Cleaning your flatiron is something that you probably know you should be doing, but rarely (if ever) put into practice. However, that buildup on your flatiron’s plates could be ruining your hair, and you should actually be giving your flatiron a cleaning once a week! Keep reading to find out more about why you need to clean your flatiron, as well as a detailed guide on exactly how to do it.
If you want to lengthen the usability of your iron and save money by not having to buy a new iron too soon, cleaning your flatiron is a good idea. However, you may be wondering why your iron gets dirty in the first place.
Well, when you use your flatiron, you probably also use products like a heat protectant, serum, leave-in conditioner, or hairspray. As the flatiron moves through your hair, the remains of these products stay behind and eventually build up. They appear as a brown or similar-colored substance on the sides of your flatiron’s plates.
Signs that your iron needs a good cleaning include a burning smell when you turn on the iron, visible build-up on the sides of the plates, and an uneven distribution of heat. The residue of your hair products can even seriously dry out your hair! This can cause your hair to straighten incorrectly and may even make you think you may need a new iron! Before you go shopping, try these easy at-home cleaning methods.
First of all, make sure not to use abrasive chemical cleaners. These can seriously damage the coating on the plates of your flatiron. However, if your iron is truly not in good shape, a Mr. Clean eraser or a toothbrush may come in handy!
One simple way to clean your iron is with rubbing alcohol and cotton balls (you can also use q-tips to clean out all the nooks and crannies). Simply make sure your iron is unplugged and completely cooled down and wipe it off with the alcohol-soaked cotton balls. When it’s cleaned to your liking, use a warm, damp cloth to finish off the cleaning process.
A similar method using rubbing alcohol suggests employing a microfiber cloth to clean your flatiron. A microfiber cloth is handy because it attracts residue without spreading it around. Use circular motions with the microfiber cloth to clean all the build-up from your iron.
If you don’t like the idea of using alcohol to clean your flatiron, another option is to use baking soda. Mix together a paste using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, and apply it directly to the plates of your flatiron. Allow it to sit for several minutes, using a q-tip to spread it to any difficult-to-reach areas.
Next, heat up your iron to a moderate temperature. Leave it at this temperature for a minute and then turn it off. After allowing the plates to cool, wipe the paste off of your flatiron with a warm, damp cloth.
If you’re looking for another option, you can also use relaxer to clean your flatiron. A mild or regular relaxer is optimal. Keep the flatiron cooled off and unplugged while you apply a layer of the relaxer to the flatiron’s plates. Make sure it is evenly spread out in order to get the best results.
The next step is to plug in the flatiron and allow it to heat up to a moderate temperature. Leave it on for ten to fifteen minutes, or a little longer if your flatiron is especially grimy. Turn off your flatiron and wait for it to cool down; next, remove the relaxer with a damp cloth to finish off the cleaning process.
You can also use a spray cleaner or a cleaning stick made specifically for flatirons for the same results.
After cleaning your iron, make sure all cleaning substances have been completely removed and the iron is totally dry before using it on your hair–otherwise, you could damage it!
Now that you know about several methods for cleaning your flatiron, put them to good use and clean it once a week! It will keep both your iron and your hair in great condition.