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Ooops! Melted plastic takeout containers in the oven

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Well, my SO decided to stash a few takeout containers in the oven while he had a quick break to finish a paper and return to them. He failed to mention this and I just preheated the oven. There was an unusual smell which I dismissed (note to self: always seek out unusual smells in the kitchen) and then went to put the dish in and met melting plastic. What would be your advice? I immediately turned it off to reduce the likely toxic fumes emanating and assumed it would harden as the oven cools and then I can just peel it up but I worry about any residual smoking if I turn the oven on again.

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  1. So long as it's not melted around anything it should come off cleanly. Just be patient and willing to take your time so it has a chance to release from the underlying material, this isn't a band-aid, don't rip it off quickly. Hopefully none of it got onto the heating elements themselves. I had to order a replacement oven rack one time, not the end of the world. The joy's of well intentioned house guests (or spouses.)

    3 Replies
    1. re: KaimukiMan

      Nope just drips on the grates and on the bottom. I scraped as much as possible with steel wool and then set the oven on a quick cleaning cycle, all seems well now. Thanks for the advice.

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        Glad it worked out. I was going to recommend a divorce lawyer (ducking).

        1. re: PeterL

          Yea, although he was well intentioned. I think in most houses they would have just left them on the counter or table for the 30 minutes or so that he was gone, but we have had a critter problem so the microwave and oven serve as useful storage areas for short periods. Fortunately, my nose eventually pulled me off the couch and there wasn't too much of a mess and the self-cleaning cycle did a great job on the residual.

    2. I've done this once. Was proofing some pizza dough and had one ball in a stainless bowl and one in a plastic bowl. In my haste I covered the bowls with a plastic grocery bag and popped them in the old oven which I had the light on to create some warmth. Turned off the light after a while and went about other chores. Wife calls and is on her way home. I run and kick on the oven to 550* and get back to work. Get back to the kitchen to find a thick layer of smoke hanging from the ceiling. Oh #%*¥.

      One grate is in the garage with some plastic still attached. The rest got removed by scraping and self cleaning cycles

      One of those "I'll never do that again!