How to Melt Polyethylene at Home

Written by scarlett gauthier
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How to Melt Polyethylene at Home
Melt plastic bottles to create personalised items with moulds. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Polythene is a commercial polymer frequently used to make plastic. It is usually found in packaging such as bottles and grocery bags. There are various types of polythene categorised by their properties including their density and branching, as well as their weight. Although melting plastic is usually performed by professionals because of the dangerous fumes and hazards, you can melt small amounts of plastic at home such as a thin plastic water bottle to create customised items with the use of moulds. Melting small amounts of plastic is also an efficient means of recycling.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Toaster oven
  • Metal container
  • Plastic
  • Scissors
  • Gloves
  • Tongs

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut the plastic into smaller pieces with a pair of scissors. The pieces should be small enough to fit into the metal container.

  2. 2

    Preheat the toaster oven to approximately 121 degrees Celsius.

  3. 3

    Place a small amount of plastic in the container. Position the metal container in the toaster oven.

  4. 4

    Increase the heat of the toaster oven every three to four minutes in 25-degree intervals until the plastic or polythene is completely melted. Avoid temperatures over 232 degrees Celsius.

  5. 5

    Remove the can from the toaster oven with oven gloves or tongs to ensure protection.

Tips and warnings

  • Melt plastic in an area that is well ventilated and exposed to air. Take the toaster oven outside if possible.
  • Prevent hazards and harm by wearing protective clothing and gear such as gloves and safety goggles, as well as a mask.

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