How to Melt Plastic Bottles

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Philippa Jones

    About the Author

    Based in Bristol, Philippa Jones has been a music journalist and script writer since 2007, working across a range of radio programs in the U.K. and Australia. Her articles have appeared in "Impact Magazine," "The Mic" and in local newspapers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics from the University of Nottingham.

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    Melting plastic bottles should be approached cautiously, as the gases released when some plastics melt are toxic. Furthermore, without professional tools you may damage equipment or injure yourself. However, it is possible to reform plastic bottles into parts for games or unique gifts by melting them, and then by pouring the melted plastic into a mold. This is one way of recycling them. It's important to supervise children when undertaking this task, as the plastic will heat up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Things You'll Need

    • Toaster oven
    • Warm, soapy water
    • Metal tin
    • Scissors
    • Oven mitten or tongs

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    Set up the toaster oven outside. This avoids filling your house with the stench of melting plastic. Make sure that the weather is fine, so that rain won't damage equipment or cause electrocution.

    Wash the plastic bottles thoroughly using warm, soapy water and remove any labeling or packaging that is not plastic. Throw this debris away.

    Remove the caps from the plastic bottles and put these in the metal tin. Cut up the plastic bottles into small pieces that fit inside the metal tin. Try and keep the pieces even, so that they melt at the same time.

    Put the pieces of plastic in the metal tin. Do not pile the plastic higher than the edge of the tin.

    Switch the toaster oven on and heat it up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the metal tin on the shelf in the oven. If the bottles do not melt at this temperature, turn the heater up.

    Check after three minutes to see whether the plastic bottle pieces have melted. Use a hand mitten or tongs to remove the metal tin from the oven. This is an important safety point to avoid burning your hands or spilling hot plastic on your skin.

    Replace the metal tin if the bottles are not yet melted. Keep checking on their progress until the plastic has melted. Once you have finished, don't forget to turn the toaster oven off and return it to the kitchen.

    • Use a variety of different colored plastics to create unique patterns and shapes.
    • Make beads, pendants, toys or other items from melted plastic.
    • Separate different colors or types of plastic, so that when melted, they can be layered for effect into molds.
    • Wear a mask to prevent breathing in the fumes that are emitted from melted plastic.

    Photo Credits

    • Container of milk. Plastic milk bottle image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com