Presto HeatDish Compact Heater Logo
Bruce Bartlett Posted on Feb 26, 2007
Answered by a Fixya Expert

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Cleaning the dish on my Presto space heater.

I have a Presto HeatDish Compact Heater and would like to cleane the dish. It is getting very dusty and smells funny when it's on. I can't see any way to remove the grid covering the dish. Is the only way to clean it going to be putting something through the bars on the grid and poking around that way?? Thanks for your help.

  • 4 more comments 
  • Anonymous Feb 22, 2008

    By far, the easiest way is to moisten a cloth, wrap around a long screwdriver (making sure you can grasp the cloth by the screw driver handle) thread is through the screen at 12-3-6 and 9 o'clock positions, Extend the wrapped cloth several inches past the end of the screwdriver. Then sweep it from side to side at each position. You may have to tilt the heater to get to the edges, but it is far easier than trying to "bend metal" to get inside the cage. Don't over-moisten the cloth..just damp enough to remove the dust. Make sure it is unpluged...of course. Wait for it to dry before using. Worked for me!

  • Anonymous Oct 06, 2008

    I am concerned about the odd smell eminating from the unit. It smells like baking art clay (like FIMO, etc). What causes the smell? is it toxic? Does it indicate malfunction?

    Thx

  • Anonymous Dec 05, 2008

    Same problem -- very dusty parabolic heater

  • gtschen2005 Dec 06, 2008

    I have a presto heatdish. It got dusty and I would like to know how to clean it.

  • Ann P Topmiller
    Ann P Topmiller Mar 06, 2014

    PRESTO has a brush that is made to assist in cleaning parabolic heaters. Here's a link.https://www.gopresto.com/products/offers...

  • Ann P Topmiller
    Ann P Topmiller Mar 06, 2014

    PRESTO has an inexpensive brush that can be used to assist in cleaning a parabolic heater. Here's a link. https://www.gopresto.com/products/offers...

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I pried the upper rim with needle nosed pliers --,just enough to get the grid off. After cleaning with Mister Bubbles, I popped the grid back in and bent the rim back down. I then took a hammer and
smoothed the rough edges. Looks almost like new!!

  • Catherine Sagoco
    Catherine Sagoco Nov 24, 2015

    Cleaning the presto heat dish is easy by using a swiffer duster. Gently insert the swiffer in between the wires and dust. It's very easy.

  • RPicore
    RPicore Dec 30, 2016

    Thanks juancull it worked for me too!

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  • Posted on Nov 23, 2008
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What worked for me was taking a small, barely damp washcloth and with the unit on it's back (unplugged, of course) slid it through the grate. Next. I pushed it around with a wooden spoon until all of the dust was gone. Then, I pulled the washcloth back out.

I tried the butter knife method first, but it was chipping the ceramic coating off of the grate....

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  • Posted on Feb 22, 2008
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Dip it in a tank or put it in commercial launry and then dryer. it works

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  • Posted on Jan 01, 2012
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If you like living on the edge, spray some windex into the dish and then hit with a spray of water while upside down in the sink. This gets 99% of the dirt without disassembling a thing. Then if you have compressed air blow off the water or else leave it stand overnight to dry. You may get some steam from the coils when you turn it on but hey...live a little. Worked for me.....zap.

  • Anonymous Jan 01, 2012

    If you like living on the edge, spray some windex into the dish and then hit with a spray of water while upside down in the sink. This gets 99% of the dirt without disassembling a thing. Then if you have compressed air blow off the water or else leave it stand overnight to dry. You may get some steam from the coils when you turn it on but hey...live a little. Worked for me.....zap.

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The cleaner (and more reflective) the dish is, the more efficient the dish works.
I used the "pry" method with a pair of pliers. Carefully lifting the edge a very small amount. I went around about half way then "popped" the grill off. Cleaning was very easy and the grill "popped" right back on.
I rebent the soft aluminum back in place at 3 or 4 places so that it would pop off easier the next time but wouldn't pop off when you didn't want it to.

  • Anonymous Mar 05, 2013

    I just used this method and only had to pry a small section (maybe 5") barely up for the grill to pop off :) So clean now! Went back on so nicely, can't even tell!

  • RPicore
    RPicore Dec 30, 2016

    Agreed! It worked for me too.

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  • Posted on Jan 29, 2009
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I use the can of compressed gas duster that you use for computer keyboard cleaning. It has the extension tube for hard to reach areas but be sure to use short blasts otherwise it will send mists instead of compressed air. Hope this helps.

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  • Posted on May 23, 2010
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The smell that you experience when the heater is first turned on is any combination of dust, carpet fibers, pollen etc. that has settled on the dish, element or any other part that heats up. I ALWAYS start up the heater outside for a few minutes to burn off the dust before I bring it in and then put it down gently to keep more stuff from falling onto the hot surface. I tried several methods on my old Presto heater to clean the dish including most of the ones listed above. Soap and water worked the best after prying the cover open. but eventually the heating element rusted and broke in several places after about 10 years of use. I tried to find a new coil element to replace the old broken one with but the company doesn't sell them and the universal heating coil stock (in bulk) have to be matched in the electrical circuit for resistance, length, cross-sectional diameter and other factors. Does anyone know where to get a new element for the Presto? I did end up buying a new one but would like to fix the old one too.

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  • Posted on Nov 28, 2015
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I have one and have kept it clean with a microfiber cloth and a chopstick; thru the grill. I got a 2nd unit, at thrift. It was grungy and a bit dented. I popped the grill off and cleaned it; knocked out dents, as well. Since it was oxidized, I polished it with Maguires Alum Mag Polish, and a random orbital buffer; with microfiber polishing pad.

I could not believe how shiny it got. Knowing that a smooth surface reflects more direct heat, I fired it up. The performance improvement is substantial. In most typical usage , I've had to dial the temp control back 1/4 turn; or more. I can see a deep red/orange glow, in the reflector, when it's on. I liked the mod so much, I did the same to my original unit. Here is a pic. Clean & unpolished unit on the left - polished beater on the right. The shine is great. I don't think picture fully does it justice.
Cleaning the dish on my Presto space heater. - cleaning-dish-presto-space-heater-smouatxufp5lwmehha1z5nye-1-0.jpg

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  • Posted on Feb 26, 2007
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Take it outside and blow it out using a leaf blower or a can of compressed air.

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  • Posted on Dec 11, 2014
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It all depends on the how much dust has accumulated on inside of the dish.

Try to use the Swiffer first before mechanically altering any part. Slide the duster in through the grate, and move it around. Pull it out and repeat on the other area. You'll just have to do this around 3 times.
If heavy clean is necessary, then you might have to resort to bending the lip of the dish to separate the grate off from the dish.

A

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By far, the easiest way is to take a long screwdriver, wrap with a very lightly moisten thin towel. Make sure the towel part is several inches longer than the screwdriver and that you can hold on to both at the handle side. Thread through the cage at 12-3-6-9 o'clock positions. Sweep from side-to-side, tilt the heater to get close to the cage. Worked for me! PS. Never do this while plugged in..of course. Let dry before using.

A

Anonymous

I pried open the dish from the grate (with two butter knives) and cleaned the dish very easily. Thanks to the other person who suggested this! I cleaned it with water on a cloth and 409.

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I took 2 thin screw drivers and with some prying, removed the grill. cleaning was a breeze and snap the grill back in.
I created a small bend which I use to clean it regularly. Works for me.

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 Blowed with compressed air first then use contact cleaner, then blow it again. Stuborned lint you may use tooth brush.

Be sure that contact cleaner is dielectric.

Good luck,

Orlando

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But seriously: what's with the freaky smell?
Is it killing my brain?

I've had the heater for a few weeks (Costco purchase) and the smell is becoming intolerable.
Other commentors were spot-on; it smells like a cross between cooking Fimo / lighting pre-dipped charcoal briquettes

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Unplug the unit and spray with glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol, trying to minimize direct spray to the heat core. The spray will clean the residue that may cling the dust to the surface and run down to the bottom of dish. Rinse with water, then blow dry.

  • Anonymous Nov 04, 2007

    Oh, obviously one must be careful and SPRAY rinse the dish following the glass cleaner spray wash. (above)

  • CC136 ES
    CC136 ES Mar 19, 2019

    how do you pop off the grill

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Plug Flamed & burned carpet when heatdish was turned on

hi check the connetions on the heater plug and the cord replace if brunt then try it again ?
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RE: Presto Heat Dish buzzer going off

I almost threw my heater out! I cleaned this morning with Window Cleaner and it works just fine now. It was just dust. I cleaned the round metal area not the coils.

Hope this helps.

Emailed Presto about replacing the buzzer and here is the answer I got:


There is no such part. Buzzer sounds when heater:
- is tipped
- rests uneven on floor
- is too close to furniture or wall
- has too much dust on parabolic dish
The most common reason is that the parabolic dish is dusty.
To clean the heater:
1. Unplug the heater and clean it when it is cool
2. Spray a cloth with an all-purpose cleaner such as 409
3. Wrap the cloth around a long handle such as a wooden spoon
4. Wipe between the grate from the outer edge to the center
If you have further questions, please let me know. Or call us at 1-800-877-0441 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time.



13helpful
3answers

How do I take the cage off so I can clean the dish?

If you don’t mind VOIDING YOUR WARRANTY, there’s a point at the bottom of the grate where an elongated spine pokes through a tiny hole in the metal dish. Use a screwdriver to pry the metal retaining lip of the dish back from that spot, and pop the grate out by applying pressure to lift the spine out of that hole, and the grate from the dish. BUT the problem is getting the grate BACK IN the metal lip when you are done cleaning. I opted to modify the grate slightly. I used a hacksaw to cut a tiny 1/8-inch section of the outer ring away from the bottom of the grate and removed the retaining spine in the same spot (from inside the ring) to allow enough flexibility to be able to squeeze the grate together to get it back in the dish’s metal lip. Now I can get the grate in and out, but when in, it is still secure enough to be able to lift the heater by grabbing the top of the grate to carry it.
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Buzzer goes off

This was the answer from Presto as I had the same problem. Cleaned it with window cleaner and a wooden spoon and paper towels and now it works great!


Buzzer sounds when heater:
- is tipped
- rests uneven on floor
- is too close to furniture or wall
- has too much dust on parabolic dish
The most common reason is that the parabolic dish is dusty.
To clean the heater:
1. Unplug the heater and clean it when it is cool
2. Spray a cloth with an all-purpose cleaner such as 409
3. Wrap the cloth around a long handle such as a wooden spoon
4. Wipe between the grate from the outer edge to the center
If you have further questions, please let me know. Or call us at 1-800-877-0441 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time.

0helpful
1answer

How to clean dish? Safety grate covering face of dish does not appear to have a way to remove it so backed on dist can be removed and heat dish can be returned to near new condition. Thanks, Mike

This is the answer I got from Presto. I cleaned it with window cleaner, wooden spoon and paper towels. Dish works great now.

Buzzer sounds when heater:
- is tipped
- rests uneven on floor
- is too close to furniture or wall
- has too much dust on parabolic dish
The most common reason is that the parabolic dish is dusty.
To clean the heater:
1. Unplug the heater and clean it when it is cool
2. Spray a cloth with an all-purpose cleaner such as 409
3. Wrap the cloth around a long handle such as a wooden spoon
4. Wipe between the grate from the outer edge to the center
If you have further questions, please let me know. Or call us at 1-800-877-0441 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time.

0helpful
1answer

My heater makes this constipating noise and the "tilt" alarm goes off after 10 minutes. I'm never able to turn it to the high position.

This is the answer I got from Presto. I cleaned it with window cleaner, wooden spoon and paper towels. Dish works great now.

Buzzer sounds when heater:
- is tipped
- rests uneven on floor
- is too close to furniture or wall
- has too much dust on parabolic dish
The most common reason is that the parabolic dish is dusty.
To clean the heater:
1. Unplug the heater and clean it when it is cool
2. Spray a cloth with an all-purpose cleaner such as 409
3. Wrap the cloth around a long handle such as a wooden spoon
4. Wipe between the grate from the outer edge to the center
If you have further questions, please let me know. Or call us at 1-800-877-0441 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time.
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Clean dish

'tdulany's remedy for cleaning the dish on the Presto Heat Dish probably works well, but how do you get past the grill covering the dish in order to clean it?
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Please give me the number on how to purchase dust remover that came in presto heat dish box. Thank you!

This is the answer I got from Presto. I cleaned it with window cleaner, wooden spoon and paper towels. Dish works great now.

Buzzer sounds when heater:
- is tipped
- rests uneven on floor
- is too close to furniture or wall
- has too much dust on parabolic dish
The most common reason is that the parabolic dish is dusty.
To clean the heater:
1. Unplug the heater and clean it when it is cool
2. Spray a cloth with an all-purpose cleaner such as 409
3. Wrap the cloth around a long handle such as a wooden spoon
4. Wipe between the grate from the outer edge to the center
If you have further questions, please let me know. Or call us at 1-800-877-0441 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time.
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1answer

Presto Heatdish noise.

I know the metal dish has to be dust free, clean. Beyond that you may want to call their customer service number 800-877-0441 for more help.
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Presto Heat Dish

The hardest part of cleaning the dish is that you can't get your hand inside the cage surrounding the dish. What I did was to use a wire cutter to snip enough pieces of the cage off so that I could get access to the dish. If you do it carefully, it looks as if it was intended and doesn't prevent the cage from working. If you think of the cage/dish as a clock, I cut all the strips between 9 and 11, and 1 and 3. Easy to clean the dish afterwards.

That might not solve the buzzing problem, though. It didn't solve it for me.
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