How to Clean a Flat Iron: Detailed Guide on Straightener Maintenance

Many flat iron owners rely on their irons to function daily. The last situation you want to be in is to wake up one morning to get ready for an important meeting, date, or wedding, and your flat iron doesn’t work anymore.

Buying a new flat iron on short notice is not only time-consuming but also costly and stressful. There are steps you can take to maintain your flat iron so that it will function to its fullest potential for years to come.

cleaning a flat iron, before and after

How to Clean a Flat Iron

Cleaning a flat iron not only keeps it looking good, but it also can extend its life. By not allowing buildup to form on the plates of your flat iron, you extend its life and its performance.

When buildup forms on and around the plates of your flat iron, it can cause the plates to snag and pull your hair. For best results and to avoid hair products from creating buildup, clean your flat iron after each use.


1. First, you need to connect the iron to the network and turn it on. Plug the appliance into a power outlet, turn it on to the minimum temperature and allow it to warm up for a couple of minutes. Warmth helps to loosen contaminants adhering to the iron which will considerably facilitate further cleaning of the device.

Then, turn off the iron and pull it off the net. After switching off, allow the appliance to cool down on a heat-resistant mat or hand towel. Do not place the iron directly on a table or sink, as a hot appliance may damage these surfaces.

2. Wipe the iron with a damp cloth or paper towel. To check whether the device has cooled down sufficiently, bring your hand to it at a distance of about 2.5 cm, so that to understand whether you can touch the iron.

As soon as the device becomes just slightly warm to the touch, take a cloth or paper towel and lightly moisten it with water. Wipe all surfaces ironing, to carry out the procedure of basic cleaning of the device.

If you’ve never cleaned the appliance before, use a professional cleaning agent. Once the plates are cool to the touch, spray on a styling iron cleaner product and let sit for 30 seconds to a minute.

Several companies make cleaning products specifically for flat irons that are formulated to deal with this type of residue and buildup. Do not use any product that is not specifically formulated for this, as it may damage the finish on the plates of your flat iron.

In the beauty shops, you can find a variety of cleaning products specifically designed for various devices for hair styling. In order not to scratch the ceramic plates of the hair straightener, do not rub it too aggressively. Do not use abrasive chemicals as well, as they may damage the surface of the ironing plates.

After 30 seconds to a minute, use a clean dry cloth to wipe away the buildup from the flat iron’s plates. If the flat iron has a thicker, harder buildup, you may need to take a soft-bristled brush, scrub away the buildup, and repeat step 2.

Safety Tips

  • Never try to clean a flat iron while it is still hot, or plugged in.
  • Avoid flammable products like rubbing alcohol. The fumes may ignite with the heating elements and catch on fire, possibly destroying your flat iron, voiding its warranty and may even cause injury.
  • Wait for your flat iron to dry completely before plugging it in after cleaning.

Basic Steps to Maintain Your Flat Iron

Cleaning a Flat Iron

Cleaning your flat iron is one sure way to keep it functioning longer, and performing better. For what to do, and what not to do when cleaning your flat iron, see “How to Clean a Flat Iron”

Storing a Flat Iron

When you are done using your flat iron and are ready to put it away, make sure not to wrap the cord around it. This is notorious for weakening the connection from the cord to the flat iron, eventually causing a short.

Most manufacturer warranties do not cover defects caused by poor treatment to your flat iron, and wrapping the cord around the iron, is poor treatment to your flat iron!

To properly store the cord, coil it next to the flat iron. Make sure not to contact the cord to any hot surface.

Some manufacturers do make cases to store flat irons which are known as heat-resistant bags, mats, pouches, or hot pads. Many of these can be used as a way to store the flat iron but also as a padded surface to use on your countertop to avoid burning it. Be sure to use a bag that has separate storage sections for the cord, and the flat iron.

Also Read:

Flat iron maintenance tips:

  • Clean your flat iron regularly;
  • Do not wrap the cord around your flat iron;
  • Store in a heat resistant flat iron bag;
  • Be gentle. Your flat iron is your friend!;
  • Do not slam the plates together;
  • Do not drop your flat iron and expect it to work;
  • Do not hold your flat iron by its cord;
  • Keep the cord away from the plates to avoid melting;
  • Use your flat iron as instructed.

The remains of hair products and oils accumulate on ceramic plates of hair straighteners over time. The dirty device looks anesthetic and, besides, can damage your hair. In order to return the tool to its excellent appearance and bring it to proper working condition, you need to carry out general cleaning of the device.

Allyson Carter

Ally is a professional hairstylist with more than 6 years of experience, but hair has been her passion since early childhood. Here, at Hair Spies, she blogs about all things hairdressing, hair tools, and everyday hair care. Read more about Allyson here.

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