Removing Melted Plastic From a Baseboard Heater

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Baseboard heaters produce electric heat and may be used as a source of heat in many homes and businesses. Sometimes, accidents happen such as children leaving a plastic toy on or near the heater or something plastic is left leaning against the heater. Although plastic will not melt instantaneously because most baseboard heaters are not extremely hot to the touch for safety reasons, plastic will melt onto the heater if it is left there for too long.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 ½ inch plastic putty knife
  • Cotton rag
  • Bag of frozen vegetables
  • Turn off the baseboard heater. Let the heater cool down to room temperature. When the baseboard is cool, touch the plastic to see if the plastic has cooled. The plastic will harden close to the consistency before it melted.

  • Remove the baseboard heater panel that covers the electric coils. On most baseboard heaters, the panel easily lifts up and off the heater. Check the heater coils to ensure no plastic melted onto it. Baseboard heaters have a safety panel over the heater to avoid this and protection from possible burns.

  • If you cannot remove the baseboard heater panel, place a bag of frozen vegetables on the melted plastic for about three minutes to ensure the plastic hardens completely. Placing the frozen bag on the area can also pucker the plastic for easier removal.

  • Find an area of the melted plastic that is lifted or can easily be removed. Put the corner of the putty knife under an area of the melted plastic that is lifted. Gently lift the putty knife until all or a piece of the plastic lifts away from the baseboard heater. Continue to remove the plastic by carefully placing the putty knife under the plastic and lifting it.

  • Wipe the baseboard heater panel with a dampened, warm rag to ensure all the plastic is removed. Replace the baseboard heater panel on the heating panel unit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful removing the plastic not to chip or damage the baseboard panel. If the panel paint is chipped, appliance touch-up paint, a paint product specifically for appliances such as stoves, sinks and other metal and can be purchased in a variety of colors at a home improvement store.
  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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