How to Remove Melted Styrofoam

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Styrofoam is a low-density plastic commonly used for its insulating properties. Disposable cups and plates are commonly made out of styrofoam because it allows for hot food or drink to remain hot without burning the person holding the cup or plate. However, since it is a plastic, styrofoam will melt at high temperatures. Placing a stryofoam plate on the top of a still-hot flat-top stove, for example, will melt the plate to the stovetop, creating a mess.

Things You'll Need

  • Nitrile gloves
  • Acetone
  • Razor blade
  • Paper towels
  • Wait for the styrofoam to fully cool before attempting to remove it. Adding acetone to a hot surface can create a fire, so make sure both the styrofoam and the surface it is on are cold to the touch before starting.

  • Put the gloves on.

  • Remove any large pieces of styrofoam by breaking them off.

  • Pour approximately 1 to 2 oz. of acetone around the outside edge of the melted styrofoam.

  • Hold the razor blade nearly parallel to the surface and slide the sharp edge into the styrofoam, peeling the stryofoam up, away from the surface. This should remove nearly all of the styrofoam. If large amounts are still present, add a little bit more acetone.

  • Pour some acetone on a paper towel and wipe down the surface. This will remove any residual styrofoam. Wipe the surface down with a dry paper towel to remove residual acetone.

Tips & Warnings

  • This process may destroy plastics. Do not use a razor blade on teflon coated pots and pans. For teflon coated pots and pans, simply use more acetone and scrub with a paper towel.

References

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