How to Remove Melted Plastic from Your Dishwasher Coil

If you’ve ever accidentally melted plastic onto your dishwasher coil, you know the frustration it can cause. It not only looks unsightly but can also affect the dishwasher’s performance. However, fear not! In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to safely and effectively remove melted plastic from your dishwasher coil, ensuring your appliance looks and works as good as new.

Understanding the Problem

Before we dive into the removal process, it’s essential to understand the nature of the problem. Plastic melting onto the dishwasher coil can occur when plastic containers or utensils accidentally come into contact with the hot coil during a dishwasher cycle. This can happen to anyone, so don’t worry; you’re not alone in facing this issue.

Safety First

Before attempting any repair or removal, always prioritize safety. Here’s what you’ll need:

Materials and Tools

  • Safety gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • A plastic scraper
  • A wooden spatula
  • A hairdryer
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Mild dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar

Step-by-Step Guide

Now, let’s get started on removing that stubborn melted plastic from your dishwasher coil:

1. Turn Off the Power

Safety should be your top priority. Make sure your dishwasher is completely turned off and unplugged to avoid any electrical accidents.

2. Put on Safety Gear

Don your safety gloves and goggles to protect yourself from any potential harm during the removal process.

3. Assess the Damage

Examine the melted plastic carefully. Is it soft and gooey, or has it hardened into a solid mass? This assessment will guide your removal strategy.

4. Softened Plastic Removal

If the plastic is soft and gooey, you’re in luck. Use a plastic scraper or a wooden spatula to gently remove as much plastic as possible without damaging the coil.

5. Heat the Area

If the plastic has hardened, use a hairdryer on a low heat setting to soften it. Hold the dryer a few inches away from the affected area and keep it in motion to prevent overheating.

6. Scrape Carefully

Once the plastic is softened, gently scrape it off with the plastic scraper or wooden spatula. Take your time to avoid damaging the coil.

7. Cleaning Solution

Mix isopropyl alcohol and a small amount of mild dish soap. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into this solution and wipe the coil to remove any remaining residue.

8. Baking Soda Paste

For stubborn spots, make a paste using baking soda and a little water. Apply this paste to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, scrub gently with a soft cloth or sponge.

9. Rinse with Vinegar

To ensure there’s no residue left, rinse the coil with white vinegar. This will also help neutralize any lingering odors.

10. Dry Thoroughly

Before turning the dishwasher back on, make sure the coil is completely dry. You can use a clean, dry cloth or let it air dry.


Removing melted plastic from your dishwasher coil may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach and safety precautions, it can be accomplished effectively. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your dishwasher not only looks clean but also operates smoothly.


1. Can I use a knife to scrape off the melted plastic?

It’s not recommended to use a knife, as it can damage the coil. Stick to plastic scrapers or wooden spatulas for a safer removal process.

2. Is it safe to use isopropyl alcohol on the coil?

Yes, isopropyl alcohol is safe to use for cleaning the coil. It helps dissolve and remove the plastic residue effectively.

3. Can I skip the safety gear?

No, it’s crucial to wear safety gloves and goggles to protect yourself from any potential harm during the removal process.

4. What if the plastic has left a stain on the coil?

If there’s a stain left after removing the plastic, you can try using a specialized stainless steel cleaner to restore the coil’s appearance.

5. How can I prevent this from happening in the future?

To prevent melted plastic mishaps, make sure plastic items are securely placed in the dishwasher’s top rack and away from the heating coil.

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