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How To Clean A Flat Iron

Your flat iron is a staple in your hair routine, you most likely use it daily, but can you remember the last time you cleaned it?

Flat irons are brilliant, but hair products and oils will eventually build up on the plates, which leads to a gunky mess and greasy residue on your hair.

But did you know if you don’t regularly clean your hair straightener, it can actually cause damage to your hair?

Who knew!

But don’t worry, cleaning your hair tools isn’t as urgent as washing your makeup brushes, but regularly cleaning your hair straightener will help improve your styling game and prolong your lifespan.

Restore the life and clean your flat iron regularly with these top tips and tricks here!


Why Clean A Flat Iron?

The top reason for cleaning your flat iron is the number of products you use before you do any heat styling.

Just like how products build up on your hair, if you don’t wash your hair regularly, these products will also build up on the hair straightener.

These hair products and oils will then stick to your clean hair, causing it to become dirty quickly.

This product build-up on your styling tools can also lead to uneven heating and uneven straightening. This can then result in heat damage and split ends.

I know it shocked me too– time to learn how to clean the buildup from your flat iron ladies!

How Often Should You Clean Your Flat Iron?

So now you know how important it is to have a clean flat iron, how often should you clean your flat iron?

As a general rule of thumb, if you use your flat iron daily, you should clean it at least once a week using a microfiber cloth. No need for sprays, soaps, or other products if you maintain this routine.

When the plates are still warm (not hot), swipe down along the edge of the plates to remove the residue. If there is still product buildup, use a damp cloth and warm water to remove the residue.

If you remember, aim to wipe down your flat iron every time you use it. That goes for all styling tools, including your curling iron, crimpers, and all other heat styling products you use.

flat iron

How To Clean A Flat Iron:

Cleaning your flat iron is a fairly easy task; no matter what material your flat iron is made of, it can be cleaned easily with the right method.

You should firstly remember to only clean a flat iron when it is unplugged and after you’ve let it cool down until it is slightly warm, but you can touch it with your fingers.

Remember to always wait a while before cleaning your flat iron after use, don’t start cleaning it immediately after, as this will burn your fingers.

How To Clean A Flat Iron Using Rubbing Alcohol:

Rubbing alcohol is one of the best ways to clean a flat iron. It will effectively break down the product and oil buildup and grime on flat irons.

If you use your flat iron, you should unplug and clean the plate using rubbing alcohol once every week or two for best results.

Firstly pour the rubbing alcohol onto a paper towel or microfiber cloth and gently dab in a circular motion.

For the edges, dip a cotton ball in the rubbing alcohol and run it along the edges of the metal plate. Soak a clean paper towel in water and wipe the flat iron down afterward.

Leave on a flat surface until completely dry.

curling hair with a straightener

How To Clean A Flat Iron Using Baking Soda:

If your flat iron has seen better days and you haven’t cleaned it in several months, then there may be a fair amount of dirt, product build-up, and overall grime on your flat iron, using rubbing alcohol solution and a cloth won’t be enough to do the trick.

Want your flat iron to look as good as new? Well, a baking soda solution is the best way to deep clean those plates.

The baking soda will help soften the dirt and buildup on your plates, so it comes off easily. You can mix baking soda with some water and lemon juice until it forms a thick paste.

Apply a thick layer and leave it for around 5 minutes to sit. Then wipe off the paste using a damp paper towel or damp microfiber towel, and your flat iron plates will look like new.

How To Clean A Flat Iron Using Warm Water:

If you don’t often use hair products and only use flat irons once in a blue moon, you may be able to get away with using warm water and a cotton ball to clean the plates.

You should dampen a cotton ball or microfiber cloth using water, running it over the plates and repeating until your flat iron is clean, then you’ll have a clean flat iron.

Giving the plates a wipe with a cotton cloth or ball will help remove all the excess residue on the surface of your straightening tool.

Make sure you leave your flat iron to completely dry before plugging it back in. Remember to wait until your flat iron is warm and not hot, as if you use a thin microfiber cloth, it can burn your fingers.

Also, try to avoid polyester cloths and other artificial materials as these can melt into flat irons and damage your straightener.

flat iron x2

How To Clean A Ceramic Flat Iron?

No matter what material your flat iron is made from, you can choose either these methods to clean the heat-resistant product or oil residue buildup.

Be careful on what materials you use; make sure you use a cotton or microfiber cloth when cleaning your flat iron. Artificial materials could damage the plates.

When Is It Time To Toss Your Straightener?

If, after much elbow grease and patience and a wide array of cleaning products, your flat iron is still covered in product residue, this is your sign that your straightener is beyond repair.

Plus, if it smells like smoke or gives off a bad smell when using it, this is also your sign that it needs to be thrown in the trash.

Finally, if you notice visible residue but the plates look corroded or damaged, it is also time to give it the toss. The same goes for if it is snagging your hair while using the straightening tool.

As a general rule of thumb, if your flat iron is looking worse for wear or doesn’t straighten as it used to, this is a sign that it has seen better days.



So there you have it the best ways to clean your flat iron easily. I never thought to clean my flat iron regularly before the past couple of years when I started to really focus on looking after my luscious locks.

Give some of these tips and techniques a go today but if your flat iron is beyond repair, check out my top recommendations below!

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