They’re used so often, yet they don’t get enough love sometimes. Admit it, hairstyling tools like the flat iron are often neglected even though they are used almost every day. That’s understandable because you may not know how to clean them.
But really, it’s a must to keep your flat iron clean. Routine cleaning and maintenance will improve its functionality and prolong its lifespan.
Flat irons are especially prone to collecting gunk and can become sticky because of the hair products you use. Oils, heat protectants, and leave-on treatments—you name it, flat irons collect them all! With so much residue, your flat iron stops giving you the results you want.
So, I’ll emphasize, cleaning your flat iron is something you need to do regularly. If you’re not sure how to do it, this guide will let you in on how to clean flat iron.
When to Clean Flat Iron
Flat irons do not need to be cleaned every day. However, you need to try to clean them at least once a month. This does not apply to people who use them every day. If you do, then they should be cleaned at least twice a month and wiped down after every use.
Aside from these general rules, you should clean your flat iron when you notice a buildup of products.
When a flat iron is dirty, it can attract more dirt and grime because of the sticky ends. This is unsanitary and reduces the efficiency of your flat iron irrespective of the type. You could also end up dragging your hair and pulling some off because you are not getting the right results. It could leave you with split ends, nasty flyaways, and frizziness due to overexposure to heat.
How to Clean Flat Iron
To clean your flat iron, you need some simple items that you’ll find at home. They include cotton rounds, a soft towel, and warm water. You could also use baking soda and lemon juice for extreme cases.
The first step is to heat up the flat iron. While turning it on, make sure you are putting it in the lowest setting possible. As it heats up, the product buildup on the surface will loosen up. This makes it easier to wipe the ends clean. However, you should be careful while doing this. It should be warm before wiping down. So only put it on for a few minutes. Also, check that it has been turned off before wiping.
When the plates are warm, the next thing to do is wipe the plates gently using a soft towel. While it is still warm, it’s easier to get the gunk out. To get a deeper clean, you can wait for it to cool down and use cotton balls in alcohol to swab the plates until they are clean. Warm water can also do the trick.
It may be difficult to reach smaller crevices so you can use a Q-tip for these parts. Put the Q-tip in some alcohol and scrub. You can also use a toothbrush if it’s tougher than expected. But be careful while brushing so you do not damage the plates. After that, wipe the plates with a cloth. It is ideal to let it dry before using it to style your hair.
Baking Soda Method
If your flat iron is dirtier than usual, then you may need some extra help. A baking soda paste can remove older and stickier gunk from the flat iron. If you have not cleaned your flat iron for a long time and it has accumulated grime, dirt, and product build-up, then this method could work.
Baking soda can help you to clean the flat iron even though it seems unconventional. It softens old product build-up and dirt to make it easier to come off.
Thanks to WhoresWearRouge for this simple cleaning procedure. Here is how it’s done.
Start by mixing baking soda with lemon juice and some water until it forms a thick paste.
Take the paste and apply a thick layer on the plates of the flat iron and let it sit for a few minutes.
After around 5 minutes, wipe the paste off with a damp microfiber towel or damp paper cloth. In most cases, you may not need to repeat the procedure as it produces a sparkling surface underneath.
Warm Water Method
If you do not use your flat iron often or use too many hair products, you can use warm water to clean the plates instead.
Start with a damp microfiber cloth and don’t use a wet cloth. Rub the cloth all over the plate surface gently. You may need to repeat the process if necessary.
Wipe the surface dry using a clean towel. Expose the flat iron to air to let it dry. When it dries completely, you can begin to use it again.
How to Maintain Flat Iron
Cleaning your flat iron is one way to keep it working in optimal condition, but it isn’t the only way.
Here are some other ways to maintain your flat iron.
Use Heat Proof Mat
Some flat irons can become very hot, and it is not ideal to let them touch the surface of the counter or table. If it is placed on a plastic table or wooden table, it could melt and burn that table. This could also leave you with a grimy hair tool. That’s why It’s better to use a heat-proof mat to place your flat iron. It will help protect the hair tool and your surface top.
If you have a ceramic flat iron, it should be stored lying flat. Do not hang it by its cable because it will stretch the wire and stop it from turning on.
Some flat irons come with storing cases so you can place them in there to keep them safe.
Shampoo and Conditioner Can Damage Your Device
Using conditioner and shampoo that leave too much buildup on your hair is not ideal. It is better to change brands. Buildup can ruin your shiny hair and it also affects your straightener. The residues from these products stay on the plates and when you heat up the device, they can melt and cling to your hair.
Repair as Soon as Possible
If you notice that there are cracks on the flat iron, you should fix it immediately. Leaving it may make the damage worse and affect the results you want. If the product has a warranty, you can get it repaired by the manufacturer.
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