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There really is no way to totally remove the spatula from the heating element, it's going to smoke when the user comes on and melt even more is it wrapped around it? You may have to replace the heater, if you need to replace it you can order this @ http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Heating-Element/1472685?modelNumber=PDW9880J00SS it's not too difficult to replace shut the power off take front panel off of the door and take the wires off there are two brass nuts that hold it on, hope this helps, thanks Bryan