be difficult to clean up without causing further damage.
In addition to heat sources, plastic can also melt due to friction when two items rub together during a cycle.
This is especially common when larger items are placed in the dishwasher and their movement causes them to bang against other dishes or appliances inside.
The constant rubbing can generate heat and eventually melt away any plastic components present.
How Does It Affect Your Dishwasher?
Melted plastic in a dishwasher can have some serious consequences for the appliance, as well as anyone using it.
The heat of a dishwasher can cause melted plastic to release dangerous toxins and chemicals into the air.
This is especially concerning if young kids are exposed to these fumes, as they may contain carcinogenic and hazardous substances that could be harmful to their health.
Not to mention, melted plastic can harden on the interior of your dishwasher and create a clog that prevents water from draining properly.
This could lead to mold growth or water damage in your kitchen if not addressed quickly.
NOTE: Any food particles left behind by the melted plastic will likely contaminate your dishes, creating an unhygienic environment for cleaning them afterward.
Preparing to Clean Melted Plastic off Your Dishwasher
Tools and materials necessary for cleaning
Cleaning a dishwasher after melting plastic is not an easy task, and the right tools and materials are essential for doing it properly.
A few of the key items you’ll need include rubber gloves, rags or sponges, baking soda, white vinegar, a brush with stiff bristles (such as an old toothbrush), and a vacuum cleaner with attachments.
Begin by putting on your rubber gloves to protect your hands from harsh chemicals or sharp edges of melted plastic.
Then start cleaning up any debris left over from the melted plastic using a rag or sponge.
Steps To Clean Dishwasher After Melted Plastic
A. Turn Off the Dishwasher
And then begin by taking out all dishes, racks, and other items from the dishwasher.
Place these items somewhere safe and out of the way; you may want to cover them with a cloth to prevent dust or dirt from settling on them.
To turn off your dishwasher, you should begin by unplugging it from the wall socket or switching it off at the circuit breaker.
This will ensure that none of the components in the dishwasher are still receiving power.
Next, you should locate your water shut-off valve underneath your kitchen sink and switch it off.
Doing so will prevent any more water from entering your dishwasher when cleaning begins.
After turning the appliance and water supply off, double-check that they have been completely shut down by pressing some of the buttons on your control panel or checking if there is any residual heat inside.
B. Remove Any Remaining Melted Plastic
To do this, first, locate the source of the plastic and remove it using gloves or other protective equipment.
Next, sprinkle some baking soda onto the affected area and use the brush with stiff bristles to gently scrub away any residue that may remain.
Finally, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl before using it to wipe down the affected area and rinse away all traces of baking soda.
Once finished, use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment to pick up any pieces of melted plastic that may have been missed during wiping.
It is crucial to ensure that all bits of melted plastic are completely removed before continuing with cleaning the dishwasher.
If left behind, these small pieces can easily get caught in other components within your dishwasher and cause further damage or operational issues.
Next, vacuum around the edges of the door to remove any debris that has accumulated there.
Vacuum away as many food particles and grease as possible in order to prepare the interior of your dishwasher for cleaning.
Make sure you pay special attention to cracks and crevices where debris can hide.
Finally, run a hot cycle on your machine with just water for about a minute before beginning any deep cleaning processes.
C. Clean Dishwasher Interior
Using a damp cloth and mild detergent, wipe down all interior surfaces including the door gasket, filter, and spray arms.
Finally, pour white vinegar into an empty dishwasher cycle and run it through for a thorough cleansing.
This will help to clear away any odors caused by melted plastic as well as disinfect all surfaces.
Cleaning your dishwasher is important not just for aesthetic purposes but also for health reasons.
Unwashed dishes can potentially contain bacteria from previous meals that have been left behind on dirty dishes in the machine.
D. Clean Dishwasher Exterior
Like the interior, cleaning the exterior of a dishwasher is an important part of keeping it in good condition.
To start, unplug the appliance and wipe down the outside with a damp cloth.
This will help remove any dust or other debris that can collect over time and could cause corrosion.
After this, use a mild cleanser to clean off any dirt or grease that may have built up on the exterior surface.
Rinse thoroughly after cleaning to avoid leaving behind soap residue which could irritate sensitive skin.
Once done, dry it off completely with a soft cloth before plugging it back in.
You can also apply a coat of stainless steel cleaner to give your appliance extra shine and protection against fingerprints and smudges from everyday use.
Yes, it is possible to clean a dishwasher after melting plastic by following the right steps.
To start, turn off the dishwasher and empty out any remaining water before taking apart the inside components.
The next step is to carefully remove any melted plastic from the walls of the dishwasher, as well as from the filter and other parts of the appliance.
After that, a cleaning solution should be made with warm water and vinegar or baking soda for scrubbing away any further debris.
And finally, replace all parts of your dishwasher back in place before testing everything to make sure it works properly again.
Now, to prevent melted plastic from occurring in a dishwasher again, here are some helpful tips you can use.
- Do not overload the dishwasher with dishes as this can cause items to shift and melt the plastic.
- Check the filter and wash it out every few months to make sure it is free of food particles and other debris.
- Always use the correct detergent and rinse aid for your dishwasher to avoid any issues with the appliance.
Following these steps will help you keep your dishwasher in the best condition possible.
How To Clean Dishwasher After Melted Plastic FAQs
How do I remove melted plastic from my dishwasher?
To remove melted plastic from your dishwasher, first, turn off the power to the appliance and unplug it. Use a pair of tongs or a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to carefully remove any large pieces of plastic that you can see. Next, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spray the affected areas. Scrub the areas with a non-abrasive sponge or brush to remove any remaining plastic. Finally, run a cleaning cycle with a dishwasher cleaner to remove any lingering residue.
Can I use baking soda and lemon juice to clean melted plastic from my dishwasher?
Yes, you can use a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice to clean melted plastic from your dishwasher. Mix equal parts baking soda and lemon juice to create a paste, then apply the paste to the affected areas. Scrub the areas with a non-abrasive sponge or brush and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Finally, run a cleaning cycle with a dishwasher cleaner to remove any lingering residue.
How can I prevent melted plastic from happening in my dishwasher?
To prevent melted plastic from happening in your dishwasher, be sure to only put dishwasher safe items in the appliance. Avoid placing plastic items, such as tupperware or plastic utensils, in the dishwasher, as they may melt during the high heat of the cleaning cycle. Additionally, make sure to properly load the dishwasher, allowing for proper water and detergent flow, and avoid overloading the dishwasher with dishes.
Should I rewash dishes if the plastic melted in the dishwasher?
It depends on the severity of the melting. If the plastic melted only slightly, it may be safe to use the dishes as long as you remove any pieces that may have broken off and make sure there is no residual plastic left on the dishes.
However, if the plastic has melted significantly or has transferred onto other dishes, then it would be best to rewash them.
Remember that when plastic melts in a dishwasher, it can transfer chemicals onto your dishes.
These chemicals can be potentially dangerous for consumption and could cause health issues if ingested. Therefore, it’s recommended that you rewash all of your dishes if there has been significant melting of the plastic in your dishwasher.
ANYWHO, it’s best to err on the side of caution when dealing with melted plastic in a dishwasher.
How do you get the burnt plastic smell out of dishwasher and dishes?
To remove the burnt plastic smell from your dishwasher and dishes, there are a few steps you can take.
First, clean the dishwasher with a solution of baking soda and vinegar. Start by sprinkling baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and then spraying it with white vinegar.
Leave this mixture to sit for an hour before scrubbing it off with a damp cloth or sponge. This will help to neutralize any odors that may be lingering in the machine.
Next, run an empty cycle using a dishwashing detergent that is specifically designed to remove odors. This should help to further eliminate any lingering smells from your dishwasher and dishes.
Finally, if you’re still noticing a burnt plastic smell, try adding some lemon juice or essential oils to your next wash cycle. The citrusy scent can help to mask any unpleasant odors while also leaving your dishes smelling fresh and clean!
How do you remove hardened melted plastic?
Removing hardened melted plastic can be a tricky task, but there are a few methods you can try.
One option is to use a heat gun or hair dryer. Heat the plastic until it’s soft and malleable again, then use a dull knife to scrape away the softened plastic. Be sure to use caution when working with heat and sharp objects!
If you don’t have access to a heat gun or hair dryer, there are other ways to remove hardened melted plastic. Try using rubbing alcohol or acetone on a cloth or paper towel. Rub the area gently until the plastic starts to come off, then wipe away with a damp cloth. You may need to repeat this process several times for best results.
Finally, if all else fails you can try using an adhesive remover like Goo Gone or WD-40. Apply liberally and let sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping away with a damp cloth.