Your flat iron is an invaluable asset (goodbye stubborn flyaways!), but product build-up on its plates may be frustrating. Luckily, however, removal is simple with some water, alcohol and cotton balls – and results in much smoother hair!
First, ensure your iron is completely cool and unplugged before dipping a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol to clean off its surface. Finally, wipe down each plate using cotton ball as you go for maximum effectiveness.
Table of Contents
1. Rub Alcohol
Regular use of your flat iron can leave a residue buildup behind that reduces its effectiveness, so the best way to get rid of this buildup is through cleaning with household products already found within your home. Doing this will keep it looking its best while simultaneously performing its function optimally.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to quickly clean a flat iron is with rubbing alcohol. This inexpensive technique quickly eliminates product residue on your iron’s plates – just ensure that high-quality rubbing alcohol will not harm its plating! After using, wipe down with a cloth any leftover liquid.
Vinegar can also be an effective option for cleaning a flat iron, as it won’t damage its plates and is something most of us keep at home. Simply combine equal parts white vinegar and baking soda into a paste that you can dip your cloth in before rubbing over the plate. After wiping down your iron, be sure to dip it back in some distilled water in order to remove any residual paste left by this method.
If your flat iron has stubborn debris that won’t come off with just damp cloth alone, try using a non-scratch kitchen sponge or scrubber to help get into those hard to reach crevices. Not only will it remove more gunk efficiently but will also allow you to reach smaller crevices more effectively.
Use regular, white toothpaste to thoroughly clean your iron. This method will effectively eliminate burnt residue without damaging or making your plates sticky; just rub a small amount onto the iron before wiping off with a microfiber cloth.
Before using your flat iron, make sure it is plugged in and turned on, so that it can heat up a little before turning it off to allow it to cool a little but not completely. After your iron has cooled completely, dampen a cloth lightly with water (but do not make it soaked), and gently wipe its plates to remove any residue left by rubbing alcohol or cleaner.
2. Baking Soda
Utilizing baking soda and water can help you clean an iron easily. Make a paste from these two ingredients, apply it directly onto the iron, let it sit for 20 minutes, then wipe off. This method will eliminate any residue while helping prevent future build up.
Baking soda can also help clean any burn marks on a flat iron. Simply create a paste by mixing equal parts baking soda and water and apply it directly over any burn spots on your iron. Allow it to set for 20 minutes before wiping it off with water; this should eliminate all burn marks on your iron, leaving it looking brand new!
Another way to clean an iron effectively is with a solution of vinegar and water. Create a paste using equal parts vinegar and baking soda and apply it directly onto any burn marks on your iron. Allow this solution to sit for around 20 minutes before wiping it off to keep your iron looking newer longer! This should help get rid of those pesky burn spots!
If your iron has scorched fabric, taking more aggressive steps may be necessary. First, ensure it is cool before using some rubbing alcohol to clean its plate. Nail polish remover, ammonia or spray-on oven cleaner may also work according to Pure Wow; just remember not immersing or abrading Teflon surfaces directly with liquid.
One other method for keeping your iron clean and shining is using crumpled newspaper as a scrubber. Simply crumple up and rub over the soleplate with it – ink will help absorb any greasy or fatty residue left by previous use of ironing, while cotton balls soaked with nail polish remover acetone will dissolve and wipe away gunk.
This method should only be attempted outdoors as the acetone will evaporate quickly, potentially irritating your skin. When using an iron to heat up the solution it is wise to wear oven mitts to protect your hands from its heat while making sure none of it leaks onto them or gets trapped between fingers as the solvent evaporates.
If your iron is caked in hair product residue or has any signs of rust, a simple vinegar solution could be just what’s needed. Once the iron has cooled off, dip a cloth in vinegar and wipe down your iron. For stubborn gunk, try scrubbing with an non-scratch kitchen sponge or even toothbrush; anything to reach every corner!
Use a small amount of distilled white vinegar mixed with water in the steam vents of your flat iron to effectively declog them and ensure maximum performance from it. This will prevent build-up from happening and keep it working at its optimal performance level.
Nail polish remover can also be a helpful way to de-gunk a flat iron. It works especially well at dissolving any rust, melted plastic and craft residue; additionally it’s effective at eliminating table salt residue on plates – just ensure to use an acetone nail polish remover and use oven mitts or gloves as protection from the heat!
Once your iron is cool and unplugged, use a cotton ball soaked with rubbing alcohol to lightly rub its surface with no more pressure than necessary. Cotton swabs may also help reach any hidden corners on the plates.
To perform a more in-depth cleaning of an iron’s soleplate, soak it in vinegar for a short period of time once it’s cool before doing this. Or mix equal parts baking soda and water into a paste that you apply directly onto soiled areas on the iron – allow this paste to sit before scrubbing with damp cloths afterwards.
If your flat iron has come into contact with something made from plastic, such as a bottle, it is imperative that it is taken care of immediately or it could transfer onto fabrics you iron and cause permanent damage. Start by allowing the plastic to harden by placing it over an ice cube-filled metal bowl or pan and placing the affected area of the iron overtop of them; after it has set you can use a plastic knife to scrape off its remains.
If your flat iron isn’t cleaned regularly, gummy buildup may develop and lead to uneven heating that causes your hair to damage. Thankfully, however, common household items like nail polish remover, ammonia hair spray and rubbing alcohol are effective at breaking down hardened styling product residue and making cleaning simple and straightforward.
Before using any flat iron cleaners on your device, always ensure it has been unplugged and allowed to cool down completely. In addition, any harsh cleaners should be avoided on Teflon plates as this could scratch and wear down their surface over time.
Clean your iron quickly and effectively using toothpaste! Preheat it slightly, apply a small amount of non-gel toothpaste directly onto the soleplate (being careful not to get any in the steam vents), let sit for several minutes, and wipe it off using cotton balls or paper towels; this method will not only remove scorch marks but also soften any remaining gunk.
Salt can also help your iron break down hardened product residue and remove any stains, by spreading out waxy paper (newspaper works great) on which a generous amount of salt has been sprinkled, before running your hot iron over this surface several times in various directions until cool enough to wipe away and you are left with a shiny and clean iron!
If your flat iron still appears dusty or takes an unusually long time to heat up, it may be time for retirement. According to Express, hot tools that collect oils and product residue from your hair over time may collect build-up that inhibits their performance in heating and damaging hair effectively. If it begins looking corroded or emitting an offensive smell then this is certainly cause for replacement.